Diplomats get peek into 'mysterious' Party department

By Zhao Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-06-15 07:46
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BEIJING - It is highly possible that some thoughts about the personnel work of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will appear in the diaries of senior foreign diplomats in China after a rare meeting with top Party organizers on Tuesday.

The meeting is the first time that a large group of ambassadors and ministers have had the opportunity to raise questions and exchange their thoughts with top Party personnel officials at the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, deemed by the outside world as having long kept a low-profile behind a mysterious veil.

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The 54 senior diplomats from 50 countries paid a three-hour visit to the large compound of the Organization Department to get a view of the department's functions as well as the selection system for leaders in governments and State-owned enterprises.

In an exhibition room of the center for competence tests and evaluation, the visitors were shown the system and mechanisms by which the CPC selects and evaluates its officials. They were also given an opportunity to experience the computer test that officials at certain levels have to undergo prior to promotion.

Diplomats get peek into 'mysterious' Party department

At the bureau of official education, Yu Jia, a bureau official, spoke in fluent English to exhibit the Party's "flexible and diverse" methods in providing comprehensive training to officials and candidates for various positions.

The Party's anti-corruption efforts were likewise highlighted, with the diplomats being led to a room where three workers were busy answering calls from Party members and other citizens, and recording their complaints.

"Our 12380 hotline system has established more than 600 offices in all the 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions on the mainland," Li Jiangnan, director of the department's complaint center, told the visitors.

To test the number, Munshi Faiz Ahmad, ambassador of Bangladesh to China, took out his mobile phone and dialed. Two seconds later, one of the telephones rang.

Responding to a question by Ion Dicu, minister plenipotentiary from the embassy of Romania, on whether callers who complain about a particular official or violation of Party discipline have to leave their names, Li said the callers could decide to leave their names or not, adding that the privacy of the tipsters is strictly protected.

The diplomats were finally led to a conference hall to meet Li Yuanchao, head of the Organization Department, and other senior Party organizers.

"This is the first time for us to receive such a big delegation of ambassadors. We will continue to hold events like this in the future, so that more and more foreign friends will have a better understanding of what we do here," Li told the visitors.

"This event is extremely interesting," said Victor Ponomaryov, minister counselor with the embassy of Ukraine in China. "It provides us a lot of very useful information on how the Communist Party of China handles its personnel works."

"Their exhibitions enable us to better understand why the Chinese economy can achieve miraculous growth, that if a ruling party has an efficient and outstanding mechanism in its organization work, then every aspect of the nation will be running well. The CPC's experience is useful for every country in the world."