From Xian Hui via Yulun Jiandu, translated by CDT:
An article in Aug. 29’s issue of People’s Daily introduced a rare touching story: the party branch of Liuhe Township and its government in Qichun County of Hubei Province sold all their three government cars since 2003, in order to have funds to promote agricultural technologies. Now without a vehicle, township cadres have to resort to buses. But in the mean time, average net income for farmers there increased from 2,045 yuan/year to 2,757 yuan last year.
“As long as farmers are getting richer, it doesn’t matter if the government gets poorer,” says party secretary Zhou Disheng with a smile at his plain, rundown office.
Zhou’s words truly sort out the relationship between the government and the people, telling the essence of “people’s government” of serving the people and putting others (people) first.
I also read accounts of sharp contrast with Zhou about Tanggu district officials from Yulun Jiandu:
Before a public vehicle reform, Tanggu’s annual expenses for public vehicles, maintenance, gasoline and insurances, etc. ran to about 4 million; after reform the bill went up to 16 million.
During the “reform,” all district officials of Tanggu got a car paid for by the government but for personal use. If they drive themselves, they also get a subsidy of 500 yuan/month.
Some government cars were soon bought over by official users for less than a fourth of it’s original price.
Although Zhou is not in a prominent office like Tanggu officials are, he does have a “red heart” that serves the people. People like him are not common in today’s money-worship tides, so People’s Daily reported about him. [Full Text in Chinese]