Chinese officials put on live TV show sweat it out

July 13th, 2012 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 13 (IANS) A group of provincial officials in China had a tough time facing public after they were put on a live TV to address residents’ grievances.

Salary deductions and criticisms were inflicted upon 11 officials from the Wuhan Food and Drug Administration in Hubei province recently, after people took advantage of a live TV show to complain about the city’s sanitation standards, Global Times reported.

Chinese officials have become known for their reluctance to face the spotlight. But from June 26 to July 4, Wuhan Television held a series of live shows aimed at solving 10 of the city’s most pressing problems.

These problems ranged from city development to low income housing, traffic and environment, and the officials had no choice but to attend the show after their superiors forced them to.

During the five-episode series a total of 29 senior officials, including vice mayors and various heads of bureaus and districts, collectively sat in the hot seat and faced the public’s wrath.

“I treated the live TV show as if I was taking an exam,” said Liu Ziqing, head of the Dongxihu district.

Hu Lishan, a vice mayor of the city, who appeared in the June 30 show, said afterwards that he was very nervous. “I’m still sweating.”

“Some officials said before stepping on to the stage that they had been terrified about going on the show, and hadn’t wanted to come,” said Huang Hongyun, a researcher from the Wuhan Academy of Social Sciences.

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