Be Alert to Risks

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

Be Alert to Risks* 

January 21, 2019 

We should follow the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and fully implement the decisions of the 19th CPC National Congress and the second and third plenary sessions of the 19th CPC Central Committee. This requires a full and accurate understanding of the profound changes in the external environment as well as the new circumstances, problems, and challenges facing China in reform, development and stability. It is imperative to stay alert to potential risks and enhance our capacity for risk prevention and control. We must focus on preventing and resolving major risks to ensure sustained and sound economic development and social stability, so as to secure success in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, advancing socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and achieving the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

At present China is generally in good shape. We have seen that the leadership of the CPC Central Committee is strong and effective. We have seen an enhanced awareness among Party members of the Four Consciousnesses, the Four-sphere Confidence and the Two Upholds. The political landscape is healthy and positive. Our economy is making steady progress. All our people are united and in high spirit. And social stability prevails throughout the country.

In the face of a confusing and changing international landscape, a complex and sensitive neighboring environment, and the formidable tasks of reform, development and maintaining stability at home, we should stay keenly alert to "black swan" and "gray rhino" events, and seize the initiative to prevent risks from arising, while adopting effective measures to address and resolve those that do arise. We must be fully prepared and make proactive strategic moves to convert danger into safety and adversity into opportunity.

Party committees and governments at all levels must pursue a holistic approach to national security and work to meet the requirements set out by the CPC Central Committee for political security in our country. We should continue to consolidate and strengthen the preponderance of mainstream opinions, and intensify guidance on public opinion. At the same time we need to accelerate the establishment of a system for integrated internet management to promote a law-based cyberspace. Priority should be given to improving the system of political education for young people with updated content and forms, helping them foster a sound outlook on the world, life and values, and building up their confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of Chinese socialism so as to ensure that new generations are well prepared to carry forward the socialist cause.

China's economy is doing well on the whole, while facing profound and complicated changes in the international and domestic environment. It is inevitable that we will encounter challenges in pushing ahead with supply-side structural reform. Despite some new and worrisome developments amid steady economic growth, it is essential for us to maintain confidence in our strategies and advance the economy in the right direction, while remaining alert and ready to identify and address potential major economic risks with appropriate measures. All provincial authorities and central departments should strike a balance between maintaining steady growth and defusing risks, and in doing so we must keep a proper pace and intensity. It is necessary to implement a long-term mechanism for promoting the steady and sound development of the real estate market. We should strengthen market psychological analysis, improve evaluations of the impact of new policies on the financial market, and better guide public expectations. Market monitoring and regulatory coordination should be enhanced to eliminate risks promptly. We should take concrete measures to make financing easier and more affordable for medium-sized, small and micro businesses, intensify our efforts to help enterprises in stabilizing employment, and put into practice the policy of giving high priority to employment. Greater efforts are needed to speed up the disposal of zombie enterprises and facilitate the redeployment of their employees, so as to unleash untapped resources and move faster towards a balanced market. All provincial authorities and central departments should take effective steps to stabilize employment, financial markets, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and public expectations, and keep economic growth within a reasonable range.

Security in the field of science and technology constitutes a critical component of national security. We need to enhance our systems and capacity in this area. In order to achieve higher overall efficiency, the national innovation system should be improved to avoid duplicated resource allocation, to integrate dispersed research efforts, to clearly define the functions of innovative participants, and to solve other major problems. We should reinforce the systems and mechanisms for innovation by overcoming weaknesses. It is imperative to improve strategic analysis and adopt forward-looking plans for innovation in key areas. We should accelerate the configuration of national laboratories, restructure the system of key national laboratories, set up major innovation bases and platforms, and integrate the efforts of enterprises, universities and research institutes. We need to strengthen our overall planning for key scientific and technological programs concerning national security and overall economic and social development, and reinforce our national strategic strength in science and technology. We should accelerate the establishment of an early warning and monitoring system to ensure the security of our science and technology. We should advance legislation on artificial intelligence, gene editing, medical diagnosis, automated driving, drones, and service robots.

