BEIJING — A decision by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on deepening reform of Party and State institutions was made public on March 4.
The decision was adopted at the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, which was convened from Feb 26 to 28.
The document consists of eight parts:
— Deeper reform of Party and State institutions is a profound change toward promoting the modernization of the system and capacity for governance of the State
Led by the CPC, China established socialism as its basic system and gradually created the system for the function of Party and State institutions with Chinese characteristics after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The Party has actively advanced the reform of Party and State institutions and gradually optimized and standardized their functions, it said.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core has worked toward the overall goal of improving and developing the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, while modernizing China’s system and capacity for governance.
Faced with new requirements for various tasks in the new era, the current structure and functions of Party and State institutions are not completely suitable for implementing the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, nor for modernizing China’s system and capacity for governance, it said.
China has entered a new historic juncture of development. The principal contradiction facing Chinese society has changed. The country will finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, move on to basically realizing modernization by 2035, and then turn to making China a great modern socialist country in every dimension by the middle of the 21st century.
All these urgently require scientific setup of institutions, appropriate allocation of their functions, coordinated usage of staffing and improved systems and mechanism, the document said.
— The guiding thought, goals, and principles for deepening reform of Party and State institutions
The guiding thought is to implement the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress, follow the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
The goals of deepening reform of Party and State institutions include:
Establishing a Party and State institutional function system that is well conceived, fully built, procedure based, and efficiently functioning;
Forming a CPC leadership system that ensures the Party always provides overall leadership and coordinates the efforts of all involved, a law-based administrative governance system with clear functions and responsibilities, a world-class armed forces system with Chinese characteristics, as well as a sound work system of people’s organizations for bridging and serving the general populace;
Promoting coordinated actions and resultant forces among the people’s congresses, governments, political advisory bodies, and supervisory, judicial and prosecutorial organs, people’s organizations, enterprises, public institutions, and social organizations under the unified leadership of the CPC.
Deeper reform on the CPC and State institutions will improve China’s governance level and capacity.
The reform should follow the principles of sticking to the overall leadership of the Party, committing to a people-centered approach, ensuring optimization, coordination, and high-efficiency as well as ensuring every dimension of governance is law-based.
— Improving the system for upholding overall Party leadership
The Party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavor in every part of the country. A primary task of deepening reform of the Party and State institutions is to strengthen the CPC’s leadership in every sector, according to the document.
Efforts should be made to establish and improve the institutions and mechanisms by which the Party exercises leadership over major tasks, according to the decision.
The Party’s leadership should be strengthened over areas including deeper reform, the rule of law, economy, agriculture and rural work, disciplinary inspection and supervision, organization, publicity, theory and culture, national security, political and legal affairs, united front, ethnic and religious affairs, education, science and technology, cyberspace affairs, foreign affairs and auditing.
The reform should also enhance the status of leadership of Party organizations among organizations of the same level, give better play to the role of the Party’s functionary departments, set up Party and government institutions with integrated plans, and advance reform of the Party’s disciplinary inspection and the country’s supervisory systems.
— Optimizing the structure and functions of government institutions
The decision stressed the resolve to remove institutional barriers so that the market plays the decisive role in resource allocation and the government plays its role better.
The functions of macro-management institutions should be allocated in a reasonable way. Government functions of antimonopoly and anti-fair competition should be strengthened and optimized. Better functions on financing management are also needed to forestall systemic financial risks and protect financial security, according to the document.
It called on efforts to further streamline administration and delegate powers. The direct allocation of market resources by the government and the direct interference in market operations should be reduced to the utmost.
It also stressed better systems of market supervision and law enforcement.
The reform of natural resources and environmental management systems includes implementing the strictest possible systems for environmental protection and establishing regulatory agencies to manage State-owned natural resource assets and monitor natural ecosystems.
The document also outlined measures to improve public services management, strengthen operational and post-operational oversight as well as enhance administrative efficiency and government effectiveness.
— Promoting coordinated reforms of institutions in the Party, the government, the military, and people’s organizations
Such reforms are necessities for strengthening the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC as well as achieving the coordinated and effective functions of these institutions.
The reforms include better arrangement of Party and government organs to avoid decentralizing or overlapping responsibilities, reforming the people’s congresses, political advisory bodies, and judicial organs, strengthening the role of people’s organizations as bridges linking the Party and the government with the people, leveraging the role of social organizations, making public institutions better serve public interests and deepening reform in areas covering both the military and civilian services.
— Improving the setup of institutions at local levels
It called for a smooth and vigorous work system of central and local institutions, in which orders are executed without fail.
While the central authorities should strengthen macro-management, local authorities were asked to do their jobs well on the condition of carrying out orders from the top to the detail.
The setup of local institutions must ensure the effective implementation of the policies from the CPC Central Committee and national laws and regulations, said the document.
In the meantime, it pledged to give more decision-making power to organs at and below the provincial level.
A lean and effective grassroots governance system should be set up to strengthen the foundation of the system and capacity for governance of the State.
Grassroots authorities should not simply copy the structure of their superior level but adapt to their respective responsibilities, said the decision.
Coordination between centrally administered agencies and local authorities should also be improved, said the document.
— Legalizing the staffing of institutions
The decision called for managing all organizations and institutions in accordance with the law, and accelerating the process of legalizing the institutions, and their functions, powers, operational procedures as well as responsibilities.
The Party shall have its own staffing regulation and there should also be a law on institution staffing, said the decision.
While stressing that the staffing rules should be strictly followed, it also called for a dynamic adjustment mechanism and requirements for timely information disclosure.
Those who fail to observe the staffing rules and legal requirements would be held accountable.
— Enhancing Party’s leadership over deepening reform of Party and State institutions
The CPC Central Committee should coordinate and supervise the holistic implementation of the reform, while local authorities and departments were urged to resolutely implement the reform tasks, said the decision.
Authorities at various levels should not act until their reform plans are approved by the CPC Central Committee.
The document said that the whole Party and Chinese people of all ethnic groups should rally closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, achieve unity in thought and action, and ensure that all tasks of deepening reform of Party and State institutions are accomplished.
Continued efforts are needed to improve the system of Party and State institutions that are well conceived, fully built, procedure based, and functioning efficiently, said the document.
It also called for hard work to secure a decisive victory in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, to speed up the socialist modernization and to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.