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China Reform Report 2015

Author: Source: Date:2016-05-10
In November 2013, the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China reviewed and approved of the CPC Central Committee Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms and proposed the overarching target of comprehensively deepening reforms. This consists of perfecting and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and promoting the modernization of national governance systems and governance capabilities. It also includes drawing up an all-encompassing roadmap to comprehensively deepening reforms in six basic areas of economics, politics, culture, society, ecological civilization and the development of the party, all of which should revolve around the overarching target of modernizing the national governance system and national governance capabilities. The decisions of the Third Plenary Session could be said to be a major component of the national governance strategies proposed by the CPC Central Committee led by Xi Jinping as its General Secretary. It is also the comprehensive plan and top-down design for China’s comprehensively deepening reforms for the next decade, and marked the beginning to China’s quest for modernizing its national governance systems and capabilities.

2014 is the beginning for the modernization of China’s national governance. In 2014, the Central Committee formed the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms, and constructed mechanisms for making major decisions, coordination, and supervision and inspection regarding comprehensively deepening reforms. Under the leadership of the top-down design and overall planning set by the Third Plenary Session, the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms and the State Council hosted a series of meetings during which hundreds of plans for specialized reforms were reviewed and approved. In some perspectives these specialized reform plans are the blueprint or the detailed construction plan for comprehensively deepening reforms. In order to create a beneficial external environment for comprehensively deepening reforms, the Central Committee had fought hard against corruption, established new and stronger political authority, and, through the CPC Central Committee Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms, integrated comprehensively deepening reforms into the implementation of the rule of law.

At the same time, the Central Committee had organized and carried out a series of strong, unique and influential pilot reforms. If 2013 was the year for the general planning and top-down designing of comprehensively deepening reforms, then 2014 could be said to be the year for planning the construction of and drawing up blueprints to the top-down design’s implementation. In 2014, blueprints were drawn for the goal of comprehensively deepening reforms. And, through various breakthroughs brought by pilot reforms, 2014 saw a fruitful beginning to comprehensively deepening reforms and became the ice-breaking year for comprehensively deepening reforms.

2015 was the key year for comprehensively deepening reforms. Under the direction of the Central Committee leaders, China’s plans for comprehensively deepening reforms had reached the phase of full implementation following its pilot reforms and other fundamental efforts in 2013 and 2014 such as the top-down design for modernizing the national governance system and capabilities, development planning and blueprints drawing. The reform had realized a series of strong and influential achievements. It is now showing various signs of a healthy growth: it is blooming and making various breakthroughs on all levels, rushing forward steadily and taking roots deep within society. The reform, in terms of breadth, covers multiple areas such as China’s economy, administration, political realm, society, legal system, ecology, culture and opening-up. In terms of depth, various reforms are all linked to some of the society’s deepest problems. These reforms involve major restructuring of the current structure of interests, and display the determination and confidence on the part of the Central Committee in resolving difficult conflicts and persistently pushing forward with the reforms. At the same time, the Central Committee had concentrated its efforts in implementing the issued reform plans and making them take root locally. These plans had greatly influenced China’s political and economic opening-up. It can be said that in 2015, China’s reforms had completed its leap from general design to comprehensive development, and had helped the reform based on the overarching goal of modernizing China’s national governance systems and national governance capabilities enter into a new phase.

The reforms to modernize national governance systems and capabilities mark the beginning of a new era. With enhancing Shenzhen’s as well as the country’s innovation in reforms as its mission, the Shenzhen Innovation and Development Institution acts as a constructive and unique social public policy think tank. It followed closely China’s glorious journey in reform and innovation in the new era and was dedicated to making its share of contributions to China’s magnificent reforms. In order to achieve this, starting in 2014, the SZIDI hosts an annual gathering of experts in relevant fields coming in from all across China. These experts gather to write and publish the China Reforms Report, a report which talks of the new developments in reforms in major fields such as politics, economics, society, culture and ecology happening under the guidance of the overarching goal of modernizing national governance every year. Our goal is to make the Report on China’s Reform into a trustworthy record of the major reforms occurring in China, a societal third-party assessment report on China’s reforms, a vital research report which provides various key reform recommendations to the country, and a literature masterpiece which provides theoretical thoughts on deepening reforms.

On the basis of the 2014 Report on China’s Reform which had ‘The First Year in the Modernization of China’s National Governance’ as its theme, the 2015 Report had chosen ‘From General Design to Comprehensive Development’ as its theme. In the report, the first part makes an objective assessment of China’s reforms in ten major areas and addessing achievements and problems; the second part raise nine recommendations on how to further comprehensively deepen reforms; the third part proposes five reform measures to solve the major problems and difficulties during the implementation of comprehensively deepening reforms in 2015.

From General Design to Comprehensive Development