Challenges must be met by reforms, urges academic

Updated: 2015-09-22 16:03

By Zhang Zhouxiang(

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China needs to deepen current reforms and improve social governance to meet growing challenges, said Ma Jiantang, vice dean of the Chinese Academy of Governance.

Ma was speaking at the Second Policy and Knowledge Summit: Leadership and Capacity Building for Public Sector Executives

Being jointly staged by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Inter-American Development Bank, the seminar offers a platform for China and Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries to exchange experiences and improve public governance.

China reformed its public sector in the late 1970s to meet challenges and now, according to Ma, globalization brings pressure to change again.

Ma also spoke of reforms that changed China's bureaucracy. "It was the reform of old bureaucracies that boosted China's growth 30 years ago," he said. "We expect the current reform to revitalize Chinese by awakening it potential again".

He was echoed by Ana Maria Rodriguez-Ortiz, manager of the Institution for Development at the Inter-American Development Bank, who said there are many challenges that China and LAC countries commonly face, a major one of which is the need for better, more efficient public sector services.

"Both China and Latin American countries, have experienced stable growth in past years," she told China Daily. "A result of that growth being the ever increasing number of middle class members. They are the kind of people that advocate public service and benefit from it, which is still lacking in both economies; it is better for us to propel changes instead of being propelled to change".

Nick Manning, head of the Governance and Public Sector Management group at the World Bank, said the rise of the middle class increased the pressure on China and other countries that experience similar processes towards a reform. "It is always the frustrated middle class that asks for changes. That is not only for China but also for other countries that experience economic growth," he said.

China is different to LAC countries because it owns a much stronger public sector, Ma said. "Increasingly more talents have been entering the private sector, and we even see leading local officials quitting government positions to enter enterprises. But the public sector remains much stronger than the private one".