Charting a New Path
A significant Party plenary session dedicates itself to lifting the rule of law to a new level across China
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Special> Fourth Plenary Session of 18th CPC Central Committee> News
UPDATED: October 28, 2014
Xi Calls for Rule of Law, Deepening Reforms

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called for promotion of rule of law and comprehensively deepening reform.

Xi made the remarks at the sixth meeting of the Leading Group for Overall Reform. He said reform needs rule of law as its guarantee, while rule of law needs reform.

The fourth plenary session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), held in Beijing last week, adopted decisions on "major issues concerning comprehensively advancing rule of law." In November last year, the CPC Central Committee passed a decision on comprehensively deepened reform. Xi called the two companion pieces.

At the meeting on Monday, the leading group discussed socialist consultative democracy, the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and a new type of think tank. The meeting also adopted a plan to open scientific infrastructure and large equipment to the public.

Xi called consultative democracy a great creation of the CPC and Chinese people and an unique form of democracy. He urged consensus building through broad consultation. A well functioning system of consultative democracy under CPC leadership will ensure the people remain master of the nation and live in line with the law, he said.

On the Shanghai FTZ, Xi said the lessons learned should be replicated "as soon as possible" and compared the zone to seeds cultivated from an experimental plot. "We should plant these seeds in more land so that flowers will blossom and fruits be harvested as quickly as possible," he said.

Some 12,000 firms have been established in the Shanghai FTZ since its launch in September last year. Foreign trade in Shanghai FTZ reached 747 billion yuan ($122 billion) in its first year. Several FTZs are planned in suitable places other than Shanghai.

Xi said some problems existed in distribution of resources for science and technology research that led to waste and repeated projects. He called for opening some major sci&tech infrastructure and large instruments to society at large. Intellectual resources are a nation's most important and crucial resources. The more arduous the reform, the more intellectual support is needed, he said.

Although think tanks in China have made important contributions to reform and modernization, they have not kept pace with the development of the society. China lacks think tanks with international influence and reputation, Xi said.

"A new type of think tank with Chinese characteristics is an important and pressing mission. They should focus on scientific and democratic decision making, modernization of the governing system and strengthening China's soft power," Xi told the meeting.

The think tanks should be led by the CPC and demonstrate Chinese characteristics and style. Think tanks should abide by the scientific spirit while encouraging researchers to make bold explorations. Think tanks should focus on the big picture, Xi added.

Think tanks affiliated to all departments -- Party, government, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Army, enterprises -- as well as non-governmental think tanks, should be developed in a coordinated way to form a system with clear tasks and objectives, the President said, highlighting the importance of international reputation and influence, and professionalism.

The meeting was also attended by Li Keqiang and Liu Yunshan, members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and deputy heads of the group.

Xi said rational and logical legislation was important in the interplay between reform and rule of law. Major reforms requires a legal basis and legislation which actively adapts to the needs of reform and development.

Reforms which proves effective should be written into legislation, while reform that needs to be piloted should be authorized through legal process.

Xi also called for amendment or abolition of laws and regulations that could not adapt reform, and clear interpretation of law.

Over 180 items of reform for rule of law put forward in the fourth plenary session should be put into the overall reform plan of the country, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2014)

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