Reform of governance
Updated: 2014-03-07 07:22
Being clean, innovative and under the rule of law is what the Chinese government must try to become through its own reform, according to Premier Li Keqiang. Only in this way will the government improve its credibility and executive capability, Li said in his Government Work Report.
This is actually one of the toughest areas for reform, but when accomplished it will pave the way for reform in other areas and bring direct dividends to the country's overall development by cutting unnecessary government spending and raising its efficiency.
Governing under the rule of law requires all government departments to make their work plans in accordance with the law and do everything in the same way.
So efforts must be made to break the barriers of the vested interests of government departments and other interest groups, which seek illegal gains through the abuse of their power at the cost of government credibility and governing efficiency.
As Li said, the mechanism for policymaking, implementation and supervision under the rule of law must be further optimized. This will greatly narrow the space in which government officials can wield power for their personal gain and therefore place power within a cage of rules.
It is certainly no easy job for government employees to change their mentality to that of public servants rather than that of officials who can always benefit from the exercising of their power.
That explains why the premier said in his work report that such reform must be pushed with such resolve as to leave no room for the abuse of power and no opportunities for vested interests.
Reform in other areas, such as the opening of some sectors of State-owned enterprises to private capital or the narrowing of income gaps, will be impossible to carry out under a bureaucratic government in which abuses of power are commonplace.
See what can be achieved when there is the will. Last year, the central government spending on public receptions, business trips and motor vehicles was reduced by 36 percent and spending in public receptions dropped by 26 percent for 31 provinces and autonomous regions. It also cancelled or delegated 334 items for approval to local governments,
If the procedures of governance are further streamlined this year, to clarify the limits for the exercise of governing power and raise its efficiency, there is enough reason to believe that reform in all areas will be carried through effectively.
(China Daily 03/07/2014 page10)