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Chinese PM ridicules ‘prove your mother is your mother’ regulations

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has harshly criticised the country’s excessive regulation and red tape, ridiculing that a citizen was even asked to prove “your mother is your mother” when obtaining a government permit, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

“How ridiculous! The citizen only intended to travel abroad and take a vacation,” Li was quoted as saying on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting on the cabinet’s website. “I wonder whether these government departments are caring for the public or intentionally obstructing them.”

Further demonstrating his point, Li cited another story in which a model worker from the southernmost province of Hainan had to acquire eight stamps from the government before attending a high-level event in Beijing. Only after a senior official from the provincial government stepped in as he allowed to attend.

“Why is it so hard for the public to obtain certificates from the government? Why do government departments set so many barriers for ordinary citizens?” Li asked.

He said after two years of simplifying administrative procedures and delegating power to lower levels, there is still a large gap between actual results and people’s expectations.

This is not the first time Li vented his dissatisfaction with bureaucracy. Li lambasted officials for time-consuming, redundant procedures in implementing central policies in April. He also criticised state-owned banks for not cooperating with efforts to boost economic growth during an inspection trip in northeast Jilin province.

Li recalled at the meeting that a Taiwanese entrepreneur once complained to him that the government lacked efforts in intellectual property protection.

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