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Simplified protocol for Chinese leaders' overseas visits garners applause

2010-04-14 16:00 BJT

BEIJING, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Simplified protocol organized by Chinese embassies or consulates for Chinese leaders' overseas visits was first applied to President Hu Jintao's arrival in Washington on Monday. The latest reform of ceremonies has been praised as it is economic, efficient, practical and down-to-earth.

Once the news was reported, it was widely disseminated by Chinese media and topped Monday's news lists of major Chinese websites.

Many overseas Chinese said although it is a pity they could no longer take part in welcoming and seeing-off ceremonies at airports, they fully understand the central leadership's decision.

In the past, whenever hearing news about Chinese leaders' visits, overseas Chinese in destination countries would contact Chinese embassies or consulates for places in welcoming and seeing-off crowds. They were motivated by patriotism and esteem for their leaders. Thus, securing a place in the crowd would instill a feeling of pride.

"It used to be our glory to have close contact with national leaders when they came for visits. We are deeply moved by the central leadership's concern for our time and energy and consideration of our efforts on traffic," said Fu Xuhai, president of an association of young Chinese in Belgium.

"I think the simplified protocol embodies realistic and pragmatic styles and the pioneering encouragement to blaze new trails," said Yang Hao, a Chinese businessman in Australia.

"We feel pity emotionally, but fully support the practical move rationally," said Luo Yuhong, chief editor of a newspaper catering to Chinese businesspeople in Belgium.

The simplification of welcoming and seeing-off arrangements would promote efficiency and reduce time and energy spent on organization, said Chen Xi, president of the association of Chinese scholars and students in Singapore.

"We understand and applaud the new arrangement, and we overseas students can express our passion for the homeland by other means," Chen said.

"It was a decision out of consideration and affection, and it sent warmth into our hearts," said Li Changzuo, vice president of a Chinese association in South Korea.

He Xiaohui, president of a Chinese association in Washington, said the simplification of protocol procedures has been an important act since the reform and opening-up policy was adopted -- it indicated that Chinese leaders' working styles are keeping pace with the times.

There was also a passionate response back in China. Liu Jiangyong, an international affairs scholar from Tsinghua University, said that during past years, simplification has been the trend of China's protocol system reform, and the public was the starting point of the reform.

"Such actions showed our leaders' notion of putting people first and running the government for the benefit of the people," he said.

Zhou Jiali, a diplomatic protocol expert of China Foreign Affairs University, said the reform of China's protocol system was a case in point of how the leadership attaches importance to practical affairs and cares little about formalities.