SETTING THE TONE LEADER’S REFORM AGENDA PURSUES CREATIVITY, JUSTICE
China will not give up its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight with 154 Chinese aboard as long as there is a glimmer of hope.
China has asked all parties involved to enhance their coordination in the investigation and to locate the missing plane as soon as possible.
China has launched a comprehensive contingency response and search operation. Eight Chinese vessels are involved in the search and another is on its way. Ten satellites are providing information and technological support. China will not overlook any suspected clues, including those on satellite images. The Chinese government and Chinese people are all deeply concerned about the safety of the plane and are eagerly awaiting word, even with the slightest bit of good news. The incident will not affect China’s opening-up policy. China has zero tolerance for corrupt officials. China is a country under the rule of law. No matter who the official is and how senior the position, any official who violates Party discipline and the country’s laws will be severely punished because everybody is equal under the law.
Corruption is a natural enemy of the government. China must put the exercise of power and the use of public money under institutional checks.
The Chinese government will continue to streamline its administration and delegate government power.
The government will step up its efforts for the release of “a list of powers” and define clear limits on the exercise of power to ensure that power is not abused. The government will also carry out comprehensive audits in areas that are of high concern to the public, such as revenues on the transfer of land use rights and the transfer of mining rights.
China will better handle the relationship between the government and the market to add new impetus to the nation’s economy and boost creativity and dynamism.
Last year, the central government made streamlining administration and delegating power to lower-level governments the top priority on the reform agenda.
Accordingly, the number of newly registered businesses increased by 27.6 percent last year, and of those, newly registered privately held businesses increased 30 percent — the highest in more than a decade.
China needs to ensure that the market may do anything not prohibited by law, and government departments must not interfere unless it is mandated by the law. In the course of delegating power, there have been instances of obstruction and of power not being delegated. But how can an arrow already shot be turned back? China is most determined to see the reform through.
China needs both tough measures and tough regulations to fight pollution. Polluters, which harm both nature and human health, will be severely punished. Watchdogs that turn a blind eye to polluting activities and fail to perform their duties will be held accountable. Declaring a war on smog doesn’t mean China is declaring a war on nature. Rather, the government is declaring a war on the inefficient and unsustainable model of growth and way of life.
China now conducts PM2.5 monitoring in 161 cities across the country, the most extensive testing of all developing countries.
There are complex causes of pollution, and tackling this problem will take time. The government, businesses and every individual of society will act together and make consistent efforts to win the tough battle against pollution.
The government will make it a priority to promote social fairness and improve people’s livelihood.
The government needs to meet people’s basic living needs, to provide the last resort for people to fall back on in case of special difficulties, and to promote social fairness. The government will endeavor to make basic medical insurance “truly portable and transferable” to further expand their coverage in urban and rural areas.
The government will explore raising basic pension benefits at a proper time this year.
The government needs to pay particular attention to education to ensure fairness from the beginning.
This year, the government has set a target of raising the proportion of rural students from poor areas enrolled in key universities and colleges by more than 10 percent.
The government needs to create conditions to ensure that every individual has an equal shot at a better life through hard work, and that fairness and justice are realized even at the most primary level of society.
Tax and financial reforms have been set as priorities on the country’s overall reform agenda for 2014.
In the course of comprehensively deepening reform, the government needs to focus on key reforms and initiatives and seek breakthroughs. The authorities will continue to streamline administrative processes and delegate power to ensure that the market fully plays its role in an effective and well-regulated manner.
The government will take new steps to ease the tax burden of small and micro-businesses, deepen reforms of State-owned enterprises and vigorously develop a mixed-ownership economy.
Market access will also be eased, especially in service sectors such as healthcare, elderly support and financial services, to bring greater competition in the market. The ultimate goal of all the reforms is to fully energize the market and tap into the creativity of society. In the course of reforms, vested interests will be shaken. The government will carry out the reforms without hesitation to bring greater benefits to the people.
The government should not be preoccupied with GDP growth. Growth is to bring real benefits to the people, help raise the quality and efficiency of economic development and contribute to energy conservation and environmental protection. China will keep inflation at around 3.5 percent and create 10 million more urban jobs to ensure the registered urban unemployment rate does not rise above 4.6 percent. China’s economy has tremendous potential and resilience, and the country has the ability to keep its economic operations within a healthy range.
A spate of complex challenges for this year include enhancing the quality and efficiency of economic development, tackling pollution and saving energy. Although China’s 7.5 percent growth target is the same as previous years, its importance is fading as many believe the government will no longer view the figure as a necessary standard. Inflation will be checked.
China has paid great attention to government debt, and risks in this area are generally within control. The country’s debt-to-GDP ratio is still below the internationally recognized warning line.
After two months of nationwide audits, the National Audit Office disclosed that governments at various levels were liable for a total direct debt of 20.7 trillion yuan ($3.4 trillion) at the end of June, up 8.6 percent, or 1.63 trillion yuan, since the end of 2012.
The problem should not be overlooked, and the government will take further regulatory steps, including putting the debt under budgetary management, to strengthen oversight. The authorities have set a timetable for tightening regulation of shadow banking. China cannot let today’s stepping stone become tomorrow’s stumbling block. Avoiding all individual cases would be difficult, but efforts must be made to minimize risk.
China will take a differential approach to regulate the housing market and curb speculation and investmentoriented purchases.
The government will support people’s reasonable needs for housing and will increase the supply of ordinary commercial housing in the market. A long-term mechanism will be built to ensure steady and sound growth of the housing market.
The goal of the government on the housing issue is to provide adequate housing for the entire population. There are still some 100 million Chinese living in poor, rundown areas of cities.
The government will redouble efforts to overhaul the rundown areas this year, pledging to replace at least 4.7 million houses in shantytowns. More government-subsidized housing, such as rental houses, will be built, and efforts will be made to ensure that such housing is distributed equitably.
China will enhance common interests and narrow differences with neighboring countries for the sake of peace and stability.
China has an unwavering commitment to pursuing peaceful development and an unshakable will in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, both for the sake of upholding stability and creating a favorable environment for its development.
As a developing country, China needs a favorable neighboring and international environment for its modernization drive.
When neighbors interact with each other, it is only natural that sometimes they will run into problems of some kind or another. As long as they respect each other, properly manage differences and pursue mutual benefits, there will be harmonious sound instead of jarring noises.
Peace, friendship and peaceful coexistence represent the common aspirations of all people in China and its neighboring countries.