Dameisha Forum/Forum Opinions/Address at the Third Dameisha China Innovation Forum

Address at the Third Dameisha China Innovation Forum

Author: Source: Date:2017-09-01
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
Good morning!

With the support of distinguished guests and friends, Dameisha China Innovation Forum has been successfully held for two sessions and has a great impact at home and abroad. Today, on the beautiful Dameisha beach, we once again welcome our guests and friends to the third Dameisha Forum. On behalf of the Shenzhen Innovation and Development Institute (SZIDI), I would like to express my warm welcome and sincere gratitude to all the distinguished guests and friends for your presence.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends, the Dameisha Forum is a legacy of times. It was born in response to the needs of the deepening of comprehensive reform in this new era, and gradually matures with the continuous deepening of the reform. Three years ago, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) made the Decision on Some Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening the Reform, setting the overall goal of “improving and developing the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, promoting the modernization of state governance system and governance capacity”, sketching the grand blueprint of reforms in major sectors like economy, politics, culture, society, ecological civilization, and Party building. The decision made at the Third Plenary Session of the Eighteenth CPC Central Committee is the most important component of the state governance strategy of the Party Central Committee under the leadership of Comrade Xi Jinping. It is the top-level design of the deepening of comprehensive reform in the future, so that our country embarks on a new journey of fully deepening the reform based on the Reform and Opening-up policy initiated by Deng Xiaoping three decades ago.

Born as the vanguard of the Reform and Opening-up era, Shenzhen Innovation and Development Institute (SZIDI) decided to set up Dameisha China Innovation Forum with reference to the CPC Central Committee’s requirements stated in the “Opinions on Strengthening the Construction of New-Type Think Tanks with Chinese Characteristics”, in order to take an active role as a public think tank in the national reform and innovation, and fulfil the social responsibilities as a public think tank. Under the general direction of “improving and developing the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, promoting the modernization of state governance system and governance capacity”, Dameisha Forum focuses on the new course of action of the comprehensively deepening reform in the new era based on rationality, openness and innovation. Over the past three years, Dameisha Forum has invited hundreds of experts, scholars and parties from every sector, at home and abroad, to offer valuable advices on the comprehensively deepening reform. It has received extensive attention from the Party and the government and all walks of life. Dameisha Forum has become one of the most influential forums in China’s reform and innovation field.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends, three years have passed, and China’s comprehensive deepening reform has undergone major changes. After three years of efforts, the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms held 28 meetings and adopted 172 programs and opinions, covering various fields such as economy, politics, society, culture, ecology and Party building. The State Council also issued a series of specific reform proposals and opinions on streamlining administration and power delegation, as well as supply-side structural reform. The overall design, the plan, and the construction design of the comprehensively deepening reform have mostly been completed. Landmark and pillar reform missions have been introduced, and the overwhelming majority of reforms programs have been launched. Reforms in some areas – such as anti-corruption, Party building, and streamlining administration and power delegation – have achieved substantial achievements. It can be said that the comprehensive deepening reform in the new era has moved from the top-level design to the peak period of extensive construction.

Amid the acknowledgement of the achievements of various reforms, we must also be aware of the adjustment in power and interests structure in different areas under comprehensively deepening reform in the new era, as it touches upon many deep-seated stakeholders and conflicts. Currently, the reform remains in the deep water zone where tough challenges must be met, and there is still a long way to go before reaching the reform goals. There are still a series of difficulties emerging from the comprehensively deepening reform. For example:
The relationship between the government and the market in the structural reform of the economy has yet been untangled. The decisive role of the market in resources allocation has not been established. Some government agencies remains to employ administrative and traditional means to work out the problems of economic and social development;
Substantive work on supply-side structural reform has just been commenced. Arduous tasks of“cutting over-capacity, de-stocking, de-leveraging, reducing cost and shoring up weak spots” await;
Reforms in certain important areas and crucial segments, such as SOE reform, judicial reform, rural land system reform, electricity system reform, public hospitals and healthcare system reform, etc. are still in the stage of pilot programs and exploration;
Vital reforms in the financial sector also need breakthroughs; asset, real estate, and debt bubble await solutions, and systemic financial risks continue to exist;
On streamlining administration and delegation of power, some local state agencies have rolled out the reforms unevenly despite the State Council’s great efforts. The reform of streamlining administration and power delegation in a few localities has just been barely carried out. Reforms launched by the Central Government and the State Council in areas such as the household registration system (hukou), education, ecological civilization and culture, observe no substantial results and receive no recognition from the general public. It is perhaps due to the low intensity of program design, or the influence of vested interests of the government agencies in the reform.
Certain reforms in specific sectors made by some government agencies have gone wrong, causing great losses for the country and society, to name just a few.

