President Xi calls for advancing infrastructure development

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, chairman of the Central Military Commission, and director of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs (CCFEA), presided over the 11th meeting of the CCFEA on Tuesday to discuss matters on comprehensively advancing infrastructure development and implementing decisions and plans made by the CCFEA since the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017.

Infrastructure is the bedrock for economic and social development. It is essential to coordinate development and security and optimize the layout, structure, function and development mode of infrastructure to develop a modern infrastructure system, thus laying a solid foundation for fully building a modern socialist country, Xi stressed.

The CCFEA is an important institution for the CPC Central Committee to exercise leadership over economic work. All regions and departments must fully understand the commission’s decisions and plans and take concerted efforts to put them into practice.

Premier Li Keqiang, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, and deputy director of the CCFEA, Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and also a member of the CCFEA, Vice Premier Han Zheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, and also a member of the CCFEA, attended the meeting.

The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Water Resources delivered reports on advancing infrastructure development.

The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Emergency Management and the People’s Bank of China delivered reports on the implementation of the CCFEA’s decisions and plans since 2017.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, China has made a series of world leading achievements in major sci-tech facilities, water conservancy projects, transportation hubs, information infrastructure and national strategic reserves, witnessing leapfrog progress in its overall infrastructure development, according to the meeting. But it’s important to note that China’s infrastructure development still falls short of the needs of the national development and security. Advancing infrastructure development is of great significance to ensuring national security, facilitating economic flows, promoting positive interplay between domestic circulation and international circulation, expanding domestic demand and promoting high-quality development.

The commission stressed that at present and for some time to come, we must stick to the people-centered development philosophy and stay focused on solving problems and achieving goals. We also need to balance development and security imperatives, ensure systematic planning and overall coordination, and shore up weak links in a targeted way. It called for improving the layout, structure, function and development mode of infrastructure, and mobilizing all of society to build a modern infrastructure network, which should ensure not only economic benefits, but also social, ecological and security benefits. All these will serve major national strategies, support economic and social development and lay a solid foundation for building a modern socialist country in all respects.

The commission underlined the need to stay future-oriented while advancing infrastructure development. We will increase support for development and protection of territorial space, distribution of productive forces and major national strategies, and speed up the construction of new types of infrastructure while upgrading traditional ones.

It is necessary to act proactively, it said. Plans will be made for building infrastructure that helps drive industrial development and safeguard national security, but the pace of forward planning should be kept appropriate.

Sound plans should be made. Following the new development philosophy, we will proceed from a full lifecycle perspective to balance the layout of all types of infrastructure and promote interconnectivity, shared growth through collaboration, coordination and interaction, said the commission.

A multi-pronged approach should be taken to advance infrastructure development at different levels on a categorized basis by fully leveraging the roles of government and market, central and regional authorities, as well as public and private capital.

Benefits count. We will consider economic benefits over a broad horizon, and improve the comprehensive returns of infrastructure projects throughout their entire lifecycle.

We must improve all types of networks as part of China’s infrastructure, such as those for transportation, energy and water conservancy, with a focus on increasing their interconnectivity, shoring up weak links and consolidating strong links, so as to increase their benefits, the commission noted.

We will build the framework for national integrated multidimensional transportation networks at a faster pace. We will improve the planning and construction of coastal and inland harbors and waterways to upgrade the national water transportation system.

We will develop distributed smart grids, build a series of new green, low-carbon energy bases, and improve the oil and gas pipelines quickly. We will accelerate the building of the framework and arteries of national waterways, with a focus on developing and modernizing major water sources, irrigated areas and flood detention basins.

Infrastructure for information, science and technology, and logistics industries needs to be upgraded. Plans will be made to build facilities for a new generation of supercomputing, cloud computing, AI platforms, and broadband networks. The planning and construction of major sci-tech infrastructure will be advanced. We will build comprehensive transportation hubs as well as related collection, distribution, and transportation systems. We will also formulate plans to build a host of regional, general, and freight transport airports.

Urban infrastructure will be improved to create high-quality living spaces in cities. It requires efforts to promote integrated transportation in city clusters, build convenient and highly efficient intercity rail networks, develop intra-city railways and urban rail transit systems, and build comprehensive road traffic systems. It is also important to construct underground utility tunnels in an orderly manner and develop the systems for urban flood control, drainage, as well as sewage and garbage collection and disposal. Moreover, efforts will be redoubled to build disaster prevention and mitigation infrastructure, public health emergency facilities, and smart infrastructure of road, power supply, public transportation.

Agricultural and rural infrastructure will also be improved so that modernized infrastructure will advance agricultural and rural modernization. We will improve farmland irrigation and water conservancy, build high-standard cropland, and ensure rural roads are well built, managed, maintained, and operated to upgrade rural transportation systems. We will also speed up construction of urban and rural cold-chain logistics facilities, launch large-scale water supply projects, and further build rural sewage and garbage collection and treatment facilities.

In addition, we must strengthen the national security infrastructure and move faster to enhance our ability to respond to extreme situations.

The commission stressed the need to increase support for infrastructure development. Under the unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, we will establish a coordination mechanism for major infrastructure development, to coordinate infrastructure planning and development in various sectors and regions and ensure the supply of land, sea, energy and other resources and factors of production.

To meet the financing needs for infrastructure development, we will expand long-term financing channels, increase fiscal input, and better secure the fund for the development of major national infrastructure projects. We will also standardize the public-private partnership (PPP) model to ensure its development in transparency, and guide private capital into the operation of municipal utilities.

We must pursue innovation-driven growth, increase research and development in core technologies, and make sure our infrastructure-related technologies are self-supporting and their risks are better controlled. It is necessary to cultivate a host of scientists and researchers, expand the team of skilled workers, and train a large number of outstanding engineers.

Since the 19th CPC National Congress, the CCFEA has carried out in-depth studies on a number of major issues of fundamental and far-reaching significance and provided strategic guidance, the commission noted.

To strengthen the leadership of the CPC Central Committee over economic work, we need to emphasize political guidance and adopt a holistic approach. We also need to coordinate development and security, formulate sound strategies, and advance innovation in practice and theory. Moreover, both short-term and long-term needs must be taken into account, both symptoms and root causes addressed, and all policies implemented to the letter.

The commission stressed the need to coordinate development and security and bear firmly in mind the possibility of worst scenarios. It is important to strengthen the capacity to forecast and preempt major risks and draw up feasible contingency plans and measures.

All regions and departments should grasp the essence of the commission’s decisions and plans, take on responsibilities, act proactively, and work together to put into practice these decisions and plans.

Evaluation and supervision should be tightened to properly balance efforts in all sectors so that problems will be addressed as soon as they arise. Evaluations should be based on practical results to ensure decisions and plans are fully implemented.

It is essential to appropriately guide market expectations, clarify the orientation and principles of policy, and maintain market confidence. Inspections should also be strengthened and follow-up oversight be carried out to ensure effectiveness in policy implementation.

Other members of the commission attended the meeting and leading officials of relevant central departments were also present.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s