BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- A workshop gathering provincial and ministerial officials started on Monday, as the country increasingly looks to "key minorities'" role in promoting economic and social development.
At the opening session of the workshop on the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, President Xi Jinping made a speech calling on leading officials to use their power "impartially, cautiously and legally."
"Leading officials should strengthen their political capability, firm their political ideals, uphold political direction, be steadfast in their stance and strictly observe political rules," said Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Such workshops date back to late last century and are now part of the CPC routine. In 1999, a financial seminar at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee was attended by provincial and ministerial officials.
Since then, workshops on major strategic plans have been held almost every year, with topics covering deepening reform, promoting rule of law and implementing decisions of plenary sessions of the CPC Central Committee.
This year's workshop focused on and brought up requirements for "key minorities," which was first raised at a workshop in February 2015, referring to the small group of officials at provincial and ministerial level who have both big power and responsibilities.
The term has since been regularly brought up. Last month, senior CPC leader Liu Yunshan asked organization departments to practice strict intra-Party political life and strengthen intra-Party supervision, focus on "key minorities" and promote comprehensive and strict governance of the Party.
According to Xin Ming, a professor with the Party School, this group of officials is crucial to governing the country, as many are members of, or alternate members of the CPC Central Committee.
Provincial and ministerial officials act as connectors, carrying out the policies of higher authorities and making decisions for lower ones, said Guo Xiangong, director of the Party building division of the Party School of the CPC Henan Provincial Committee.
For the central authorities, these officials follow their policies and guidelines, while to city, county and township-level ones, they are the decision makers, he said.
Their understanding of the policies and guidelines of the central authorities directly decides the implementation and effect of policies, he added.
Cai Songtao, Party Chief of Lankao County in Henan Province, said that such workshop has benefited Lankao in many ways.
"As a local official, I sometimes do not grasp the essence of central instructions. Provincial officials deliver instructions more accurately after a workshop, and we can follow them more easily," said Cai.
At a similar workshop last year, Xi stressed the new concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, to promote economic and social development during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) and achieve the country's goal of becoming a moderately prosperous society in an all-around way.
Based on guidelines made by provincial authorities after last year's workshop, Lankao County has tackled poverty through industrial development, urbanization and public services, and fulfilled various tasks as scheduled, Cai added.