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China unveils new state council amid function reform

Updated: 2013-03-18 08:19

Zhou Xiaochuan, 65, is the oldest member of the state council. He has been central bank governor for more than ten years. The efforts and effects of financial system reforms conducted during his tenure made him impressive. He was spotlighted by global media when he proposed the creation of a super-sovereign reserve currency at the beginning of the global financial crisis in early 2009.

Due to the sustained impact of the global financial crisis, fiscal policy has played an increasingly important role in stabilizing economic growth, adjusting China's economic structure, pushing forward reform and improving people's well-being.

Deepening tax reform, improving the government expenditure structure, increasing investment in people's well-being and controlling financial risks are important tasks for 62-year-old finance minister Lou Jiwei.

The Chinese government has made it the starting point and goal of all the government's work to ensure and improve public well-being. Four members who remain in office in relevant ministries are Zhou Shengxian, 63, minister of environmental protection, Jiang Weixin, 64, minister of housing and urban-rural development, Yin Weimin, 60, minister of human resources and social security and Li Liguo, 59, minister of civil affairs.

People expect them to make new breakthroughs in improving public well-being with their accumulated rich experiences and knowledge. These expectations include improving the quality of air, soil and water, enhancing housing security, improving the regulation of the real estate industry, creating more and better job opportunities and improving the social assistance system.

The ministers of education and culture also remain unchanged. Education Minister Yuan Guiren faces the tasks of promoting fairness in education, creating education innovation and cultivating creative talent. Cultural Minister Cai Wu is expected to deepen the reform of the cultural sector, promote the fast development of cultural industry and improve the public cultural service system so as to meet the growing cultural demands of the public.

The 18th National Congress of the CPC held in November 2012 put forward a new goal of promoting the harmonized development of industrialization, IT application, urbanization and agricultural modernization.

Three relevant ministers kept their posts, including Miao Wei, 57, minister of industry and information technology, Han Changfu, 58, minister of agriculture and Chen Lei, also 58, minister of water resources. People hope they will work efficiently to promote the implementation of the CPC congress' strategic goal.

Adhering to governance according to law, improving oversight and strengthening the building of a clean government have been listed as the basic tenets of the Chinese government's work. The Ministry of Supervision and the National Audit Office will shoulder the great responsibility of restraining power.

Supervision Minister Huang Shuxian, 58, will need to innovate working mechanisms to strengthen oversight over the political integrity of leading officials. Enhancing auditing oversight will be the key task of Liu Jiayi, 56, auditor-general of the National Audit Office.

Justice Minister Wu Aiying, is the cabinet's only other female member. She is expected to reform the much-disputed re-education through labor system and promote the rule of law.

China is the world's second-largest economy and second-largest trader. The stance, role and actions of Chinese diplomacy are of great interest to others.

Facing a complex and volatile international environment, new Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected to focus on promoting Chinese diplomacy, helping to resolve international and regional hotspot issues, effectively dissolving risks and challenges and fostering an international environment that will be favorable for China's reform, development and stability.

New Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng is expected to tackle growing international trade protectionism, ensure stable export growth and create new advantages for China in terms of participating in global economic cooperation and competition in order to realize mutual benefit.

Geng Huichang, 61, minister of state security, kept his post.

The modernization of the government is the key to national development, analysts say. At a new historical juncture and starting point, China's new leadership has launched a new round of reform focusing on functional transformation.

"The members of the new state council will be the main executors of the modernization of the Chinese government, as well as shoulder the responsibility of building an image of a modern government," said Chi Fulin, director of the China (Hainan) Institute for Reform and Development.

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