Premier Li Keqiang (C) convenes a cabinet meeting in Beijing on July 31 regarding the revival of Northeast China. Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli participates in the meeting.[Photo/Xinhua]
Premier Li Keqiang convened a cabinet meeting on July 31 regarding the revival of Northeast China. This region includes the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang and the eastern part of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region - and it was previously at the forefront of the country’s industrialization. The meeting focused on how to tackle issues affecting the region’s economic development. Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli participated in the meeting.
Li said the Northeast is the cradle of modern China’s industry, and contributed greatly to the country’s industrialization. He also said that - more than a decade after the implementation of the strategy of revitalization of Northeast China’s traditional industrial base - the region’s economy and people’s livelihood have improved greatly.
But Li added that the region is facing new challenges. The economic growth rate has been steadily declining since last year. Production and management issues have come to light in some sectors, in addition to various deep-rooted problems.
He said General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping and other senior party leaders are very concerned about the development and revitalization of the Northeast. Li noted the Party Central Committee and the State Council have required effective measures to be taken to improve the economic development of the region.
Li stressed that development is a top priority, and the region’s abundant resources, industrial layout and talents provide huge growth potential. He urged local authorities to promote scientific development, deepen reform, expand opening up - and he also called for more innovation.
He said all resources should be deployed to tackle several major issues related to the development of the Northeast - including the implementation of specific regulations.
First, simplification of administrative approval procedures and delegation of power are required to stimulate business and create a fair market environment, especially for small companies - and private banks will also be encouraged to operate in the region. Li supported the region to pioneer in the reform of State-owned enterprises, to solve problems left over by history as soon as possible, and to push forward transformation of resource-depending cities.
Secondly, the social security system should be improved, and local governments should invest more in public facilities - such as transport, water projects and railways - and they should also focus on upgrading slum areas, old industrial zones, and independent mining areas. He also called for innovation in investment and financing - to attract more social investment.
Thirdly, the real economy should be strengthened through adjustments concerning development methods and structures. Li said local companies must attach greater importance to research and development, improve industry chains，and that priority will be given to the development of newly emerging industries and service sectors.
Li said it is important to give full play to the region’s advantages to push forward its economic development.
Firstly, the authorities should strengthen the Northeast’s capabilities in equipment manufacturing. Technological and product innovation is needed if the region is to maintain its edge - and secure its global reputation - in the sectors of high-speed trains, nuclear power and high-voltage projects.
Secondly, the Northeast should become one of the country’s leading regions in agricultural modernization. The authorities are expected to promote a comprehensive reform pilot of modern agriculture, including pushing forward operations of appropriate scales on the basis of respect for the farmers’ rights, improvements in the processing of farm products, construction of grain storage facilities, as well as measures to improve the ecological environment.
Thirdly, the authorities should further develop an open platform to Southeast Asia pioneered by coastal economic zones and border ports.
Li urged all departments to improve their services - and all officials in the Northeast to assume their responsibilities - so as to upgrade the old industrial base and achieve a successful transformation.
Vice-premiers Liu Yandong, Wang Yang and Ma Kai, State Councilor Wang Yong, and Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, Governor of the People’s Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan and Director of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission Wang Zhengwei, participated in the meeting.
Chiefs of governments of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang - and members of the State Council’s leading group on the revitalization of Northeast China and other old industrial bases - also attended the conference.