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Home / China / Reform and opening-up, 40 years on

Work still needed to complete reform tasks

By Chi Fulin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-29 09:37
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"The Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee was an epoch-making meeting that opened a new era of reform and opening-up, as well as a socialist modernization drive," said President Xi Jinping when presiding this month over the sixth meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform.

Chi Fulin, president of the China Institute for Reform and Development. [Photo/CHINA DAILY]

He also stressed that the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee served as a landmark beacon to open a new stage for comprehensively deepening reform and pushing ahead reforms with systematic designs, and to create a new situation for China's reform and opening-up.

From the time that the Party made the historic decision to shift the focus of the Party and State to economic development and initiate the reform and opening-up drive at the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee, to the holding in November 2013 of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, 35 years passed.

After more than three decades of reform and opening-up, China has come to a new historic turning point, where its reform has entered a crucial stage.

In this context, the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee deliberated and adopted the historic guiding document Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Some Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening the Reform.

I believe three breakthroughs listed in the decision are worthy of attention: letting the market play a decisive role in the allocation of resources, breaking down the fence of vested interests, and modernizing China's governance system and upgrading its governance capabilities.

First of all, the revision of "basic role" to "decisive role" for the market in allocating resources is a historic breakthrough. The practice of reform and opening-up over the past 40 years proves that how to strike a balance between the role of the government and that of the market is the core issue of China's economic system reform.

The decision of the CPC Central Committee also clearly pointed out that "focusing on the market's decisive role in resource allocation is the key task in deepening economic system reform" as well as "letting the market play a decisive role in resource allocation and the government play its role better".

Meanwhile, the government should play a bigger role in creating a fair and transparent international business environment and institutionalizing the legalization of property rights protection, and stronger oversight should be exercised over delegated matters when they are being handled and after they have been handled.

Second, knocking down the fence of vested interests is a historic move in comprehensively deepening reform. The great achievements of China's reform and opening-up have been accomplished through the gradual coordination of regional and group interests.

Whether or not we can eliminate all the drawbacks of institutional mechanisms and challenge the vested interest groups will determine, to some degree, the success of reform.

The decision of the CPC Central Committee stressed that we should break down the barriers of old notions and confinement of interest groups with greater determination and emancipate the mind to achieve greater reform.

To this end, we should break the market and administrative monopoly in the service sector, establish and improve the incentive and restraint mechanisms for entrepreneurs' innovation as soon as possible, and protect entrepreneurs' property rights and innovation benefits based on relevant laws.

Also, the government should guarantee farmers' property rights, use the residential permit system to replace the existing urban-rural divide, and achieve the equalization of basic public services throughout the country by 2020.

Last but not least, the general objective of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee is to push on with the modernization of the country's governing system and capabilities.

For this purpose, we should accelerate the adjustment of the administrative power structure and form an effective government governance structure; innovate and improve macroeconomic regulation and control on the premise of the market playing a decisive role; and strive to build an economic system featuring effective market mechanisms, dynamic microeconomic bodies and proper macro-control capability.

In addition, we should stimulate the vitality of social organizations and give full play to the capabilities of private organizations.

It is still necessary to fully implement the reform tasks and achieve decisive results in the reform of important areas and crucial segments by 2020.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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