Improve the Functions of Party and State Institutions

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China III Updated: 2021-12-29

Improve the Functions of Party and State Institutions* 

July 5, 2019 

Further reform of Party and state institutions is a systematic and overall restructuring in terms of organization and management. We have promoted this overhaul at all levels and restructured and improved the systems of Party leadership, the government, the military, and people's organizations, systematically enhancing the leadership of our Party, the government's capacity to deliver, the combat effectiveness of armed forces, and the vitality of people's organizations. The main functional framework of Party and state institutions for the new era is by and large in place. It provides a strong organizational guarantee for developing and improving the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and for modernizing China's system and capacity for governance. We need to summarize the major achievements and valuable experience gained from reform, consolidate these achievements, continue to improve the functions of our Party and state institutions, and further modernize China's system and capacity for governance.

Further reform of Party and state institutions is an important means of implementing the decisions and plans of the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017. It is a major move to continue reform in all respects and a centralized action to modernize China's system and capacity for governance. After the Third Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee in 2018, all provincial authorities and central departments implemented the decisions and plans of the Central Committee. They looked for ways to strengthen coordination, define reform rules and measures, handle personnel affairs well, and enforce strict discipline. In just over a year, the tasks defined at the Third Plenary Session were generally completed, and a series of important theoretical, institutional and practical results were achieved. We strengthened the Party's overall leadership and improved the institutions' functions in upholding the Party's centralized and unified leadership. Party and state institutions are performing their duties more smoothly and efficiently, and the composition and functions of all kinds of institutions are better adapted to implementing the Five-sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy. The setup and functions of major departments at provincial, city, and county levels are basically consistent with those of the central authorities, enabling a dynamic work system that ensures smooth operations right down through every level. We have carried out reform tasks covering both military and civilian services. We have also simultaneously promoted reform in relevant institutions of all types to enhance the overall impact.

In furthering reform of Party and state institutions, we have explored and accumulated valuable experience. The approach is to uphold the Party's overall leadership over reform, establish new institutions before dissolving the old, optimize the functions of the institutions and improve their coordination and efficiency, carry out institutional reform both at the central and local levels under an overall plan, coordinate reform and the rule of law, and carry out education on political guidelines throughout the process. Practice has proven that the strategic decision of the Party Central Committee on further reform of Party and state institutions is completely correct, and the implementation of the reform has been effective. This fully demonstrates the high degree of political awareness in both thinking and action of the whole Party, the positive impact of strict enforcement of Party discipline since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, and the political strengths of the centralized and unified leadership of our Party and the socialist system of our country.

Organizational and functional restructuring has solved only "hardware" problems; there remains much to be done for components of the functional framework to achieve synergy. Upholding and strengthening overall Party leadership should be the guideline of the reform, with the focus on optimizing the functions of Party and state institutions and making them more coordinated and efficient. We need to combine the tasks of adjusting and optimizing the functions of these institutions with improving systems and mechanisms, and combine enhancing our Party's long-term governance capacity with improving our state governance capacity. We should continue to consolidate what we have achieved in this round of reform. We should improve the Party's leadership over major undertakings. Decision-making, deliberative and coordinating institutions should focus on planning, discussing, and oversight of major tasks. Party institutions should take the lead in upholding and strengthening Party leadership in all respects, better play their functions, and enforce strict political discipline and rules. We should work to better coordinate Party and state institutions in performing their functions and give full play to the functions of unified, centralized, and coordinated management of Party departments, especially management of major tasks under their respective jurisdiction. We should improve the capability of institutions in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities. All central departments should perform their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the plans that define their duties, internal bodies and staffing, focus on their main responsibilities, highlight the key tasks, think and act consciously in consideration of the overall situation, and perform their duties to meet the growing expectation of the people for a better life. We need to fully leverage the initiative of Party and state institutions at both central and local levels, and ensure the centralized and unified leadership of the Central Committee and the consistency of state systems and government policies. Central Party and government departments should guide and supervise their own systems and fields of responsibility. While implementing the decisions and plans of the Central Committee, local institutions should carry out their work with more initiative and more creativity in the light of local realities. We need to advance reform in related sectors. We should extend reform of public institutions in accordance with the principle of relieving them of government functions, keeping them away from business activities, and letting them run their own day-to-day operations while remaining under supervision. We should also build a strong contingent of coordinated law enforcement personnel, enhance social management and public services at the grassroots level, and improve supporting policies for reform of these institutions. We need to codify the staffing of institutions, manage all kinds of organizations and institutions in accordance with the law, and continue to strictly control their personnel expansion. We should enhance our capability to perform our duties, break new ground, and shoulder responsibilities, and understand the new requirements brought about by new institutions and functions. In line with the ongoing Aspiration and Mission education campaign, we need to educate and guide Party members and officials to keep in alignment with the Central Committee in terms of our thinking, political orientation, and actions, stand on the side of the people, and temper the political character of being loyal, clean and responsible. With a strong sense of urgency and a hardworking spirit, we must have the perseverance to hammer away until a task is done.

Further reform of Party and state institutions is planned and advanced on the sand table of comprehensive reform as one of its strategic campaigns. We should make good use of the favorable conditions created in the reform of Party and state institutions to promote comprehensive and in-depth reform. The results we have achieved from this round of reform will help break new ground in our further reform on all fronts. It is a demanding task for us to complete the comprehensive reform measures put forward at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in 2013. Now there is only a little more than a year to go before 2020, when we have scheduled decisive results in the reform of important areas. We must maintain our momentum, keep fighting with all of our strength, take on tough issues, and concentrate our efforts on making breakthroughs in important areas.

While promoting further reform of Party and state institutions, we also need to improve the systems and mechanisms for Party leadership over reform, as well as decision-making and implementation mechanisms. We will strengthen the links between central and local authorities, between leading and participating departments, between main reform and supporting programs, between reform measures and legal guarantees, between pilots and rollouts, and between the implementation of reform tasks and the adjustment of institutional functions to forge a synergy. We should remain confident in our reform strategies and promote reform to better serve economic and social development. We should work out ideas on reform and development, solve outstanding problems, guard against risks and challenges, and stimulate the vitality of innovation. We need to correctly handle the relationship between reform, development, and social stability, and combine Party leadership with respect for the pioneering spirit of the people. We should make reform systematic, holistic and coordinated, and coordinate the progress of reform in various fields to achieve overall effect. We need to give greater substance to reform to ensure the quality of plans and the effectiveness of their implementation. Our situation, tasks, and work requirements are all changing, which requires us to accurately understand, effectively respond to, and take the initiative in seeking changes. We need to solve practical problems and take this as the starting point for making reform plans, and give priority to the implementation of reforms that have a bearing on overall economic and social development, involve major institutional innovation, and enhance people's sense of gain. We should facilitate the systematic integration of reform achievements, review and apply the results in a coordinated manner, and make various systems more mature and well-defined as a whole.

* Main points of the speech at the meeting reviewing further reform of Party and state institutions.

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