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Year of reform and hope

Updated: 2014-01-02 07:38
( China Daily)

President Xi Jinping said in his New Year address on Tuesday that greater strides will be made on reforms in 2014, and people have much to expect of the materialization of the specific reform plans and their benefits to people's daily lives.

Xi said that the reforms are meant to make the country more prosperous, create a more equal and fairer society, and improve people's lives, which has already proved the case with the changes the new leadership's policies have brought about during the past year.

The series of specifications the Party announced about how officials at all levels should practice frugality and shun extravagance are estimated to have reduced government spending in public trips, motor vehicles and receptions by several hundred billion yuan.

A batch of rules are being implemented to place power in a cage of rules with the intention of making it difficult for those in power to abuse it for private interests.

The fact that 18 officials at vice-minister level or above have been placed under investigation for abuse of power in 2013 alone has demonstrated the top leadership's resolve to root out corruption.

The central government has also delegated a lot of administrative power and abolished many items that used to be subject to complicated procedures of approval in the past year.

And there is enough reason to believe that the central authorities mean it when they say the market will play a decisive role in the allocation of resources.

Undoubtedly, the country has been changing for the better.

Yet, the reforms ahead will meet resistance from vested interests and it will not be a plain sailing to implement them. That explains why Xi said in his address that more painstaking efforts from all Chinese people are needed to push reform forward on all fronts.

There will always be some who try to circumvent the policies to protect their own interests. And the further the reforms are carried out, the more difficult it will become to deepen them. Efforts from every individual are needed to support the reforms. Sometimes, that may mean giving up privileges.

Every member of society must demonstrate a strong sense of the greater good to ensure the success of reforms.