To maintain social stability, we should ensure the implementation of various measures for security and stability, and resolve the immediate concerns of the people. Efforts should be made in areas including employment, education, social security, medicine and health care, food safety, workplace safety, public security, and regulation of the housing market, to enhance the people's sense of gain, happiness and security. Strong and swift action should be taken to both protect the people's rights and strike hard at illegal and criminal activities. We must coordinate actions to prevent and combat crime with measures to resolve risks and maintain stability when dealing with economic cases involving large numbers of victims. We should take timely action to seize stolen property, control offenders, return the property to its owners, and provide necessary education and counseling to prevent criminal offenses. It is imperative to continue the fight against organized crime and local tyrants and keep a close watch on their sources of finance, support networks and protectors. We should focus on combining prevention and punishment and addressing both symptoms and root causes. We need to upgrade the multidimensional crime prevention and control system with the aid of information technology to maintain a strong deterrence against criminal acts and enhance the people's sense of security. Further efforts should be made to modernize social governance, carry on and develop the Fengqiao model1  in maintaining public security, and improve the social coordination mechanism for a safe and secure society, thus fundamentally enhancing our capacity to better maintain social stability.

The world is undergoing profound changes at an accelerating pace, generating more sources of instability and risk. In the face of an increasingly complex and challenging international landscape, we must give consideration to both the domestic and the international situation, and balance development and security. We need to exercise overall coordination with a focus on major issues and take effective precautions against interconnected risks. It is imperative to reinforce the protection of our country's overseas interests and ensure the safety of major projects, personnel and institutions overseas. We should improve the guarantee system for the Belt and Road Initiative to safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests, and create a sound external environment for China's reform, development and stability.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, we have made marked progress in strengthening Party discipline in a spirit of self-reform and removing serious hidden threats to our Party. However, this does not mean we can rest on our laurels. Our Party is still confronted with long-term and complex tests of its capacity to exercise governance, carry out reform and opening up, develop the market economy, and respond to external volatility. At the same time, our Party is also facing intense and severe threats, such as lack of drive, incompetence, disengagement from the people, inaction, and corruption. This conclusion is drawn from the analysis of actual conditions. All Party members must continue to strengthen their commitment to the Four Consciousnesses, the Four-sphere Confidence, and the Two Upholds. It is essential to closely follow the Central Committee in terms of thinking, political orientation, and actions, conscientiously safeguard Party solidarity and unity, strictly abide by the Party's political discipline and rules, and always maintain close ties with the people.

As the country is at a crucial stage in its efforts to achieve national rejuvenation and remove major barriers to further reform and development, it is in need of officials who forge ahead with determination and tenacity and have the courage and ability to stand firm at critical moments. We have secured a sweeping victory in the fight against corruption since the 18th CPC National Congress, but the fight has not ended and we still face grave and complex challenges. We must remain firm in our zero-tolerance attitude to corruption, never slacken our efforts, and take resolute and sustained action to win this prolonged battle.

Preventing and resolving major risks is the political responsibility of Party committees, governments and officials at all levels. We must fulfill all our responsibilities in this regard through concrete, meticulous and effective efforts. We should sharpen our awareness of risks, remain mindful and thoughtful of the broader picture, remain sensitive to development trends, and plan ahead against potential risks. To enhance our ability to resolve risks, we should be able to perceive the nature of complex phenomena, identify the key problems and their causes, make prompt decisions, and effectively solve problems by guiding and organizing the people, and by integrating all forces. Officials should strengthen theoretical cultivation by conducting in-depth studies of the tenets of Marxism, fully understanding the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and their underlying dialectical materialist worldview and methodology. We should have strategic and historical perspectives, develop creative and worst-case scenario thinking, adopt a dialectical approach and think in terms of the rule of law, so as to discover the laws behind problems, and accumulate our experience and improve our capability. It is imperative to enhance risk prevention and control mechanisms, establish mechanisms for risk analysis and assessment, risk assessment in the decision-making process, and collaboration and division of responsibility in risk prevention and control. We should take the initiative to reinforce coordination and cooperation, so that each level of leadership exercises strict supervision on the work of the next lower level to ensure implementation.

Preventing and resolving major risks requires our energetic and persevering commitment. Officials should have the courage to take on responsibilities and confront problems while retaining determination and improving their capability to solve problems. Young officials should be field-trained through participation in major programs. Leadership teams and leading officials should become more experienced and capable through practice, maintain a strong will to overcome all challenges, properly deal with every major risk, and thoroughly promote reform, development and stability.

* Main points of the speech at the opening ceremony of a study session on worst-case scenario thinking to prevent and resolve major risks, which was attended by principal officials at the provincial and ministerial level.


1  In the early 1960s, the officials and citizenry of Fengqiao Town in Zhejiang Province created the Fengqiao practice, which emphasized solving problems in situ rather than passing them up to higher authorities. The practice has developed over the intervening decades, and is now a model for promoting community-level governance and social harmony. Relying on the people, the Party committee and government devote their efforts to preventing disputes and solving problems, so as to maintain social stability and promote development.

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