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Investment official resigns after falling asleep at meeting

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Government meetings in China are not renowned for being interesting or dynamic. Often a meeting will consist of hours of officials reading pre-scripted speeches as other officials drink tea, smoke cigarettes and try to look interested.

Last week an investment official from Chenggong County – just south of Kunming on the eastern shores of Dianchi Lake – resigned from his post after being caught napping at a meeting attended by Qiu He (仇和), Kunming's top Communist Party official, according to Chinese media reports.

Chenggong is being built up as a new center of development and investment for Kunming and is expected to become one of southwestern China's most important logistics hubs as it will serve much of the booming trade between China and Southeast Asia.

Jiang Wenhui (蒋文辉), deputy director of Chenggong's Investment Promotion Bureau, resigned on Friday after being called out for sleeping in the front row by Qiu during a meeting on Wednesday. The outspoken Qiu reportedly woke Jiang up and criticized him thoroughly before the meeting's other attendees.

Not surprisingly, many Chinese netizens have criticized Jiang's inability to stay awake on the job. What is surprising is the amount of support for Jiang that has appeared in Chinese forums and elsewhere on the web. Many participants in forums and bulletin boards have defended Jiang with the argument that little of value is said during such meetings.

Xinhua quoted one commenter as saying "Speakers at many meetings just say big and empty words. It is no wonder that listeners sleep."

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