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Xi calls for new progress in the governance of Sichuan on his inspection tour of the province

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-07-31 12:01
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President Xi Jinping inspects Southwest China's Sichuan province on July 25, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

CHENGDU, Sichuan/HANZHONG, Shaanxi -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made an inspection tour of Southwest China's Sichuan province. He stressed that to fully study and implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, we should focus on the Party's central task in the new era on the new journey, and firmly grasp the connotations of Chinese modernization and its essential requirements. It is important to keep high-quality development as the top priority, and apply the new development philosophy, forge a new pattern of development and promote common prosperity throughout the entire process of the country's economic and social development. He called for transformation in the mode, driving force, areas and quality of development so as to break new ground in the country's high-quality development. He urged Sichuan to have a better understanding of its strategic position and mission in the country's overall development, and base its work on local realities to clarify its thinking on development and decide where it should concentrate its major efforts. In this way, the province should give full play to its strengths and make up for its deficiencies, achieve new breakthroughs in improving its capacity for scientific and technological innovation, building a modern industrial system, promoting rural revitalization, and strengthening ecological environment governance so that new progress will be made in the governance and revitalization of Sichuan in a new era, and a new chapter will be written for the province in advancing Chinese modernization.

Accompanied by Wang Xiaohui, secretary of the CPC Sichuan Provincial Committee, and Huang Qiang, governor of the province, Xi visited cities including Guangyuan and Deyang from July 25 to 27.

On the afternoon of July 25, Xi first inspected Cuiyun Corridor in Jiange county, Guangyuan city, an important section of an ancient passageway, known as "shudao," which connects Guanzhong Plain with Sichuan Basin in ancient times. The corridor possesses the best-preserved ancient artificial cypress forest in the world. Xi was briefed on the development of the ancient passageway, and the overall situation of Cuiyun Corridor. He walked along the ancient passageway to observe the growth of the millennium-old cypresses, and inquired in detail about the planting and protection of cypresses in history. Xi noted that being the world's largest forest of its kind, this man-made cypress forest has survived for so long and been protected so well, thanks to the inheritance and practice of such policies since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as logging prohibition for both officials and civilians, and the transfer of duty to protect these trees along with transition of local government power. More importantly, it has benefited from the collective protection efforts made by local residents from generation to generation. This tells us that a well-functioning institutional framework is key to ecological conservation, and so is the strict implementation of policies, he said, emphasizing the importance of fully spurring the enthusiasm, initiative and creativity of the general public to consolidate and develop on the achievements of ecological conservation in the new era. Upon leaving, Xi urged local officials in charge to preserve these ancient trees and pass on China's fine traditional culture.

Sanxingdui Ruins, located on the south bank of the Yazi River in the northwest of Guanghan, Deyang, show the appearance and development level of the ancient Shu civilization thousands of years ago. The site is the remnants of an ancient capital, which has the richest cultural connotation and the largest area compared with its counterparts within the Yangtze River basin in the same period. On the afternoon of July 26, Xi visited the new building of the Sanxingdui Museum. He toured exhibition halls including the "Century-long Pursuit of Dreams," "Majestic Kingdom Capital," as well as "Heaven, Earth, Humans and Gods," to learn about the discovery and excavation of the ruins, and achievements of the ancient Shu civilization. Xi also paid a visit to the venue for relic preservation and repair, where he carefully observed the procedures, details, and latest techniques for repairing ancient artifacts, and talked amicably with the staff on site. Xi stressed that the archaeological achievements of Sanxingdui are world-renowned, demonstrating the fruits of a civilization more than 4,000 years ago. They also provide more convincing archaeological evidence for the integration of Chinese civilization as well as the mutual influence of the ancient Shu civilization and the Central Plains civilization. The preservation and restoration of cultural artifacts is a long-term task. The country must scale up support, expand its talent pool, and carry forward craftsmanship that features rigor and meticulousness. It is essential to strive for greater achievements step by step amid persistent efforts. On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Xi extended warm congratulations on the completion and entry into operation of the new building of the Sanxingdui Museum, and expressed heartfelt gratitude and high respect to archaeologists across the country.

