Chinese and Foreign Media Focus on Chongqing Reform and Development
Chongqing undergoing reform and development attracts attention from Chinese and foreign media. On the afternoon of March 6 at Chongqing Hall of the Great Hall of the People, Chongqing delegation held a conference opening to Chinese and foreign media to review government work report. After the review conference, NPC delegate and Chongqing Municipal Party Secretary Sun Zhengcai, and NPC delegate, Deputy Secretary and Mayor Zhang Guoqing answered questions raised by journalists.
On the afternoon of March 6, Chongqing NPC Delegation Conference was open to Chinese and foreign media. In pictures above, NPC delegate and Chongqing Municipal Party Secretary Sun Zhengcai was answering questions raised by journalists.
At about 2 p.m., one hour before the beginning of the conference, journalists arrived at the Chongqing Hall of the Great Hall of the People early to get cameras ready. There were over 100 journalists from over 90 Chinese and foreign media such as People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, CCTV, CNR, Guangming Daily, Reuters, Kyodo News, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Italian Evening Post, FAZ, Russian Alpha TV, Yomiuri Shimbun and United Morning Post.
At the review conference, delegates such as Zhang Guoqing, He Ping, Yang Fan, Liao Qingxuan, Wang Haiyan, Han Jianmin, Han Deyun, Li Qiu, Li Jianchun, Shen Tiemei, Feng Yue and Guo Yonghong delivered speeches. It is generally accepted that, government work report is a down-to-earth and inspiring report for it reflects the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speeches as well as new philosophy, ideology and strategy of governing the country, summarizes achievements in a practical and realistic way, arranges work in a balanced and clear manner, and shows a spirit of reform and innovation. Based on actual facts, suggestions were made on promoting sustainable and sound development of Chongqing economy and society, consolidating poverty alleviation achievements, implementing innovation-driven development strategy, accelerating modern services, developing new rural industries, constructing ecological civilization, improving legalized social governance, optimizing public health services, developing elder care industry, prospering cultural undertakings, deepening reform in state-owned enterprises and assets, facilitating rural informationization construction, etc.
After the speeches from delegates, journalists hurried to raise hands and ask questions. Sun Zhengcai welcomed their interview and said, “I thank you very much for your attention on Chongqing, and I hope you will support Chongqing’s development as always and together we push all the undertakings in Chongqing forward.”
The first question was from CCTV journalist: “Last year, General Secretary Xi Jinping held the Symposium on Development in Yangtze River Economic Zone in Chongqing. So what work did Chongqing mainly do concerning development in Yangtze River Economic Zone and what is the result?”
Sun Zhengcai said, since the 18th CPC National Congress, the central government led by General Secretary Xi Jinping has focused on optimizing regional development pattern and carrying opening-up policy forward, implemented three national strategies of “Belt and Road” initiative, collaborated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei and development of Yangtze River Economic Zone, highlighted connection between land and sea, interconnection among the eastern, middle and western China, and coordinated development of domestic and international development, created new supporting zone of national development, and built a new coordinated regional development pattern. Among them, “Belt and Road” initiative and development of Yangtze River Economic Zone are closely related to Chongqing. We comprehensively implemented decisions and arrangements of central government as well as instructions and requirements of General Secretary Xi Jinping, focused on Chongqing strategic positioning, clarified functional requirements, optimized spacial layout, perfected work mechanism, gave priority to ecology, practically participated and served “Belt and Road” initiative and development of Yangtze River Economic Zone. We planned, implemented and promoted the development as a whole. First, we focused on the strategic positioning of making Chongqing the significant support of develop-the-west strategy and connection of “Belt and Road” initiative and Yangtze River Economic Zone, took five development concepts as guidance, implemented five functional region development strategy, promoted featured, differentiated, interactive, coordinated and integrated development to develop characteristic functional regions with shared prosperity. Second, we gave priority to ecology, highlighted environmental protection with green development, strove for better production, living and ecology spaces, advanced five environmental protection actions of “blue sky, clean water, no noise, green land, sound fields”, guarded the important ecological shelter zone at the upper reach of Yangtze River, sped up the construction of a beautiful and scenic city, made Chongqing a place with picturesque scenery. We held on to three bottom lines: The water in Chongqing section of Yangtze River shall never flow out worse than that flows in, the air quality in main urban area shall be good for about 300 days, no environmental protection events shall occur. Third, based on the golden waterway of Yangtze River, we promoted the interconnection of infrastructures, created vital hub to connect “Belt and Road” and Yangtze River Economic Zone. Fourth, we built modern industry system with multi-point support by taking supply-side structural reform as the main task. Fifth, we improved opening-up platforms, channels, custom clearance systems, promoted the construction of Chongqing Pilot Free Trade Zone and the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity, constructed Chongqing an inland opening-up city with high level.
