Residents from a few towns and villages in Beijing have been forced out of their homes in a crude way during safety inspections and clean-ups lately, which triggered a strong public reaction. Beijing Municipal Work Safety Committee on Monday issued a notice to correct its previous approach. Improvements over the checking of potential safety hazards are underway. It shows that importance has been attached to public opinion.
The safety campaign followed a deadly fire which broke out in an apartment block in Daxing district on November 18. The incident shocked Beijing. The following blanket search, investigation and remediation are undoubtedly a responsible move. Such work is usually very difficult. The rush for quick results and the inattention to ordinary people's rights from some grass-roots governments and organizations have thus provoked criticism. The incidents mirrored the contradiction between different demands of people as well as higher requests to the government in the new era.
Governing a mega-city like Beijing and upgrading its management level alongside the city's development is a huge undertaking.
As the Chinese capital and one of the most diversified cities in the country, Beijing is home to quite a few migrant workers, whose economic and cultural demands and pursuits are quite different. Beijing is also the city where China's most active intellectuals are gathered.
How should it be governed? How should good governance be defined? Opinions differ.
No work is perfect. In the Internet era, forms of criticism and self-criticism are also changing, and these have different effects than in the past. However, it is important to promote harmony and the dynamics of the city through arguments and frictions.
The blaze has stimulated Beijing's determination to eliminate hidden dangers in the city. Criticisms, on the other hand, are making us more patient and sober. All those constitute Beijing's vitality and flexibility.
It is hoped that dissenting opinions from positive perspectives can help the city deepen its understandings over tolerance.
China has an enormous society and a unique political system. In the meantime, it is opening up to the outside world and using the tools of social communication and governance similar to those in the West. Improving our governance system to resolve disagreements will be a long-term challenge. It is hoped that every single solution to these divergences will help achieve the goal.
Both the government and people with different opinions should enhance their capability of adaptation to one another in their interactions. It will not be an easy process and both parties should make efforts.
As the national capital, the model for all the other cities in China, Beijing's society should set an example to cope with difficulties and controversies. This time, although the divergences were hyped up, they were eased rapidly. This indicates an encouraging trend.