Swear­ing oath ‘vi­tally im­por­tant’

Pre­mier sees the first cen­tral govern­ment em­ploy­ees make pledge in new cer­e­mony

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By HU YONGQI huy­ongqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The State Coun­cil held its first cer­e­mony to swear in cen­tral govern­ment em­ploy­ees on Sun­day, with 55 newly ap­pointed of­fi­cials pledg­ing to up­hold the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Over­seen by Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang, the group took an oath in front of a red-bound copy of the Con­sti­tu­tion in a State Coun­cil assembly hall.

All par­tic­i­pants stood to sing the na­tional an­them un­der the Chi­nese flag be­fore State Coun­cilor Yang Jing started the cer­e­mony.

First to take the oath was Xiao Yaqing, the new min­is­ter of the State-Owned As­sets Su­per­vi­sion and Ad­min­is­tra­tion Com­mis­sion, who placed his left hand on the Con­sti­tu­tion and his right hand in the air.

“I do swear that I will be loyal to the Con­sti­tu­tion, safe­guard its au­thor­ity and per­form my statu­tory du­ties. … I will be loyal to the coun­try and the peo­ple, ded­i­cated to my re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” each new ap­pointee said as they read the oath aloud.

“This cer­e­mony is short but vi­tally im­por­tant,” Li told the of­fi­cials. “You must abide by the oath you swear today and be ded­i­cated to the com­mit­ment with end­less ef­forts.”

An ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing of the State Coun­cil passed a reg­u­la­tion on July 20 to clar­ify pro­ce­dures and par­tic­i­pants of the oath cer­e­mony, which aims to build a govern­ment based on the rule of law and ed­u­cate all em­ploy­ees to carry for­ward the spirit of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

It came after the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress pro­mul­gated a le­gal doc­u­ment in July 2015 to make all pub­lic ser­vants swear an oath to the Con­sti­tu­tion.

The oath is a move to­ward con­sti­tu­tional su­per­vi­sion of all of­fi­cials, said Jiao Hongchang, a law pro­fes­sor at the China Univer­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Science and Law.

Tian Fei­long, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of law at Bei­hang Univer­sity, agreed and added that the oath is now a re­quired pro­ce­dure for all pub­lic ser­vants.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments be­gan to swear in new ap­point­ments at the end of last year, and Sun­day’s cer­e­mony shows the pro­ce­dure has been fully adopted by the cen­tral govern­ment, which will help to raise aware­ness of the Con­sti­tu­tion and im­prove the qual­ity of gov­er­nance, Tian said.

How­ever, the oath is only the first step, he said, adding that the NPC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee should re­lease more le­gal doc­u­ments on in­ter­pret­ing and im­ple­ment­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion, to safe­guard peo­ple’s le­git­i­mate rights.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang watches as 55 newly ap­pointed cen­tral govern­ment em­ploy­ees are sworn in on Sun­day at an assembly hall of the State Coun­cil in Bei­jing. It is the first time the State Coun­cil has held such a cer­e­mony.

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