In answering the question of how Chongqing promoted supply-side structural reform from journalist of Economic Daily, Sun Zhengcai said, to promote supply-side structural reform, we should understand it better, find the right way and implement the work vigorously. The new normal of economic development is the most characteristic feature, most important situation and most reasonable logic for the time being and for the future. For Chongqing, economy generally goes well, but it also confronts with some paradoxes and problems. These problems are basically about structure and mainly reflect in supply side, and they can be better understood from the perspective of differentiation. Regional differentiation is based on structural transformation, industry differentiation on market supply and demand, corporate differentiation on reform and innovation. So adapting to, understanding and leading new normal of economic development and promoting structural adjustment and dynamic transformation shall be led by five development concepts and guided by the main task of promoting supply-side structural reform, and proper enlargement of total demand shall be needed. In recent years, Chongqing earnestly implemented decisions and arrangements of central government, focused on following aspects during the supply-side structural reform: aim at the market; start from supply-side; strengthen structural reform; highlight substantial economy, optimize economic structure, transfer development dynamic, improve development quality and efficiency; coordinate urban, rural, region, “agriculture, farmer, rural area” and urbanization development, etc. It implemented “1+4+X” work program based on the actual situation, adjusted stock, optimized increment, increased effective supply; made targeted decisions, actively made reduction, reduced non-effective supply; issued Advice on Further Implementing Enterprise-related Policies to Boost Stable Economic Development aiming to reduce burdens and costs, increase efficiency and improve corporate competitiveness; optimized system supply, developed new dynamic, improved weak links of economy and society; highlighted de-leverage, controlled risks, etc., generally achieved excellent results. Next, we will seek improvement in stability, adopt new development concepts, make accurate and practical reform; coordinate the relations between adjusting stock and optimizing increments, highlight technological innovation, transform and improve traditional industry, develop strategic emerging industry, increase effective supply; focus on system supply, highlight the development led by reform and supported by opening-up, reduce system cost, improve resource element allocation efficiency, adjust unbalanced supply-demand structure; coordinate the development of urban and rural areas, implement five functional region development strategy, strengthen system innovation, realize regional development differentiation, optimization of resource utilization and maximization of overall functions.
The journalist from Hong Kong Ta Kung Pao asked: “What did you care most and worry most among all the work in Chongqing economic and social development?” Sun Zhengcai said, since the 18th CPC National Congress, Chongqing has implemented the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speeches as well as new philosophy, ideology and strategy of governing the country, promoted the overall layout of “five-in-one” and coordinated the strategic layout of “four comprehensive development”, adhered to the principles that development is the priority, people’s livelihood is the most important goal, stability is the major responsibility and governing the Party strictly is basic assurance, cleared the development ideas, corrected work attitude. We were united and practical, all the work achieved excellent results. Based on the actual situation of Chongqing, I cared two aspects in economy and society: development and people’s livelihood. Development is the priority and the key to solve all our questions. In recent years, Chongqing maintained good development momentum, both quality and efficiency of development were improved. Innovation is the major dynamic leading development, innovation guarantees development and future. Innovation-driven development shall never be delayed and slow, we shall seize every minute and persist. During economic and social development, we shall lay the foundation of development on innovation, promote overall innovation with technological innovation at its core, advance open and cooperated innovation, strengthen the dominate role of enterprises, and make breakthroughs in developing new dynamic, expanding new development space, constructing new industrial system, perfecting new development mechanism, etc.
