The central government has done a good job over the past five years in keeping the economy and employment growing within a rational range. It has done so in the face of the strong headwinds of the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenging domestic and international factors. Those efforts have laid a solid foundation for the work to be done over the next five years, a key period in which to advance the country’s high-quality development and gnaw some “hard bones” of reforms, which are necessary to realize the modernization of the country.
Although some have left their seats and there are some fresh faces joining the top table of government, they are experienced professionals and veteran policymakers who will help guide the nation toward its goal of modernization. With the assistance of advanced technology and a more rationalized and streamlined government structure, as indicated by the State institutional reform plan approved by the country’s top legislature on Friday, they are tasked with tackling the challenges and difficulties head-on and overcoming them.
It should be borne in mind that China is still a large, developing country, and it remains in the primary stage of socialism with prominent imbalances and inadequacies in its development that need to be addressed. Therefore, the government should uphold the people’s expectations of a better life as the orientation for their work. Heeding the people’s views and endeavoring to gain a full understanding of their needs, the government must spare no effort to make the most of what it has to solve the pressing difficulties and problems that concern people the most, while maintaining a good balance between short- and long-term objectives.
Although the about 5 percent growth target set for this year is regarded “modest” given the economy’s rebound momentum and potential, the government should by no means let down its guard, as consumption remains weak, a large number of jobs need to be created, the population is rapidly aging, the private sector needs reinvigorating, the financial risks from local government debt must be defused, and the relentless international technology blockade and rising geopolitical tensions need to be coped with.
If well handled, not only will China’s development be of a high-quality but the country will be better able to contribute to the common development of the world. The stress now is on qualitative not quantitative growth and shouldering the country’s responsibilities as a major participant in world affairs to uphold multilateralism, globalization and fair and just global governance.
For the government to deliver, it is important to act on the general principle of pursuing progress, promote reform and high-standard opening-up, while ensuring stability. In the reshuffle of government personnel, those continuing to hold their previous posts, particularly those in the economic and financial sectors, can ensure policy continuity, while those assuming new posts are expected to bring fresh ideas and apply what they have learned in their past work experience to enhance the practicality, pertinence and adaptability of policies.
Having accumulated their work experience over the past decade when the new thought on governance was being initiated, the senior officials are not only witnesses to the process but also participants. That means they should have the experience and knowledge to effectively implement the new development thought and more actively enrich it in practice, making them an important generation of policymakers linking the past with the future.
Editorial, China Daily