Frugality sets tone for meeting

The Great Hall Of The People during the Communist Party's 19th Congress in Beijing, on Oct 23, 2017.
The Great Hall Of The People during the Communist Party's 19th Congress in Beijing, on Oct 23, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING • Inside the Great Hall of the People, where the national congress of the Communist Party of China was convened, no ornamental displays of flowers or plants were installed.

No celebration banners were placed at hotels where delegates are staying. No souvenirs have been given to delegates as gifts. Some stationery supplies like pencils and paper are made from recycled materials.

"I can feel the simple and frugal style at the congress, which makes me feel more comfortable and relaxed, and delegates can concentrate on the meeting itself," said delegate Li Dawei from Sinopec's Baling branch in Yueyang, Hunan province.

"No flowers or other unnecessary decorations are placed at the meeting venues," he said, adding that even bottled water is not provided, to help protect the environment.

"We take a shuttle bus to commute between the hotel and the Great Hall of the People. No other special cars have been arranged," Mr Li said.

Ten per cent fewer vehicles than expected were ordered, according to Shouqi Group, a state-owned automobile enterprise in charge of ground transport for the meeting.

In keeping with the eight-point frugality code issued by the central leadership in late 2012, the group running conference services for the congress is following the principle of "simple, economical, safe and efficient", according to the People's Daily, the party's official newspaper.

Mr Jia Fengshan, a delegate from Tianjin, said that banquets and gatherings of small groups of people have almost disappeared.

"Delegates are taking the lead in self-discipline," he was quoted as saying by People's Daily.

"The frugal style sets a good example for party and government meetings across the country."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2017, with the headline 'Frugality sets tone for meeting'. Print Edition | Subscribe