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September 11, 2009

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Book records rise of 'little officials'

WHAT does "little village official" mean? It's a nickname for a college graduate who takes up the job of running a village, according to the latest edition of the "Workbook for the Construction of the Communist Party of China."

The new edition, published last month 20 years after the first, contains 1,015 terms that are widely used in Party affairs in four main categories of theory, laws and regulations, Party issues and Party documents.

Professor Ye Duchu, one of the book's chief editors, said the "little official" term came up on a trip to a village in east China's Zhejiang Province.

"When I was inspecting a village, the local government introduced to us the incredible work of the 'little village officials,'" said Ye. "They compile magazines for villagers to read and teach them agricultural knowledge, winning praise from local people." Since then, he had heard the phrase many times.

Ye decided to add the nickname to the wordbook to replace the previous term - "specially assigned officials at village level."

"The major difference of this edition from the one 20 years ago is the addition of many new phrases, which vividly record the change of time," Ye said.

Other popular catchphrases include "network anti-corruption," "intra-Party harmony" and "red resources" which refers to resources related to the history of the Party.

In addition to new phrases and explanations, the latest edition gives equal emphasis to words which record the path of the Party - traditional phrases such as "united front," "armed struggle" and "Party building."

Professor Wang Wei, of the National School of Administration, said it was necessary for the book to sum these phrases up as a present for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.


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