Results of a frugality campaign launched by the central leadership about five years ago could be seen at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and delegates said the changes may be an example for future meetings.
Inside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, where the congress opened on Oct 18 and closed on Oct 24, no ornamental displays of flowers or plants were installed. No celebration banners were placed at hotels where delegates were staying. No souvenirs were given to delegates. Some stationery supplies like pencils and paper were 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 Li Dawei, a delegate from Sinopec’s Baling branch in Yueyang, Central China’s Hunan province. “No flowers or other unnecessary decorations are placed at the meeting venues,” he said, adding that even bottled water was 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,” Li said.
Ten percent fewer vehicles than expected were ordered, according to Shouqi Group, a State-owned automobile enterprise in charge of ground transport for the meeting.
In accord with the eight-point frugality code issued by the central leadership in late 2012, the group running conference services for the 19th CPC National Congress was following the principles of “simple, economical, safe and efficient” practices, according to the People’s Daily, the Party’s official newspaper. Jia Fengshan, a delegate from North China’s Tianjin, said banquets and gatherings of small groups had almost disappeared.
“Delegates are taking the lead in self-discipline,” he was quoted as saying by the People’s Daily. “The National Congress is the top-level meeting of the Party. The frugal style sets a good example for Party and government meetings across the country.”