On the morning of July 27, Xi was briefed by the Sichuan provincial Party committee and government about their work and recognized their efforts in various respects. He urged Sichuan to make more progress in sci-tech innovation, the application of sci-tech achievements, the building of a modern industrial system, rural revitalization and the consolidation of ecological shields along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River.

Opening up new areas of development with sci-tech innovation and forging new driving forces for and strengths of development is both a general trend and an urgent requirement of high-quality development, Xi said, calling on Sichuan to rely on innovation, especially sci-tech innovation, for transformations in driving forces for development.

Sichuan boasts a large number of universities and research institutions with numerous innovative talents, a relatively complete industrial system, and a strong industrial foundation. It should give full play to its strengths and make efforts on both sci-tech innovation and the application of sci-tech achievements. He asked the province to resolve problems concerning a number of core technologies in key fields and strive to become an innovation hub in western China through improving its sci-tech innovation system, dovetailing with national strategic sci-tech resources, and optimizing the layout of its resources.

He pointed out that Sichuan is a strategic hinterland for China's development and holds a unique, key position in the overall development of the country, especially in the implementation of the strategy to develop the western region. Relying on its unique strengths in manufacturing, Sichuan should actively contribute to the safety of the country's industrial and supply chains, and dock itself with the new industrial layout in China's eastern coastal areas in a high-quality manner, Xi said. It is imperative to prioritize the development of distinctive and competitive industries and emerging strategic industries, accelerate the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, and deploy future ones in a forward-looking manner. Stressing the need for deep integration of the digital economy and the real economy, Xi called on the province to build a modernized industrial system with Sichuan characteristics and strengths. It is necessary to soundly plan and build a new energy system to promote the complementary development of multiple energy resources such as water, wind, solar power, hydrogen and natural gas. It is essential to strengthen the production and supply of food and strategic mineral resources, building Sichuan into a strategic base to ensure the supply of important primary products for national needs. The principle must be upheld that the development of Sichuan and Chongqing must be taken into overall consideration to strengthen the cooperation between the two regions, in order to build a strategic highland for opening up to the west and a new base for participating in international competition, so that Sichuan and Chongqing will become an important growth pole and a new source of power for promoting high-quality development in the western region as soon as possible.

Xi urged the province to consolidate the achievements of poverty alleviation, put rural revitalization in a prominent position in the governance and development of Sichuan, and better shoulder the responsibility of maintaining the production and supply of important agricultural products such as grain, live pigs and oil. Importance must be attached to seeds and arable land so that the combination of improved seeds and good fields should help create a higher level "Granary of Sichuan" in the new era. In terms of industrial development, rural construction, and rural governance, efforts must be focused on a few things, about which the masses are very much concerned, and results can be achieved in a few years when work is done, and resources must be concentrated to make breakthroughs, and finally realize landmark achievements. Sichuan should learn and apply Zhejiang province's experience in launching the project "Green Rural Revival Program," focusing on minor things, and persevering in what it is pursuing. The bottom line must be held in the rural homestead reform to strictly control the transfer of land rights, which must never be taken advantage of to put farmland into non-agricultural use. Social security system must be well coordinated between urban and rural areas to promote equal access for rural and urban residents to basic public services.

Xi stressed that Sichuan is an important water conservation area in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, an important water supply area in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, and also a key area for global biodiversity protection, and it is necessary to do a good job in ecological conservation. We should persist with a holistic and systematic approach to the conservation and management of mountains, waters, forests, farmlands, grasslands and deserts, strengthen the control of territorial space and the management of negative lists, and strictly implement the supervision and regulation of nature reserves and ecological conservation red lines. It is imperative to speed up establishing a nature reserve system with national parks as the mainstay, and promote the natural regeneration of grasslands, forests, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. We should also work faster to adjust and improve the industrial structure, the energy mix, the composition of the transportation sector and land use, promote intensive and economical use of resources, and actively advocate green and low-carbon ways of production and life. We should keep our skies blue, waters clear and lands clean at a higher standard, actively explore mechanisms to realize the market value of ecological goods and services and improve the compensation system for ecological conservation, so that ecological and environmental governance can be further modernized.

