China Wants Bureaucrats to Shut Up
The problem, Communist Party functionaries say, is that civil servants talk too much — at meetings, in speeches and when speaking off-the-cuff in public. It’s the official Chinese version of yada-yada-yada, blah-blah-blah.
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To set an example for his peers, Li Yuanchao, a top member of a key Central Committee department, told the state-run New China News Agency that he is keeping his speeches short during meetings. In one recent video-conference, he kept his remarks to just 10 minutes, officials said.
Vice President Xi Jinping scolded underlings at a recent Central Party orientation meeting, declaring that bureaucratic long-windedness lengthened meetings and cut productivity.
So there’s a new unwritten policy among bureaucrats: when it comes to speechifying, less is more.
Scholars say long speeches by Chinese officials are legendary, often making a U.S. congressional filibuster seem like a haiku in comparison.