Revival of Maoist tradition affects Chinese lifestyles

Members of China's Communist Party Secretariat -- which includes top level government officials -- are taking part in manual labor once a week, reviving a tradition of staying in touch with the laboring masses that was discarded after the death of Chairman Mao Tsetung, the People's Daily reports. The party newspaper said Secretariat members had swept paths in the former Imperial Palace and will perform physical labor every Saturday afternoon.

The revival of manual labor for officials appears to be part of the current hardening of the political climate aimed mainly against free-thinking intellectuals. The government has launched a campaign against "bourgeois liberalism," or Western influences, believed responsible for declining social morality in China.

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