by Xinhua writer Cheng Yunjie
BEIJING, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The choice of south China's Guangdong province as the site of pilot reforms designed to streamline the country's administrative examination and approval system indicates that the Chinese government has doubled its efforts to reform itself in the face of potential growth plateaus.
With its per capita gross domestic product hitting 7,000 U.S. dollars a year, Guangdong is one of a few developed Chinese regions facing the middle income trap.
Rising wages have destroyed the province's low labor cost advantage, making it less competitive with advance economies producing high-value products and undeveloped economies with low production costs. It is hoped that the reforms being put in place there will keep the province's development on track.
However, the province's performance under current conditions will act as a weathervane for the entire country's future development.
The State Council, or China's cabinet, said Wednesday that the reforms being put in place in Guangdong are urgently needed. The council has asked Guangdong to optimize its investment, fiscal, financial and social management mechanisms alongside its administrative reforms in order to clarify the limits of administrative power.
On the same day, the State Council decided to remove or modify 314 administrative examination and approval items, adding the total of administrative approval items rescinded or adjusted to 2,497, accounting for 69.3 percent of the total in 2001, when administrative approval reforms began.
The council has also asked government departments to refrain from interfering in areas that citizens, corporations or organizations are capable of handling themselves, choosing instead to focus on providing public services, thus shrinking the overall size of the government.
The significance of the administrative approval reforms cannot be underestimated, as they form a crucial part of China's political reforms. The reforms will act as a catalyst to remove bureaucratic impediments, improve efficiency and inspire society to act on its own.
The State Council has given government departments a deadline to examine their administrative approval items against the Law of Administrative Permission. It has also forbidden government departments from creating new approval items that go against laws and regulations, making it compulsory to have the legality, necessity and rationality of all new items examined.
These tougher measures demonstrate the central government's resolution to build a law-based and public service-oriented government. If government departments or leading officials are allowed to place their will above the law, the public's interest will be endangered.
China's governing party, the Communist Party of China, has made governing for the good of the people its goal. By reforming itself in accordance with the demands of the public, the government can better implement the goals of the Party.
If the Chinese can achieve sustained development through steady reform, their success will be an inspiration to the world at large.