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CPC goes on PR offensive to improve sagging image

Struggling to gel with people with its poor image as party with intrigue and scandals, China's ruling Communist Party (CPC), has launched a public relations exercise promising to lift the veil of secrecy on its activities.

world Updated: Jun 30, 2010 17:54 IST

Struggling to gel with people with its poor image as party with intrigue and scandals, China's ruling Communist Party (CPC), has launched a public relations exercise promising to lift the veil of secrecy on its activities.

Ahead of its 89th anniversary on Thursday, the party has launched a bold measure to dispel the veil of secrecy on its operations and bring about a measure of transparency to the governance, Party's long standing mouth piece, 'Peoples Daily' reported on Wednesday.

The party has lined up 11 spokespersons who would take questions from the media and vast network of 78 million party cadre and answer their queries about the policy and functioning of the party.

"From now on, reporters are expected to shoot their questions at the spokespersons and the information offices of the Party's major departments", the report in the daily said on Wednesday.

"The spokesperson system is key to making Party affairs public, promoting intra-party democracy, improving the party's governance capability and to cultivating a favourable environment for the development of the CPC and China," Wang Chen, head of the International Communication Office under the CPC Central Committee said.

According to the official media, Wang met the press for the second time this week. He said the International Communication Office was currently working with relevant CPC departments to further perfect the spokesperson system, in order to disclose party affairs in a timely manner and further enhance the transparency of party affairs.

The spokespersons would include nine men and two females. Founded in 1921, by Mao Zedong, who later emerged as a cult figure heading the most violent revolutionary movement followed by mass purges during Cultural Revolution cleansing the society of liberals, specially educated, the party witnessed a sea change when more liberal Deng Xiaoping took over the reins of the party in 1978.

Since then, the CPC brought about a vast variety of changes introducing mostly economic reforms that brought billions of dollars for foreign investment followed by introduction of concept private property, which was virtually abolished by Mao.

The party, however, remained in full control of the government under a new line propounded by the party, "socialism with Chinese characteristics". The party is also rocked by series of scandals with a number of high level party officials arrested for corruption. With new system of "openness" the party hopes to re-establish contacts with people taking advantage with the vast reach of the print and television official media in the country.