Tuesday, March 13, 2007

2007 NPC, CPPCC Journal, Day 9

Staff workers for the two meetings

Extravagant Spending of the Two Meetings Questioned

A staff worker of the on-going NPC and CPPCC sessions revealed in his blog some wasteful occurrences during the two big meetings, such as the use of large amount of disposable paper cups for drinking water in the lobby of the Great Hall of the People.

There are nearly 3000 NPC delegates, more than 2200 CPPCC members, as well as around 1000 journalists and staff workers going in and out the Great Hall, and many of those cups were used for only one serving, Guangzhou-based New Express newspaper reported.

The staff worker is not the only one who criticized the wasteful manner of the two meetings.

In commenting yesterday’s news that China is considering drafting a “clean government law,” one person wrote on sina.com.cn forum that every year, the NPC and CPPCC sessions “cost tremendous amount of human power, material and money,” both for its national conventions and the meetings of their local branches.

Citing the central government’s call on building a "frugal society," the poster asked whether the expenses of the annual conventions in Beijing could be published for public scrutiny, “so that the local government could follow the example of the central government.”

For blogger Jackson Hu, the Beijing sessions are nothing but a “grand festival in the official circle,” where many participating officials spend most of them time socializing with other officials, “accumulating political resources.”

Hu estimated the cost for the two sessions, including transportation, dining, lodging, as well as communication and security, could be as high as five billion yuan (about $600 million).

As a matter of fact, the meetings accommodate over 5000 people for about two weeks. Almost all of the participating NPC and CPPCC members, including many who actually live in Beijing, stay in high class hotels. Buffet meals are well served every day, which usually include fine drinks and cover different local flavors to cater the taste of representatives from different regions. Fresh fruits are delivered to every hotel room frequently, at least in some hotels. Special medical services are also provided. The cost of the annual sessions could indeed be sky-high.

On Tuesday, China’s chief justice Xiao Yang delivered the work report of China’s judicial system in 2006, and Jia Chunwang, procurator-general of China's Supreme People's Procuratorate, delivered the work report of China's procuratorates, including review of last year’s anti-corruption prosecutions.

China’s judicial work in 2006

China's procuratorial work in 2006

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