SET­TING THE TONE LEADER’S RE­FORM AGENDA PUR­SUES CRE­ATIV­ITY, JUS­TICE

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

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.

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