China Focus: Xi's reform methods

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-26 19:25:52|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Reform, undoubtedly, is the major agenda of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Chinese President Xi Jinping has presided over all 35 meetings of the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform over the past three years.

From those meetings, the reform methodology of Xi, who heads the leading group, can be summarized.


At the 35th meeting of the leading group on Tuesday, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, reiterated the importance of pilot projects in generating experiences.

Pilot projects should be used as a tool for stress testing in revealing conflicts and problems, said Xi.

In previous meetings, pilot projects had been identified as the "scouts" for reforms, which are expected to help the authorities understand various situations.

With system innovation as the central task, dozens of pilot projects in various sectors and regions have been implemented in the past three years.


Xi told the 10th meeting of the leading group that concrete reforms were needed for people to have a stronger sense of benefit.

Reforms should focus on what people really care about, said Xi in the 11th meeting, in April 2015.

The leading group has urged local authorities to actively explore and carry out pilot reform programs in areas that are of vital interest to the people, such as education, employment, medical care, social management, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Authorities have also been mobilized to learn about appeals of the people and to respect grassroots practices.


As new reforms roll out, Xi and the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform are paying great attention to their implementation.

At the first meeting of the leading group in January 2014, Xi said the responsibility of the leading group was to implement the CPC's key reforms.

At the group's 15th meeting, in 2015, Xi called for the setting of accurate targets and concrete implementation of reforms.

During the group's 35 meetings, "implementation" has been one of the most frequently used keywords.

Xi last month stressed that all departments and localities should attach greater importance to delivering reforms and examining the reform's effects.

The group called for timely corrections to problems uncovered during supervision, saying that those found making insufficient effort should be called to account.

Leading departments and local authorities should regularly track reform implementation and report the effects, it said.


On multiple occasions, Xi and members of the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform stressed the key roles of the Party and governmental leading officials, also known as the "key few," in pushing forward reform.

At the group's 32nd meeting in February, group members noted that leading officials should promptly take the lead in advancing, delivering and implementing reform decisions by the CPC Central Committee.

A month later at the next meeting, several senior officials reported on the progress made in reforms in various fields, including environmental protection, the judicial system, poverty relief, rural affairs, the Shanghai FTZ, and state-owned enterprises.


"Reform is a revolution that aims to rectify the system and challenge vested interests. There is no way to do it other than using real swords and spears," said a statement after a meeting of the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform last June.

Xi and the group members believe "reform will cause pain, but without reform the pain will be longer-lasting."

To advance the reforms, courage, commitment and perseverance are of great importance.

"Central departments responsible for policymaking and implementation, should have more confidence and composure in the face of difficulty and should unwaveringly push forward reform schemes," Xi said.

The group also required leading officials to be bold in making decisions if a reform is in line with the CPC Central Committee's requirement, the grassroots reality and the people's needs.

Moreover, Xi and the leading group have stressed the rule of law in reforms.

"Rule of law" must be followed and highlighted through the whole reform process and any major reforms must be legally grounded, Xi said at a meeting of the leading group in February 2014.

At another meeting, he said rational and logical legislation was important in the interplay between reform and rule of law.

KEY WORDS: Xi Jinping