Reform is like sailing upstream where both no progress and a little progress mean regress. There is still a long way to go before achieving the goal of “By 2020, decisive results will have been achieved in the reform of important areas and crucial segments. The reform tasks put forward in this Decision are to be completed within this period, and institutions and systems that are structurally complete, scientifically standardized and effective in operation are to be formed, to ensure that institutions in all areas become more mature and complete”, as proposed during the Third Plenary Session of the Eighteenth CPC Central Committee.

During the recent G20 Summit, CPC Secretary General Mr. Xi Jinping pointed out: “Reform is crucial to maintaining medium-high rate of growth under the new normal. Sticking to convention will get us nowhere. Fear to advance will only result in losing the opportunity.” “China’s reform has entered the deep water zone where tough challenges must be met. We have the resolve to make painful self-adjustments and tackle problems that that have built up over many years, particularly underlying issues and entrenched interests and carry reform through to the end.”

To carry reform through to the end, with the practical experiences in national reform over the past three years, the Central Government and various departments under the State Council serve as the critical forces of pushing for the reform and their exercise of power are required. But merely relying on the influence of these departments is far from enough and prone to top-down, closed-door design or operations, as well as biased self-assessment and self-admiration taking place in government agencies. For this reason, we must channel the enthusiasm of the localities, grass-roots organizations and every sector of the society to the founding of a communication mechanism, featuring an adequate level of expression among stakeholders, turning the reform into a consensus among the entire society; we must assemble all positive elements and strive to turn negative elements into positive ones, such that the entire society can actively participate in the reform and contribute their wisdom to the reform agenda, and strengthen implementation process of the reform. In this way, the forces gathered for the reform will converge into a community with shared destiny and shared interests.

Dear Guests and Friends, the great practice of China’s comprehensive deepening of reform has provided a broad stage for the community of theorists as well as experts from different fields to contribute their wisdom and strength. Built upon the purpose of advancing reform and innovation, We (SZIDI) – based on the decision of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee on comprehensively deepening the reform – will continue to host the Dameisha Forum with a keen focus on the modernization of state governance and the ambitious development goals of “the 13th Five-Year Plan”. The theme of Third Dameisha Forum is “Innovation and The Thirteenth Five-Year Plan”. Apart from the overarching and integrated sub-forums related to reform and development, such as China’s Reform forum, China Economist forum, and China’s Economy and Global Views forum, the Third Dameisha Forum also features the 7 specialized sub-forums focusing on key areas and segments of the comprehensively deepening reform, including Reform and Development of SOEs forum, Financial Reform forum, Innovations in Science and Technology forum, and China’s Education Reform forum, as well as two nightcap talks—“Media Leadership Dialogue” and “International Think Tank Dialogue”. At this year’s Dameisha Forum, a total of more than 150 domestic and foreign experts and scholars in various fields are invited to have extensive discussions on the aforementioned topics in these sub-forums. I sincerely hope that all distinguished guests and friends share your insights and forge consensus for reform in the next two days, turning the Dameisha Forum into a high-level exchange platform to stimulate wider discussions on China’s reform and institutional innovation. I hope that the Forum can also contribute to the formation of a “marketplace of ideas” for China’s reform, and play a due positive role in the national reform and innovation.

Dear Guests and Friends, as an unconventional social think tank, Shenzhen Innovation and Development Institute wouldn’t be able to hold such an high-leve and large-scale forum without the support from our friends from all walks of life. Hereby, I would like to express my gratitude to the co-organizers, Peking University HSBC Business School, Tsinghua University Graduate School at Shenzhen and Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School, as well as our guests for your valuable time, and our media partners for the coverage and publicity. In addition, my thanks also go to our friends who have shown their attention, generosity, support and assistance to the Dameisha Forum!

In closing, I wish this year’s Dameisha Forum a complete success! I wish all of our distinguished guests and friends an enjoyable time at the Forum and a healthy life ahead!

Thank you!