As for people’s livelihood, Sun Zhengcai said, over the past few years, we not only improved overall level of people’s livelihood, but also continuously carried out key practical work, accurately and practically solved some problems concerning people’s livelihood. Protecting and improving people’s livelihood is never ending, we will persist on carrying out practical work of people’s livelihood and increase people’s senses of happiness and gain in accordance with the principle of “five persistence”. What I care most in people’s livelihood is how to alleviate the poverty of rural poor mass. Since I came to work in Chongqinq, I have paid dozens of visits to poor areas to do research, especially Wuling mountainous area and Qinling-Daba mountainous area. Some are still poor in developing production and live a hard life. I feel heavy-hearted whenever I see and think about these. We insisted on taking anti-poverty and development as the “most important project of people’s livelihood”, issued the policy system of “1+1+13”, ably advanced accurate poverty alleviation. As a result, Chongqing poverty occurrence rate was reduced to 1.1% and re-poverty-stricken rate to approximately 0.5%. Currently, Chongqing still has 206,000 poor people. We are devoting greater efforts, striving to basically accomplish rural poverty alleviation this year and finish it in 2018. Meanwhile, we will safeguard poverty alleviation achievements, establish sound and long-term mechanism, to achieve a well-off rural society in Chongqing.
In answering the question of how will Chongqing paint a new inland opening-up picture raised by the journalist from China Daily, Zhang Guoqing said, Chongqing closely adhered to the strategic positioning instructed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, planned for its own development and opening-up. We will give full play to the advantage that Chongqing is located at the connection of Yangtze River Economic Zone, Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe International Railway and Chongqing-Kunming Pan-Asia Railway, establish inland international logistics hub; accelerate the construction of radiated high-speed rail network, improve infrastructures such as highway system, develop multi-modal transport, open new international air routes, further complete cluster and radiation functions; speed up the construction of three opening-up and operation platforms of airport, railway port and inland port combining hub function, bonded function and port function to improve carrying capacity; maximize the opening-up functions of system innovation platform and policy innovation platform (Pilot Free Trade Zone and China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity) and combine development of the two; meanwhile, construct highway International Logistics Passage and International Data Passage. In the future, Chongqing will witness the situation of better inland opening-up functions, congregate opening-up conditions and new industry types. It will turn the advantages of opening-up into dynamic of economic development.
Zhang Guoqing also answered the question on investment in Chongqing raised by the journalist from Outlook Weekly. He said that the positioning of Chongqing instructed by the central government and the development stage and geographical characteristics of Chongqing decided its great, realistic and urgent needs of investment. To build a national center city, an inland international logistics hub and an important inland opening-up city, its corresponding infrastructure shall follow up. Large amounts of investment are in need to coordinate urban and rural development and close the gap between urban and rural areas. Chongqing features large stretches of mountains and water and complicated terrain and relief, so the costs of achieving interconnection and infrastructure construction are very high. Investment rate varies with different development positioning, development stage, geological characteristics, investment structure and investment source of a region. Actually in 2016, Chongqing investment accounted for 90.7% of GDP, ranking 16 among 20 middle and western Chinese provinces, municipalities and cities, relatively low in investment rate. In recent years, investment contributed about 51% to the economic growth of Chongqing, slightly higher than consumption contribution of 47.2%, and it shows a decreasing trend. It indicates that Chongqing economy never excessively relies on investment. As for investment structure, in 2016, the infrastructure investment accounted for 32.6%, industry investment for 32.6%, real estate investment for 21.5%, other investment for 13.3%, the structure is reasonable; as for investment source, private investment increased 11% last year, accounting for about 51% of the whole investment, which indicated a positive prediction of social assets on the development prospects of Chongqing.
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