Leadership off to a good start

Updated: 2013-02-25 07:57

By Deng yuwen (China Daily)

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Leadership off to a good start

More than 100 days have passed since China witnessed its latest leadership transition, and the preliminary outline of a "New Deal" that will renew, resolve and reform, is beginning to take shape.

Xi Jinping, the country's top political leader, has set the goals of attaining the "China Dream", the great renewal of the Chinese nation, and resolving the problems people face, so they can lead happy lives. He has emphasized the need for renewing the Party's ties with the people, pushing forward reform, keeping power in a cage of regulations and being unwavering in the fight against corruption.

Li Keqiang, who will be in charge of the economy, has also accentuated the need for continued reform and has emphasized that the patterns of vested interests need to be broken and the function of government resolve from economic development to provider of public services. He has made it clear, as well, that urbanization is viewed as having the greatest potential for economic development.

Everyone has a dream, and a country also needs to have a dream. Xi and Li, along with the other five members of the Political Bureau Standing Committee, visited The Road Toward Renewal exhibition in Beijing on Nov 29, where Xi said, realizing the nation's great rejuvenation is "the greatest dream in the country's modern history".

This dream reflects the wishes of generations of Chinese people and the overall interests of the nation and the people. The description of the China Dream by the country's top political leader was very meaningful, because the dream was depicted in a specific, emotional way. The China Dream is the crystallization of the spirit and values of the Chinese nation in the process of struggle over the past more than 100 years and is actually the governing mission of the ruling party. The dream is conducive to impelling society in the direction led by the Party.

The Party has always stressed the need to govern for the people and the importance of maintaining close bonds between the Party and the people. However, in recent years, the Party's ties with people have been weakened, and, especially since the start of this century, the relationship between the cadres and the people has suffered setbacks - in some places serious confrontations have emerged. This has seriously damaged people's confidence in the Party and had a negative affect on the Party's leadership. So it is essential the Party improve its relationship with the people and work ceaselessly for their benefit.

In order to win people's trust and support, the new leadership has pledged to reject extravagance and reduce bureaucratic visits and meetings. They have introduced a document making explicit eight ways Political Bureau members should improve their work style. The work style Xi and Li have demonstrated has been exemplary.

Democracy and the rule of law are the universal values of modern society and a modern state. Advocating democracy and the rule of law, telling the truth and tolerating criticism, and consciously accepting social supervision are the characteristics of a modern government. The ruling party should have the "magnanimity" to consciously accept social supervision and consciously exercise its authority under the law. During the 100 days of the new leadership's reign, the top leaders have made several speeches concerning democratic supervision and construction of the rule of law.

Xi pledged to promote the authority of the Constitution and the rule of law at a congress marking the 30th anniversary of the implementation of China's 1982 Constitution. He stressed that ensuring "the implementation of the Constitution is to ensure the realization of the basic rights of the people". He said the authority of the Constitution and the rule of law should be promoted so people "fully believe in the law" and realize that the Constitution is a "legal weapon" guaranteeing their rights.

Xi also urged the Party to be more tolerant of criticism and receptive to the views of others at a Lunar New Year's gathering. "The Party should be able to put up with sharp criticism, correct mistakes if it has committed them and avoid them if it has not," he said. To do this, we must vigorously develop social democracy and build a country under the rule of law.

The new leadership has adopted an unusually tough tone when highlighting the urgency of fighting corruption. Xi stressed that "no organization or individual has the special right to overstep the Constitution and law, and any violation of the Constitution and the law must be investigated and dealt with".

And at a disciplinary watchdog meeting on Jan 22, Xi vowed to "swat flies and kill tigers" and to restrict power in a cage of regulations. However, to effectively combat corruption and graft the Party also needs to establish and perfect a comprehensive anti-corruption mechanism.

Reform and opening-up have been China's strategic choice. Without reform and opening-up, China would not have made the many remarkable achievements it has. But in recent years, China's reform momentum has slowed due to the obstruction of interest groups, the widening gap between the rich and poor and social differentiation. To promote reform, the senior leadership must raise its banner high. In this regard, it was notable that Xi's first trip after he became secretary general of the Party was to Guangdong province, and both Xi and Li have made important speeches on reform.

Xi elaborated a five-point view on reform and summed up the experience of China's reform in a bid to create momentum for further reform and opening-up.

Urbanization, which can stimulate demand for the next 10 years, is the strategy of the new leadership to prompt economic development and restructuring. After the financial crisis, the immense investment and consumer demand released by urbanization can not only ensure China's stable growth over the next 10 years, but also act as a foothold and strategic focus for China's equitable and sustainable development in the future. Li has stressed the importance of urbanization on several occasions during the past 100 days. On a visit to the Academy of State Administration of Grain, Li said the core of urbanization is to urbanize people, the key is to improve the quality, and the goal is to bring wealth and benefits to people, especially farmers.

He said the "four new moderns" - industrialization, informationization, urbanization, and agricultural modernization - are related and complementary, and they need to be carefully balanced. China should create the conditions and provide the market for agricultural modernization, while following a new path that is intensive, energy-saving and ecological, and which combines industrial growth with the integration of farmers into cities, rather than just the willful building of ne towns.

The new leadership has got off to a good start, as the New Deal they have outlined addresses many of the vital concerns of the public.

After the Two Sessions, the leadership transition will be completed, and whether the new leadership headed by Xi and Li can establish clean politics and a just society with the help of the people is of vital importance to the future of the country.

The author is a senior editor with the Study Times.

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