Look­ing back to history to move into the fu­ture

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By HOU LIQIANG and ZHOU LI­HUA

To ed­u­cate cadres and of­fi­cials, the dis­ci­plinary watch­dog of Macheng, a city in Hubei prov­ince and the site of a for­mer rev­o­lu­tion­ary base, is scour­ing mil­i­tary history in search for ex­am­ples of clean gov­er­nance.

On May 10, the city estab­lished a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion base, where ex­am­ples — old reg­u­la­tions, de­tails of pun­ish­ments and up­lift­ing sto­ries of se­nior of­fi­cers — are ex­hib­ited in a revo­lu­tion-themed mu­seum. The lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are plan­ning more ex­hi­bi­tions to il­lus­trate the legacy of clean gov­er­nance.

“Macheng is one of the most im­por­tant places i n China. It’s where the Huangma Up­ris­ing (a Com­mu­nist-led in­sur­rec­tion) was planned and rolled out. Ex­plor­ing the rev­o­lu­tion­ary army’s cul­ture of clean gov­er­nance and es­tab­lish­ing an ed­u­ca­tion base is a his­toric mis­sion for Macheng’s su­per­vi­sory ap­pa­ra­tus. It could help to pass on t hat cul­ture, and pro­mote ef­forts to com­bat cor­rup­tion and build a clean gov­ern­ment,” said Luo Li­juan, head of the Macheng com­mit­tee for dis­ci­pline in­spec­tion.

On Aug 1, 1927, the Com­mu­nist Party of China ini­ti­ated the Nan­chang Up­ris­ing in Jiangxi prov­ince to counter anti-com­mu­nist purges by the Kuom­intang. The move marked the be­gin­ning of the CPC’s ef­forts to build an army aimed at serv­ing the peo­ple and es­tab­lish­ing a gov­ern­ment of the peo­ple for the peo­ple.

The res­i­dents of the Da­bie Moun­tains, lo­cated on the border be­tween the prov­inces of Hubei, He­nan and An­hui, quickly fol­lowed the ex­am­ple of Nan­chang, and launched the Huangma Up­ris­ing on Nov 13 of the same year.

The Fourth Corps of the Red Army (the pre­de­ces­sor of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army), one of the Army’s three prin­ci­pal forces, was estab­lished in the re­gion in 1931.

In the month after the ed­u­ca­tion base opened, more than 200,000 peo­ple visited to view three fa­mous doc­u­ments in its pos­ses­sion, plus 36 lists of dis­ci­plinary reg­u­la­tions and the sto­ries of 53 fa­mous lo­cal peo­ple.

Five ‘don’ts’

One of the most fa­mous sto­ries in­volves Wang Bicheng, a lieu­tenant general from Macheng who joined the revo­lu­tion in 1926. He fa­mously drafted five “don’ts” for his fam­ily, in­clud­ing vow­ing to never use a car the gov­ern­ment dis­patched for him and never to use his po­si­tion for per­sonal gain.

In an­other story, Wu Huanx­ian, a Red Army of­fi­cer, and more than 20 sol­diers ran out of food after being sur­rounded by en­emy troops for three days. Wu only al­lowed each sol­dier to dig two sweet pota­toes from nearby farm­land to eat. He then buried a par­cel con­tain­ing five silver dol­lars (China’s old cur­rency) as com­pen­sa­tion for the farmer, along with a letter ex­plain­ing what had hap­pened.

Yang Yao, the Party chief of Macheng, has asked the com­mit­tee to set up at least two more ex­hi­bi­tions in the city’s mar­tyrs’ ceme­tery and a lo­cal park, ac­cord­ing to Shu Li, an of­fi­cial with the Macheng com­mit­tee for dis­ci­pline in­spec­tion.

Xue Fushun joined the PLA in 1943. He re­tired in 1951 and started work as an of­fi­cial in Macheng. The 87-year-old vet­eran spoke highly of the clean gov­er­nance of the rev­o­lu­tion­ary armies, say­ing the troops al­ways left money or IOUs if they had to take goods when the own­ers were ab­sent.

“The strict dis­ci­pline con­tin­ued to in­flu­ence me after I re­tired from the Army. I never gained ex­tra profit from the gov­ern­ment or owed the gov­ern­ment any­thing,” he said.

The char­ac­ter for “clean” is dis­played on a drum at the ed­u­ca­tion base in Cheng­ma­gang, where clean gov­er­nance is the main theme.

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