'Red wall' opens doors in Beijing

2018-04-16 08:28China Daily Editor: Li Yan ECNS App Download

From adding elevators to old apartment buildings to making more parking lots for local residents and from setting up vegetable markets to clearing the sheds that blocked streets, local government officials in Beijing's Xicheng district have taken on the task of solving problems confronting residents in their daily lives.

As a group of people living and working closest to the Zhongnanhai leadership compound, government officials and residents in central Beijing's Xicheng district are always aware of their "special duties".

Since the headquarters of China's central leadership Zhongnanhai is in the district, people who live and work around the compound have developed loyalty to the Party, a sense of responsibility and a faith to serve the public good.

Since 1999, this common awareness has been called a "red wall consciousness" because of the color of walls surrounding Zhongnanhai.

In January 2016, the central leadership raised "Four Consciousnesses" of the ideology, the whole, the core and the line-to help build the Party through inner-Party discipline and directives.

As introduced by Lu Yingchuan, Party chief of the capital's Xicheng district, the "red wall consciousness" is a reflection of the "Four Consciousnesses" at a basic level among the grassroots.

"The government officials actively solve the problems for every citizen. The 'red wall consciousness' is not a big word up in the air. It's concrete and practical," Lu said.

"Facing huge disputes and pressures, the municipal government still moved out the Beijing Zoo clothing wholesale markets for a better development of the city. The officials at the street level try to create more green areas, which are called 'tiny parks', to improve the natural environment. All of the above have shown the 'red wall consciousness'," Lu said.

Xicheng has set an example for other districts through more involvement from public opinions.

On Oct 29, Lu, together with other district officials, went to local communities to communicate with people living in the area.

Requirements and suggestions-120 items in all, including adding elevators, setting up vegetable markets and parking lots-were raised during the meeting.

The government of Xicheng district called on different departments to make a timetable to solve those problems.

Since April 2017, Xicheng district established a system employing "street chiefs" to take charge of improving street outlooks and solving problems for those who live along the streets.

There are 1,402 street chiefs in the district. Their names and phone numbers are displayed publicly on the boards hanged on each street. People can call to get in touch with the street chiefs to solve their issues.

Qi Zhengbin, street chief of Shenyeli hutong, helped have 37 coal storage sheds removed after they blocked the road for a long time.

Wang Junli, chief of Qianmenxiheyan street, held three meetings with the local residents and a parking management company to resolve parking difficulties in the area.

All street chiefs have a sense of duty to make the capital clean and beautiful and to help their neighbors.

In addition to serving the people who live in the Xicheng district, "red wall consciousness" also is shown toward laborers who work for the district.

The labor union of the Xicheng district started a project last year to set up rest stations for workers, such as couriers, parking-lot attendants, taxi drivers and sanitation workers.

The rest stations have water, air conditioning, tables and chairs and first-aid kits for emergencies. There also are books and magazines for them to read.

In Dashilan street, there are 10 rest stations. Under the plan, the labor union, together with several catering companies, will establish about 200 rest stations.

"This place has given us a warm feeling," said Xiong Zhongbao, a sanitation worker. "The rest stations show the respect to people who contribute to this city."

Dennis Oldfield, general manager of the Grand Mercure Beijing Central in Xicheng district, said "red wall consciousness" encompasses integrity, loyalty and taking responsibility, and that's "something which is very strong in China over the years that I've been here".

The head of the district agreed.

The "red wall consciousness" started in the Xicheng district, but it won't end there. It will "grow" to all areas in Beijing, which will help the capital to become a harmonious international city, Lu said.


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