Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that the northeastern province of Liaoning must depend on the real economy to realize rejuvenation, stressing the leading role of state-owned companies.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during a panel discussion with national lawmakers from Liaoning at the ongoing annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC).
No matter what stage China’s development is in, the real economy will always be the foundation for growth and for gaining the upper hand in global economic competition, Xi said.
Supply-side structural reform is inevitable for the revitalization of Liaoning, Xi said, urging the province to make progress in the reform and to rejuvenate the industrial sector.
The province should focus on industrial upgrades and set up an industrial system with long-lasting competitiveness, he said.
Liaoning should promote the creation of a new economic structure featuring joint development of new strategic sectors and traditional manufacturing, complementary development of modern and traditional services, integration of informatization and industrialization, as well as military and civilian integration, he said.
The province should also take firm steps to develop and strengthen state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which can lead Liaoning’s revitalization, and cultivate core competitiveness, Xi said.
SOEs should be the pioneers of innovation-driven development, he said.
Liaoning must optimize the distribution of state-owned capital, fulfill its responsibility to maintain and increase the value of state-owned assets, and avoid state asset losses and other major risks, Xi said.
The northeast, which consists of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, was among the first regions in China to become industrialized. Its traditional industries include steel, automobile, shipbuilding and petroleum refining.
China has pledged to rejuvenate the northeast rustbelt through reform and economic restructuring.
In 2016, regional GDP of Liaoning dropped 2.5 percent, compared with a 6.7-percent expansion of the national economy.
Xi also stressed the importance of a clean political ecology, saying that a “tainted” system will give rise to many problems, including greed for power, double dealing and cliques.
He called for improved intra-Party political life and selecting officials who are clean, upright and devoted to the Party and people.
Every lawmaker should be people-focused, Xi said, urging them to know the people’s lives well, pool their wisdom and address people’s concerns.
Other senior leaders also joined panel discussions with NPC deputies Tuesday.
In a panel discussion with lawmakers from Tibet Autonomous Region, Premier Li Keqiang stressed development and stability in Tibet as it is of “special importance” for China’s overall development.
Priority will be given to securing and improving people’s lives, Li said, urging efforts to enhance public services such as education, medical care and heating projects.
Under the prerequisite of strictly protecting the environment, the region should step up efforts to boost the development of tourism, clean energy and traditional medicine, Li added.
Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, said in a panel discussion with Taiwan deputies that cross-Strait relations face grimmer and more complicated conditions this year.
“We must continue to stick to the basic principle of ‘peaceful reunification; one country, two systems’ and strive for reunification with the utmost sincerity and best efforts,” Yu said. “We should adhere to the 1992 Consensus which embodies the one-China principle, resolutely oppose and contain any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities.”
Liu Yunshan, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, told deputies from Guangdong Province that it is imperative to conform to the CPC Central Committee with Xi as the core in thought and deed.
Liu said Guangdong should follow the main theme of “maintaining stability while seeking progress” to improve the quality and efficiency of economic growth and maintain economic and social stability.
Joining deputies from Hunan Province, Wang Qishan, secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, stressed the need to uphold the Party’s leadership and strengthen Party discipline.
Corruption undermines both the people’s vital interests and the Party’s reputation, and consequently erodes the foundation on which the Party rules, said Wang, calling on the whole Party to clean up bad practices and boost public confidence and trust in the CPC Central Committee.