Reforms reflect trust in political system

By Fan Peng Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/19 20:53:39

Listing supervisory commissions as state organs in Constitution brings "a major adjustment to the country's political system, political power and political relations," Xiao Pei, vice minister of supervision, said recently. From a broader perspective, the institutional reshuffle plan, which was passed Saturday at a plenary meeting of the ongoing first session of the 13th National People's Congress, constitutes a major political reform and adjustment of power relations.

Different from past institutional reforms, the new one is of great significance in that it was precipitated under the direct leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and it will help establish a systematic, highly effective national governance system.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the basis and guarantee for the development of all causes in China. But it's not to say that this system is unchangeable; it is under constant change and adjusts itself to the present-day world.

China's reform and opening-up endeavor is a grand strategic and political project rarely seen in human history. It motivated tens of millions of people and gave full play to the vitality of the market and society. Separating Party functions from those of the government, politics from social administration, government functions from enterprise management used to be a key institutional guarantee so that different sectors could play their appropriate long-term roles in history.

However, the relative independence between the market and society determined that some issues could only be resolved through administrative and judicial means or social self-governance. For a long time, the Party functioned at a distance, that actually led to these systems operating separately, which, raised institutional costs.

Back then, China's institutional framework was fragmented, with the Party, government, the military, and the people independent from one another. Nonetheless, problems are never solved in a fragmented way. A great many problems and challenges have popped up in deepening the reform of the socialist market economy. To cater to this need, we confined our reform within the administrative framework and, for a long time, repeatedly made adjustments in government institutional setup but failed to find an effective answer.

In the new era, Chinese society is undergoing more profound reforms. Intertwined risks and contradictions have further complicated governance. For instance, when a problem arises, it's hard to say whether it is related to society, administration or politics. Some issues in the realm of government administration will not be addressed without the effort of the Party, the military and even the society and the market.

Therefore, the reform this time is meant to establish a systematic, scientific and effective institutional framework, with the principle of promoting state governance system and capacity. To put it simply, as long as it's effective to solve the problem, we shall use all institutional resources instead of being confined to antiquated concepts. To better connect these institutions, we need to eliminate redundant organs and overlapping functions, as well as combine related but disparate processes. In this way, we can build up a coordinated, effective operation system. To this end, we need the CPC as the core of the leadership and improve related mechanisms.

In this sense, this institutional reform fully demonstrates our confidence in the political system. Socialism with Chinese characteristics must be an organic operational system which is determined by our missions and the current situation. The change, therefore, is a knowhow reform, which is aimed at lowering institutional costs and promoting productivity.

The reform is not meant to curtail market and social functions. A highly systematic and effective governing system incorporates Party and government institutions as well as market and social mechanisms. But in comparison, Party and state institutions play a more important role in guaranteeing the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Highly effective coordination among the state, market and society will only take shape on the basis of optimized Party and government functions.

The author is an associate research fellow at the Institute of Political Science under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


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