|Han Fangming is a CPPCC member and chairman of the Charhar Institute. [file photo]
The country needs to re-establish its national protocol bureau to unify and regulate standards of etiquette for different occasions, Han Fangming, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and chairman of the Charhar Institute, proposed at the ongoing Two Sessions in Beijing.
China has expanded its exchange with the rest of the world as it has deepened reform and opening up. But because there is a lack of unified protocol codes, many ceremonial occasions are marked by extravagance, while disputes caused by irrational comparisons of different departments waste officials' time and energy, Han wrote in his proposal.
Protocol bureaus such as the Honglu Temple or the Ministry of Ceremonies, played a very important role in imperial China. Han proposed that an independent protocol bureau to formulate and monitor adherence to etiquette in a variety of different situations, such as state award ceremonies and diplomatic exchanges, is needed to streamline administrative affairs and promote Chinese culture.
The People's Republic of China used to have an independent bureau in charge of protocol codes, but when a wave of radically leftist thought overran China in 1958, the bureau was branded a feudal legacy and was dissolved.
Nevertheless, unified protocol standards are an important element of China's soft power, Han argued in his proposal.
According to Han, a committee composed of state leaders, officials from the general offices of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the CPPCC National Committee and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be established to coordinate the operation of the protocol bureau.
Han also advised the government to set up a national day of prayer to echo President Xi Jinping's recent remark on the relationship between individual faith, national belief and national strength a few days before Han's latest proposal.