Improving People’s Livelihood and Addressing Their Concerns


By YU HONGJU & staff reporter HUANYU


THE people” is a frequently mentioned phrase, to the extent of being the main theme of the report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) by General Secretary Xi Jinping. “We must put the people’s interests above all else, see that the gains of reform and development benefit all our people in a fair way, and strive to achieve shared prosperity for everyone.”


“The aspirations of the people to live a better life must always be the focus of our efforts.” “Ensuring and improving living standards through development.” “We must do more to improve the lives and address the concerns of the people.”



Elderly Chinese practice shadow-boxing near a riverbank.


Lu Xinshe, secretary of the CPC Jiangxi Provincial Committee and head of the Jiangxi delegation to the 19th CPC National Congress, is highly impressed with the new blueprint for the people’s livelihood and the sense of fulfillment it will bring them. In his view, the phrase “new era” is the keynote of the report, as it pinpoints the direction to realize the goals of meeting the people’s growing needs for a better life and promoting their all-round development and overall social progress. “The construction of a rich, beautiful, and happy Jiangxi will be accelerated, and our province will embark on a new course on the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era,” Lu said.


The year 2017 sees Jiangxi build and reform its characteristic brands. The Provincial Party Committee has formulated a raft of measures focusing on prominent issues of people’s concerns and generated a new impetus of development towards improving the people’s livelihood and their welfare generally.


Jiangxi has been carrying out innovative explorations in these aspects, most particularly in the interests of “improving the lives and addressing the concerns of the people. The province’s “People’s Voice Channel” exemplifies these moves.


Green Channel that Never Closes


“I never dreamt I could gain government support just through a text message!” said Pan Qingzuo, a farmer from Duchang County. Pan developed a pesticide against bacterial wilt and a rice paddy drought-resistant agent which he tried to promote on the market. But he could not afford the pharmacodynamic test. He went to the relevant county and township departments for help, but to no avail. Then, in October 2005, as a last resort, he sent a short text message to the provincial Party committee via the People’s Voice Channel asking for help. In accordance with the provincial leader’s requirements, the pesticide was delivered to the Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences for testing. “The People’s Voice Channel puts the provincial Party committee leadership squarely on the side of the people,” Pan said.


Jiangxi government officials frequently visit and mingle with the locals.


The voice channel was founded on May 18, 2004. On that day, the provincial Party committee general office published on the front page of the Jiangxi Daily the People’s Voice Channel cell phone number and email address, promoting it as a medium for the exchange of important information. Using up-to-the-minute information and communication technology, the voice channel forms a bridge between the people and the provincial Party committee. It provides a medium for the people to transmit their appeals, opinions, and suggestions directly to the provincial Party committee through phone calls, text messages, or emails.


Since then, there has been a constant flow through this channel of important information and requests for help. It has enabled the leadership to gain a timely grasp of the grassroots situation, be aware of people’s expectations, and resolve their problems and conflicts.


The people thus gain benefits from the channel, and it also makes them aware that they are being listened to and that solutions to their problems are at hand.


Such explorations into reform and innovation undoubtedly match the development needs of the times and the people’s hopes.


Today, the voice channel, the first of its kind nationwide, has become a dynamic brand of the general office and provincial Party committee. Over the past 13 years, it has received more than 180,000 items of information, more than 9,000 of which it has accepted directly and successfully dealt with. A multitude of appeals have thus been resolved. More than 390 items, comprising people’s opinions and suggestions, have been incorporated into the decision-making and work observations of the provincial Party committee and provincial government.


Rallying Popular Support


The green channel conveys concern, trust, and warmth. It has enabled Jiangxi Provincial Party Committee to listen to the voice of the people and to improve their wellbeing.


At the end of April 2017, due to road construction, 10 bus lines passing through Xianghu Xincheng Community in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi, were temporarily rerouted. This caused local residents considerable inconvenience. Later, the provincial Party committee received a short text message via the voice channel. Soon after, on June 12, the Nanchang Bus Group opened a new bus route specifically for local residents to travel to work.


In advancing with the times, the voice channel has gained strong vitality amid the continuous expansion of online service channels. It has now evolved into a big channel including its own website, cell phone number, email, text message platform, as well as WeChat account.


Jiangxi’s residents enjoy tranquil lives.


The spot to leave messages for Lu Xinshe (secretary of provincial Party committee) and Liu Qi (provincial governor) on the “Message Board for Local Leaders” is easy to spot. And it makes plain, through the headings, “no reply,” “processing,” and “replied” exactly what stage the appeal has reached.


“Every message is handled,” said Yang Jun, whose job is to collect the messages sent to the provincial leadership from the voice channel. The standardized network message handling process has been running for years, according to Yang. Each city in Jiangxi employs personnel whose job is to handle netizens’ messages. Every Monday, each city reports the claims it has received to the provincial Party committee. About 20 days later, reports on their handling are delivered to the provincial Party committee, and provincial leaders give instructions on how to proceed. Exactly how each case is handled can be followed on the website.


In addition to replying to messages, the voice channel also follows them up every six months. “Every six months we select typical cases for public observation and private investigation, and conduct on-the-spot verification as to their handling. Any instances of fraud are immediately reported to provincial leaders. Problems come up every year, and cadres involved punished,” Yang said.


Over the past 13 years, 43 provincial leaders have successively issued 389 important instructions on the voice channel work, in efforts to solve the people’s problems other than through petitions or exploiting personal connections.


Thanks to its increasing influence, the voice channel was named “Advanced Unit for Netizens’ Message Processing” by in 2016 and 2017, and won the “Special Achievement Award on the 10th Anniversary of the Work of Netizens’ Message Processing” in 2016.


Since 2017, messages and materials submitted for instructions from provincial leaders have nearly doubled in the space of a year.


Optimizing Service


After 13 years of improvements, the voice channel has upgraded from fragmented problem handling to enhanced analysis and study. This provides a more effective information service for provincial decision-makers, and more optimized livelihood services for the people.


In March 2017, certain marketers of prepaid cards for beauty salons, fruit, entertainment and fitness venues, and education and training industries in Jiangxi were reported to have absconded with large amounts of cash. Local residents wasted no time in reporting the matter on the voice channel. Its staffers consulted experts, asking for their opinions and suggestions, and also threw it open to scholars at Nanchang University. Armed with responses and analyses, they compiled a special report for the attention of provincial leaders. Upon the instructions of three provincial leaders, the provincial Industrial and Commercial Bureau and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Protection Commission took prompt action by jointly carrying out random inspections for a month and a half. The Department of Commerce also unveiled the construction and implementation scheme of a service industry credit system for residents.


Behind the voice channel is an excellent team with a strong Party spirit and a conscientious and assiduous work style. It is precisely for this reason that a batch of knotty issues, such as a medical insurance networking settlement of mental hospitals, disparity between land ownership and administration, have been passed to provincial leaders for their instructions. These problems are gradually being resolved.


The solving of both common and specialized problems vividly embodies the optimized People’s Voice Channel service. The silk banners and letters of thanks that local people often send are testament to the quality of the channel.


As the new era approaches, the CPC Jiangxi Provincial Committee and provincial government are trying to create a more distinctive brand. They seek to transform the results of reform into a new impetus for development that will benefit people’s livelihood and welfare. This is the path to securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and injecting more dynamic vitality into building a wealthy, beautiful, and happy Jiangxi.


Yu Hongju is a reporter with Jiangxi Daily.