Xi noted that as natural disasters occur frequently in Sichuan, it's imperative for the province to improve its emergency management system, and strengthen emergency response capacity, so as to establish relevant long-term mechanisms and systematically boost the capacity for disaster prevention, mitigation and relief. As the Yangtze River basin enters a major flood season in July and August, principal responsibilities for flood control and disaster relief must be ensured, and the work concerning response and preparation in this regard must be done well. Disaster reliefs must be carried out in a sound manner to prevent secondary disasters, and efforts must be made to reduce casualties and loss of property to the minimum and restore normal order of production and life as soon as possible. It is essential to implement the accountability system for workplace safety in a down-to-earth manner, detect risks and potential dangers at every corner and prevent the occurrence of severe and major accidents so as to safeguard people's lives and property.

Xi stressed that as there is only over a month's time left before the first round of the theoretical study program ends, Party organizations at all levels should implement the arrangements of the CPC Central Committee, ensure constant efforts, persevere to see it through, and strive for concrete results. Xi called for efforts to conduct sound and objective assessment of the efficacy of the theoretical study program. Whether Party members and officials have fully understood the Party's innovative theories and put them into practice, and whether they can apply the theories wherever it is necessary are the benchmark of how well the theoretical study program is carried out. Whether Party members and officials have learned about real social conditions and public opinions, and take action to solve problems for the people should decide if fact-finding missions and studies work. Whether new breakthroughs are made in high-quality development, and whether people's living standards have been improved are the gauge of how development is pursued. Whether the root causes of problems are identified and misdeeds are thoroughly rectified is a test of how examination and rectification work is done. Whether deviating thinking is rectified, whether unqualified Party members are well educated or dealt with, and whether hidden political dangers are removed are the way to see how endeavors in education of the ranks of officials have fared. Evaluation should be based on facts and open, and public opinions should make a difference, so as to ensure the evaluation is real and objective. It is important to see whether pointless formalities and bureaucratism have been effectively tackled when assessing the effectiveness of the theoretical study program. We should examine pointless formalities and bureaucratism to find out their root causes so as to provide targeted measures to cope with them effectively. It is essential to organize democratic meetings for leaderships and the regular Party activities at the grassroots level, where criticism and self-criticism should be conducted based on study, examination and rectification.

Xi has been concerned about the inheritance of cultural traditions and ecological conservation along the Hanjiang River. On July 29, during his return trip to Beijing, Xi alighted from the train and made an inspection tour of Hanzhong City accompanied by Zhao Yide, secretary of the CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee, and Zhao Gang, governor of the province. Xi visited an exhibition of cultural artifacts in the Hanzhong Museum to learn about the history, culture and artifact protection in this city. Xi noted that cultural artifacts are a vehicle of a civilization and culture, and carry forward the ethos of a nation. It is imperative to give full play to the vital role of museums in protecting, carrying forward, studying, and showcasing human civilization. Work should be done to preserve China's cultural tradition, and let cultural artifacts play their role in disseminating traditional culture so as to promote the appeal of Chinese culture. He said that intangible cultural heritage such as rattan weaving in Hanzhong City has long been popular, and work should be done to develop industries with local distinction to secure higher incomes for local people. When leaving the museum, Xi was surrounded by villagers greeting him warmly. He said, "I once visited Hanzhong in 2008 for disaster relief when an earthquake struck Wenchuan. For many years, I've been concerned about this place. This time I'm glad to see that great changes have taken place in Hanzhong and everything is in good order." He wished that all the people work well, live well and have happy families.

Xi also inspected Tianhan Wetland Park in central Hanzhong en route, the headwater of the Hanjiang River, and praised it for serving as a happy park for residents. He said that it is a great responsibility and of great significance to conserve the wetland resources in this area as the Hanjiang River and its branches are a major catchment and supply source for the middle route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. Ecological parks should be constructed in harmony with nature. A holistic and systematic approach should be adopted to protect and restore the ecology of wetlands, and better integrate ecological conservation with people's work and life, so as to build an ecological city that is beautiful, low-carbon, and desirable to live in and visit.

Cai Qi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, accompanied Xi on the inspection.

Li Ganjie, He Lifeng, and leading officials of the relevant central Party and government departments were on the inspection tour. Leading officials of the twelfth Central Steering Group for theoretical study program attended the meeting.

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