Presidential Office Monthly Meeting
Presidential Office Monthly Meetings are held to publicize government decrees and provide a platform to exchange opinions. In principle, the meetings are held each month. However, to ensure that the meetings are not reduced to mere formalities, they may be foregone in April, June, and August if there is no special need to hold one. In any month when the central government has a commemorative ceremony that it must hold, regulations require that the Monthly Meeting be used to hold the commemorative ceremony. At present, Monthly Meetings are held on their own in February, May, July, and December, while they double as national commemorative or memorial ceremonies in five other months for the following occasions: Founding Day (i.e. New Year’s Day); the commemoration of revolutionary martyrs and the spring memorial to mark public servants who have died in the line of duty; ceremonies to mark the birth of the sage Confucius; National Day; and the ceremony in commemoration of Sun Yat-sen’s Birthday and Chinese Cultural Renaissance Day.
The Monthly Meetings are held in the Auditorium on the 3rd floor of the Presidential Office Building and are chaired by the president. Over 500 people are invited to each of the meetings, including the vice president, high-ranking central and local government civil and military officials, and elected representatives. In addition, representatives of groups related to the special commemorative activities are also invited to attend.
General protocol for the Monthly Meetings is as follows: The president is escorted into the Auditorium by the secretary-general to the president, the director-general of the Third Bureau, which is responsible for protocol and ceremonial affairs, and the chief aide-de-camp to the president. After the president takes his place, the ceremony is performed and the meeting then begins. A brief ceremonial tune is played, followed by the singing of the national anthem. The president then leads the gathering in three bows to the national flag and the portrait of the founding father. Next, he delivers remarks or presents a report on a specific topic.
Should the meeting be held in conjunction with Founding Day or National Day, the president will deliver an important statement and congratulatory remarks. At other meetings, government officials, scholars, and experts will be invited to deliver reports on specific subjects. When the meeting is combined with national commemoration ceremonies, the topics discussed will be related to the event. When appropriate, senior government officials will deliver administrative reports on the implementation of important national policies. Meanwhile, at times of important national or social events, notable persons will be invited to present speeches or offer their viewpoints. In some instances, talks related to health issues will be presented. Persons delivering these special reports are encouraged to use a variety of multimedia to enrich the content and ensure that the presentation has more impact.
Each Monthly Meeting lasts about 50 minutes, and the agenda is flexible. If someone new has recently been appointed to a high-level government position, for example, he or she may be sworn in during the meeting. In such cases, the president is invited to administer the oath of office.