International Department of the CPC Central Committee       BEIJING REVIEW
Monday, July 3, 2017       MONTHLY
A paragon in local governance
By Ma Xiaowen 

 Liao Junbo (right), Secretary of CPC Zhenghe County Committee, visited women entrepreneurs in Shixun Village on March 20, 2015

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on June 6 decided to posthumously honor Liao Junbo as an "outstanding CPC member."  

Liao, who died at the age of 48 in a traffic accident on his way to a meeting on March 18, had served for four years as Party Secretary of Zhenghe County, southeast China’s Fujian Province, where he pushed forward economic development and helped more than 30,000 people escape poverty within less than four years. 

In his 27-year career, Liao truly cared for the people. Without any grand gesture or grandiose announcement, Liao dedicated himself to carrying out front-line work to improve people’s livelihoods. 

In his 25 years as a CPC member, Liao always prioritized the course of the Party and adhered faithfully to requirements of being a CPC member, no matter what position he held. Abiding by the Party’s principles and rules, he was loyal to the CPC in both words and deeds. 

A statement by the CPC central leadership noted that Liao, Vice Mayor of Fujian's Nanping City at the time of his demise, had worked wholeheartedly to lead local officials and people in poverty relief work, showing his loyalty to the Party and selfless devotion to duty. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, praised Liao in an instruction letter on April 14 for his excellent service, calling on Party members and officials to learn from him.  

Liao Junbo (middle), Secretary of CPC Zhenghe County Committee, was asking farmers about the growing condition of flowers on April 18, 2014 in Tieshan Village, Zhenghe County

Devotion to duty 

Liu Huming, Deputy Director of Nanping Industrial Park Administrative Committee, lived under the same roof and ate at the same table as Liao for more than four years.  In his experience, besides a few hours' sleep each day, Liao was always working. "He worked very hard in his office, at building sites, in his car and even when dining", Liu recalled. "He could talk on the phone for half an hour during a meal. Sometimes I woke up at night and was amazed to find him writing in his notebook." Liu's eyes watered as he recalled Liao working late into the night. He said it was his most vivid memory of Liao.  

Lin Jun was Liao's driver for 13 years. He remembered Liao saying he wished he could have 48 hours each day because he was so busy. Lin clearly remembers that he drove 360,000 km with Liao during four of Liao's busiest years and a total of 800,000 km over the course of 13 years. "He was so devoted to his work in every position, and he wanted to build something new," said Lin.  

"He could not fall asleep without finishing reading all our reports," said Hong Shaofeng, director of the administrative committee of Nanping’s Wuyi New District. According to Hong, Liao was always the last one to leave his office. There were times when Liao stayed too late, so he had to call the security staff to unlock the gate for him. Every time he finished a business trip, no matter how late it was, he would visit project sites in Wuyi New District.  

Yi Xiong, Chairman of the Board of Nanping Construction Group, keeps a photo of Liao on his cellphone. It was taken at 10 p.m. on March 16, two days before Liao passed away, while he was at a building site in Wuyi New District. Yi said some construction materials were due to be delivered and Liao was concerned about it. He stayed on site until the materials had arrived safely. 

According to the Fujian Daily, during the last 45 days of his life, Liao spent 22 days attending conferences, and on his latest trip, he spent three days visiting five companies spread across four provinces. 

As President Xi said, everybody should roll up their sleeves and accomplish the work to be done, and all Party members and government officials should learn from Liao the practice of stepping up to the frontline to serve the people. 

On April 10, 2017, the Fujian Provincial CPC Committee posthumously awarded Liao the honor of Excellent CPC Member of Fujian and called on local Party members and government officials to learn from him. 

Liao Junbo (middle) Secretary of CPC Zhenghe County Committee, condoled and talked with people in Songyuan Village on February 1, 2014

Outstanding work ethic 

Located in a mountainous area, Zhenghe has comparatively poor infrastructure and therefore lags behind other areas in economic and social development. Even though times in Zhenghe were hard, Liao found fulfillment.  

From the moment Liao took up his position in Zhenghe, rather than give orders from a distance, he involved himself deeply in day-to-day local authority operations. 

In order to investigate ways of stimulating the local economy, he visited industrial parks across China to conduct research in person. 

Zhenghe’s industrial park--covering an area of 3,600 mu (2.4 square km) --was established in July 2012, and its first enterprise began operating just six months later.  

Liao’s all-out effort bore substantial fruit. According to official statistics, after just two years with Liao at the helm, Zhenghe for the first time ever became one of Fujian’s top 10 counties in economic terms, as fiscal income had increased from 16 million yuan ($2.34 million) to 49 million yuan ($7.17) and GDP had doubled. 

Liao maintained high standards of honesty and self-discipline. He insisted on “locking power in a cage” and never acted wrongly out of personal considerations. During his four years as Party Secretary of Zhenghe County, no case of misbehavior by any local official or Party member arose. 

In June 2015, Liao was honored as an outstanding county-level CPC secretary by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee. The title was conferred to 102 people across the nation on June 30, 2015, Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Vision and leadership 

Liao had a clear vision on poverty-relief work. During the course of his four-year term as Party Secretary of Zhenghe County, some 30,000 local residents escaped poverty, and the proportion of those with an income above the poverty line reached just over 69 percent. 

Liao also insisted on conducting research and investigations focused on the development of tourism as a supporting pillar of the local economy. “Tourism is a long-term project. What we need [to do] now is to lay the foundation,” he said. 

Liao adopted a pragmatic approach to improving Zhenghe’s educational services. While he longed to elevate the standard of local education, he understood that Zhenghe needed more time to achieve progress on this front. So, in 2015, he authorized the opening of a private school in order to stimulate local public schools to improve their teaching quality. 

The construction of the Quning High-Speed Railway, which passes through Zhenghe, was a historic opportunity. To select the county’s new railway station site, Liao conducted dozens of in-depth on-site investigations. He told fellow colleagues: “We need to spare no efforts for the benefits of our offspring.” 

Without Liao, these accomplishments would not have been achieved. 

Huang Aihua, the current Party Secretary of Zhenghe County, recalled when Liao left to assume the post of Vice Mayor of Nanping, Liao told him that he felt attached to Zhenghe and he wished the county a better future. In subsequent conversations, Liao also said he missed his days in Zhenghe.  

Following Liao’s death in the line of duty, Zhenghe, where he used to be Party Secretary, erected a public memorial bearing the inscription "Love in Zhenghe," words which Liao had written on his calendar.

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