Zhang Dejiang: Always bearing the people in mind

Updated: 2012-12-24 22:02


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Zhang served as Party secretary for four provincial-level regions from 1995 until late this year. These regions included the provinces of Jilin, Zhejiang and Guangdong as well as Chongqing Municipality.

While he served as Party secretary of Guangdong, a booming economic province in South China, between 2002 and 2007, the province's GDP grew from 1.35 trillion yuan (about $214 billion) to 3.1 trillion yuan. In addition, the quality of Guangdong's economic growth and its independent innovative capability further improved, and the province took the national lead in reform, opening up and economic development.

In Guangdong, Zhang put forth a creative plan to boost cooperation in the Pan-Pearl River Delta region, which strengthened economic links among nine provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao.

In June 2004, the Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation and Development Forum was successfully held in Hong Kong, Macao and Guangzhou. With Zhang's push, the largest project of regional cooperation since the founding of the People's Republic of China was unveiled.

When Zhang served as Party secretary of Jilin, an agricultural province in Northeast China, between 1995 and 1998, the province's grain yield increased each year and its food per capita, transfer volume, export volume and marketed ratio consistently ranked first place in the nation.

A few farmers once wrote to him to express their worries about grain prices. In response, Zhang braved snowy weather to visit farmers in a local county, pledging adherence to the protective pricing policy. He also assured them they would never face a scenario where grain output would rise but farmers' income would fall.

Zhang has attached great importance to the development of the private economy and has a deep understanding of its role in propelling a region's development.

"Numerous practices have proven that where there is a robust private economy, there is a developed economy and well-off people," he has said.

In Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces, the private sector accounted for more than 70 percent of the economies in both provinces during his tenure as Party secretary there.

"The private economy will grow vigorously as long as we offer it suitable soil and sunshine," he has said.

When the global economy experienced a slowdown, Zhang sharply perceived the crisis private businesses would face. While participating in a panel discussion of the Zhejiang delegation to the annual session of the National People's Congress in March this year, Zhang said, "Private capital is like water, and the real economy is like cropland. It is better to dig a well to bring benefits to both sides than just allow the water to flow beneath the cropland." He reminded Zhejiang's business people not to be beguiled by short-term profits but keep on operating physical businesses well.

Not long after he arrived in Chongqing as the city's Party secretary in March, he called a special meeting on boosting the private economy. He put forward the goal that the private economy should contribute 65 percent to the city's GDP by 2015. He also frequently solicited the opinions of representatives of private businesses from different sectors regarding how the government could serve them better, which won the applause of those invited.