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Premier Li urges self-imposed revolution in administrative reform

Updated: Oct 8,2016 5:27 PM

The reform of streamlining administration and delegating power is the key to transforming government functions in China. Premier Li Keqiang reiterated the key words in government’s “self-revolution” and “tenacious determination” to promote the reform over the years.

Transfer some government profits to market

Premier Li asked for one-stop approval procedures through the use of one service window while visiting the citizens’ service center in Shiyan city of Hubei province on May 23, 2016.

Shiyan city has implemented the power list, responsibility list, negative list and charge list, making sure that no other approval procedures or fees are levied beyond the range of the lists.

On hearing about this, the Premier said that government departments that work at the service center should substantially transform their functions, providing more convenience for citizens and enterprises.

“Streamlining administration and delegating power to lower-level governments is about transferring certain government profits to the market,” the Premier said.

Reduce government power to benefit people

The government will speed up the transformation of government functions, streamline administration and provide more convenience to people, Premier Li said at a telecommunications conference on May 9, 2016.

Reform to streamline administration, combine power delegation with enhanced supervision and optimized services is a self-revolution for government itself, the Premier said. “The government should cut its power to benefit the people while bringing more vitality to the market and creativity to society.”

Painful adjustment for greater benefit to people

Premier Li said, “We must make persistent efforts to forge head on government reform, and wherever there is an obstacle to this reform, the government must get right on it,” in answer to a question concerning what will the government do to proceed with the reform of streamlining administration and delegating power, at a news conference after the conclusion of the national legislature’s annual session on March 16, 2016.

“The reform will cut government power, but we are determined to keep doing it until our job is done, as that will deliver clear benefits to our people, even if the government has to make painful adjustments,” the Premier said, adding that this year we are determined to further cut the number of government approval items and leave more such items to the market.

People’s needs must be handled first

People have the right to give advice on administrative reform, as they are the ones who truly experience the hardship of administrative approvals, Premier Li said during a videophone conference on streamlining administration and delegating power in Beijing on May 12, 2015.

The Premier said that people’s needs should be considered the guide, and outstanding issues should be handled first. The key tasks of the year are the reduction or elimination of more approval items, intermediary approvals, cumbersome procedures and unreasonable fees, he said.

Self-imposed reforms should proceed despite pain

At the press conference upon the conclusion of the national legislature’s annual session on March 15, 2015, Premier Li compared the government’s self-imposed reforms amid China’s economic slowdown to “cutting one’s flesh”. He said it upsets vested interests, but it’s necessary to boost the economy.

“This is a reform of the government itself. During the course of reform, the vested interests will be upset. This is not merely clipping nails. Instead, this is taking a knife to one’s own flesh. So, pain is natural. However painful it may be, we are determined to keep going until our job is done,” Premier Li said.

Loosen government grip to encourage mass innovation and entrepreneurship

At the State Council executive meeting on Dec 3, 2014, Premier Li said China must expand pilot programs for independent innovation and seek “multiplication” in social enthusiasm for innovation and entrepreneurship with the “subtraction” of government’s grip, that is, streamlining administration and delegating power.

Tenacious determination in pushing reform

In answering a Singaporean reporter’s question about China’s reform on streamlining administration and delegating power on March 17, 2013, the Premier said, “If there is power displacement of the government, then let’s bring the government’s displaced ‘hand of power’ back to the market. It is a painful self-revolution, but it is the need for development as well as the call of the people. We must have the tenacious determination in pushing the reform, and practice what we preach.”