Xi urges leading group to push reforms

Updated: 2014-01-23 08:11

By An Baijie (China Daily)

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At the first meeting of the central leading group for overall reform on Wednesday, President Xi Jinping urged officials to make resolute and timely efforts to implement new policies.

Reforms will deeply touch many relationships and interests, and officials need to make preparations to deal with the repercussions, Xi said, adding that governments should work out timelines and move forward with concrete steps to achieve complex systemic reforms, he said.

"Officials of the government should speed up their work and at the same time move forward with steady steps," Xi said.

The leading group gathering is the latest development of a reform blueprint put forward at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in November.

The idea for the group was developed at that session.

Headed by Xi, the group has six departments: economy and ecology; democracy and justice; culture; society; Party construction; and discipline and supervision.

Premier Li Keqiang attended the meeting along with Liu Yunshan, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli. All are deputy chiefs of the leading group.

Since the duty of the leading group is to implement reform policies, its members must have the courage to deepen reforms no matter how hard the task is, Xi said.

To push forward the reform, the group should coordinate with various departments to set up detailed rules, and then monitor the government's performance.

Xi spoke highly of the central and local governments' implementation of the reform package so far, noting that they have made many concrete changes that include streamlining approval procedures and fighting corruption.

Xi lamented that some government officials could not understand the importance of deepening reform and did not strive to improve their work.

But the leading group should count on the people's support as it makes reforms that will benefit the country, Xi said, and it should tailor policies to fit what the people want.

Some local governments have already begun to implement reform policies. For example, on Jan 13, Beijing authorities approved 57 specific criteria covering 17 different areas of government.

One of the highlights of that decision is that GDP growth will no longer be the primary criterion when evaluating an official's performance.