Xi Focus: Xi leads China's grand reform of new era

Holding a report in his hand summarizing China's reform progress in the past seven years, President Xi Jinping said that the document was rather "heavy."

"Great historic achievements have been made in deepening overall reform," Xi announced at the 17th meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform at the end of last year.

Since the third plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, a key meeting in November 2013 that gave the clarion call for overall reform, China has rolled out 2,485 reform plans covering areas including politics, economy, culture, society, and rule of law.

"The targets and missions set at the session have been basically accomplished as scheduled," Xi said.


Since Xi took the helm as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in 2012, he has personally led the country's relentless efforts on deepening reforms, breaking institutional barriers and cracking the "hard nuts" along the way.

He chose south China's Guangdong Province, the pioneer of China's reform and opening up, as the first stop for an inspection trip after taking office.

During the trip in December 2012, Xi made important statements that would later guide the country through the arduous journey of reforms.

"Reform and opening-up is a crucial move that will determine the destiny of contemporary China. It is also a crucial move that will determine the delivery of the two centenary goals and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," he said.

He also talked about the direction and principles of reform.

"Of course, we need to hold high the banner of reform, but our reform must be a reform that is moving along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We will neither take the old and rigid closed-door path nor take the erroneous path of abandoning our principles," Xi said.


In 2013, the epoch-making third plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee adopted a decision on some major issues concerning deepening overall reform.

The decision, a programmatic document Xi drafted, is of historic significance.

It set forth for the first time the overarching goal of deepening overall reform -- to improve and develop the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of China's governance system and capacity.

Since then, Xi visited every single landmark of contemporary China's reform drive, including Xiaogang Village in Anhui Province, the birthplace of China's rural reform, Hainan Province, the new highland of opening up, and Shanghai's Pudong New Area, a vivid demonstration of socialist modernization.

He put forward the value orientation, main direction, roadmap, scientific methods and effective paths for deepening overall reform, forming the most systematic reform methodology in more than four decades.

"Reform should focus on what the people care about and what they want, so that the people will have a greater sense of gain," Xi once said.

He stressed that the starting point and goal of reform should be promoting social fairness and justice and improving the well-being of people.

Such value orientation won the heartfelt support of the people.


Xi revealed the "magic code" for the country to deepen overall reform scientifically and effectively at a meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform, which is strengthening the Party's leadership and taking a holistic and systematic approach.

He urged efforts to focus on major reforms that provide structural support, prioritize fundamental reforms, and coordinate reform tasks.

He also underscored the importance of rule of law while advancing reform, stressing that "every major reform must have a legal basis."

The fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in 2014 adopted a decision to advance the rule of law.

He attached great importance to the implementation of reform measures.

"We should resolve problems with force and tenacity as a hammer drives a nail," he said in February this year.


Compared to the past, the reform and opening-up in the new era has many new connotations and features, Xi said, noting that the reform faces more deep-seated institutional problems.

Advancing ecological construction, reforming national defense and armed forces, advancing higher-level opening-up and fighting poverty are key areas of the country's reform drive.

Xi led CPC Central Committee to adopt documents on accelerating ecological construction and reforming the ecological civilization system. Under such a programmatic framework, China introduced the "river chief" scheme and the national park system, among other innovative measures.

To push forward the reform of national defense and the armed forces, Xi visited more than 690 military and civilian units, held more than 800 symposiums and discussions, and revised the plan for reforming and strengthening the armed forces more than 150 times.

Under Xi's leadership, China, through eight years of sustained work, has lifted the entire rural poor population under the current standard out of poverty and nearly 100 million poor people have shaken off poverty.

In the meantime, China's new system for a higher-level open economy is taking shape at a faster pace. The country coordinated the development of 21 pilot free trade zones, implemented the foreign investment law and signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, among others.

Last year, China's governance system and capacity withstood the "stress test" and the country became the only major economy in the world to achieve positive economic growth despite the COVID-19 epidemic.

"We have advanced reforms with the fundamental purpose of making our nation stronger and more prosperous. We also aim to achieve a higher degree of impartiality and justice in society so that people can live a better life," Xi has said.

Everyone has been a participant in the reform as well as a beneficiary. From food, clothing to education, medical care and elderly care, the reform plans have involved almost all aspects of daily life.

By merging the basic health insurance systems for rural and non-working urban residents, China has established the world's largest basic health insurance system that covers a total of 1.35 billion people.


"I will fully commit to the people and never fail them," Xi has pledged. With the people's expectations on his shoulders, Xi steers China into deeper waters in its reform agenda to touch upon issues that are far more complicated, sensitive and challenging.

In March, Chinese lawmakers adopted the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 at the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress, opening a new chapter in the country's march toward modernization.

Standing at a critical juncture where the time frames of its two centenary goals converge, the central committee for deepening overall reform also held three tone-setting meetings in less than four months on furthering reforms in the new stage.

Stressing full, accurate and comprehensive implementation of the new development philosophy, the latest meeting called for focusing on the task of establishing a new development paradigm, introducing more targeted reform plans and pushing forward reform to a deeper level.

"Where does the right path come from? From the masses. We should keep our sights down to earth and combine top-level design with public advice," Xi has said. 

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