In a Singtao(HK) article quoting the China Times (TW), Chongqing party secretary Wang Yang right before the national Spring Festival holiday, told the entire city government that they better spend time reading rather than celebrating and socializing.
Yet the “vacation homework” he gave them wasn’t the study of Marxist theory, the three represents or the works of Jiang Zemin, it was the first chapter of The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. In the newspaper article, it stated that government officials and even city residents rushed out to the bookstores to buy it, and was even sold out in some locations.
Apparently the party secretary is going to hold a “book reading discussion meeting” and discuss what Frieman’s ideas are. Can you picture 50 year old party cadres who spend their nights out drinking discussing globalization and economics? From what I’ve read the whole scholar-official concept is deeply entrenched in Chinese political philosophy, for example a party secretary who was recently sent to jail for corruption including having numerous mistresses, also dabbled in poetry.
Article can be found here