Zhou Han­min: China’s Re­form into Deep

The best way to com­mem­o­rate the 40th an­niver­sary of China’s re­form and open­ing up is to con­tinue fur­ther with bold and res­o­lute steps.

China Pictorial (English) - - CONTENTS - Text by Yin Xing

This year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of China’s re­form and open­ing up. “Thanks to the re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy, our na­tion has stood up, grown rich, and be­come strong,” de­clared Zhou Han­min, a mem­ber of the stand­ing com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chinese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence (CPPCC), vice chair­man of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the China Na­tional Demo­cratic Con­struc­tion As­so­ci­a­tion and vice chair­man of the Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee of the CPPCC.

Zhou has wit­nessed China’s de­vel­op­ment brought about by the re­form and open­ing up, and great changes have taken place in his life be­cause of the pol­icy. In 1978, the year af­ter China re­sumed the decade-sus­pended col­lege en­trance ex­am­i­na­tion, Zhou Han­min, then a worker in a Shang­hai hospi­tal, ap­plied to take the exam. He was ad­mit­ted to Shang­hai Univer­sity of In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and Eco­nomics, and his life changed com­pletely. At the end of the 1980s, Zhou par­tic­i­pated in prepara­tory stud­ies on the Pudong New Area’s open­ing up and re­lated leg­isla­tive work. Later, Zhou per­son­ally or in­di­rectly took part in Pudong’s open­ing up in 1990, the Shang­hai World Expo in 2010 and the es­tab­lish­ment of the China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) in 2013.

“A torch­bearer of China’s re­form and open­ing up, Shang­hai un­der­takes the re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­mote the integration of the Yangtze River Delta and the de­vel­op­ment of the Yangtze River Eco­nomic Belt, playing an im­por­tant role in the coun­try’s eco­nomic and so­cial progress,” said Zhou.

In Au­gust 2013, the State Coun­cil for­mally ap­proved the es­tab­lish­ment of the SFTZ, the first of its kind on the Chinese main­land. Ac­cord­ing to the Frame­work

In the ‘deep-wa­ter zone,’ the great­est chal­lenge is to mod­ern­ize China’s sys­tem and ca­pac­ity for gov­er­nance.

Plan for the China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone, the SFTZ shoul­ders im­por­tant mis­sions of ac­cel­er­at­ing the trans­for­ma­tion of gov­ern­ment func­tions, ac­tively ex­plor­ing in­no­va­tion in man­age­ment modes, pro­mot­ing trade and in­vest­ment fa­cil­i­ta­tion, and ac­cu­mu­lat­ing new ex­pe­ri­ence for fur­ther re­form and broader open­ing up.

In 2017, in the re­port to the 19th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC), Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping noted that the gov­ern­ment will grant more pow­ers to pi­lot free trade zones to con­duct re­form and ex­plore the open­ing of free trade ports. “This gave di­rec­tion and drive to China’s pi­lot free trade zones,” said Zhou. “The core mis­sion of free trade zones is to ex­plore new in­sti­tu­tions. As Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi said, the plan­ning of free trade ports will fol­low the high­est in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, with law-based gov­er­nance, smooth fa­cil­i­ta­tion and a fair, uni­fied and ef­fi­cient busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.”

Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi stressed that the as­pi­ra­tions of the peo­ple to live a bet­ter life must al­ways be the fo­cus of the CPC’S ef­forts. In Zhou’s opin­ion, this be­lief has helped reach the broad­est con­sen­sus of deep­en­ing re­form in ev­ery field and has laid a solid foun­da­tion for the suc­cess of the coun­try’s re­form.

“The great sig­nif­i­cance of the re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy is im­prov­ing the liv­ing stan­dards of the peo­ple,” said Zhou. “Glob­ally, the largest con­tri­bu­tion of China’s re­form and open­ing up is lift­ing nearly 800 mil­lion peo­ple out of ab­so­lute poverty in only four decades.” Zhou be­lieves that China has yet to fin­ish its re­form con­sid­er­ing the long tran­si­tion from es­cap­ing poverty to achiev­ing bet­ter liv­ing stan­dards. He thinks China’s re­form has en­tered a deep-wa­ter zone.

“In the ‘deep-wa­ter zone,’ the great­est chal­lenge is to mod­ern­ize China’s sys­tem and ca­pac­ity for gov­er­nance,” ex­plained Zhou. “Like in the last four decades, the most sig­nif­i­cant driv­ing force for our fu­ture de­vel­op­ment is re­form. From Fe­bru­ary 26 to 28, 2018, at its third ple­nary ses­sion, the 19th CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee an­nounced a struc­tural re­form plan of Party and state in­sti­tu­tions with fo­cus on mod­ern­iz­ing the coun­try’s sys­tem and ca­pac­ity for gov­er­nance.”

“At this new his­tor­i­cal start­ing point, the best way to com­mem­o­rate the 40th an­niver­sary of the coun­try’s re­form and open­ing up is to con­tinue fur­ther with bold and res­o­lute steps,” added Zhou. “Re­form should be end­less.”

Zhou Han­min, mem­ber of the stand­ing com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chinese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence (CPPCC), vice chair­man of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the China Na­tional Demo­cratic Con­struc­tion As­so­ci­a­tion and vice...

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