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China Daily Website

Government's reform is important

Updated: 2013-03-19 22:16
( chinadaily.com.cn)

Premier Li Keqiang said in his first news conference as China's cabinet chief that the government will curb construction of new buildings, limit the increase of civil servants, and that the expenses on receptions, overseas travel and cars will not increase. He also said that the central government should be a role model for local governments.

This is a promise to cut government expenses by the new leaders of the Chinese government. It's time now for the government to align its deeds with these words, said an article in the People's Daily. Excerpts:

The government depends on the taxpayers' money. But Chinese taxpayers do not have effective means to supervise the government's spending. Although the government has made its budget more transparent than it was before, the public feels they deserve more rights and power to influence the government's spending.

The self-disciplinary mechanism of the Chinese government relies heavily on the personal will of the top leaders. After Xi Jinping required all officials to fulfill an eight-point document to improve the government's image, work efficiency and achieve lower government costs, members of the public have seen remarkable changes, as the media exposed several cases at various levels. Moutai and other expensive liquor brands in China saw the biggest drop in sales in recent years.

It is obvious that China's new leaders know that the government's biggest challenges are at home, not abroad. The government believes that as long as China maintains another 20 years of steady economic growth, a lot of the problems at home and abroad will naturally disappear.

The most pressing issues for China's reforms are how to maintain a more balanced development and how to distribute the national wealth more fairly as soon as possible and without threatening domestic stability.

Premier Li's promise to cut government expenditure is actually a small part of the reform. But it's a good beginning because a lot of reforms in other fields depend on a successful government reform in the first place.