REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE GOVERNMENT
Delivered at the First Session of the Fifteenth Beijing Municipal People’s Congress on January 24, 2018
Chen Jining, Acting Mayor of Beijing
On behalf of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, I will now report to you on the work of the government over the past five years and bring forward proposals on the work of this year, for your deliberation and approval, and for comments and suggestions from members of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
I. Review of Work over the Past Five Years
The past five years has been remarkable in the course of Beijing’s development. General-Secretary Xi Jinping made two inspection tours to Beijing and delivered important speeches, in which he made clear Beijing’s strategic positioning as the national political center, cultural center, center for international exchanges and center for scientific discovery and technological innovation. These remarks provide a clear answer to the question of “what kind of capital we are building and how to build it”. Last June, when the General-Secretary was presiding over the meeting of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, he heard the report on our progress in drafting Beijing’s master plan of development. The Beijing Municipal Master Plan (2016-2035) was then officially approved by the Party Central Committee and the State Council in September. The plan is a blueprint for the capital of our great socialist motherland, for the capital of a major country progressing toward national rejuvenation, and for a world-class metropolis that is harmonious and livable.
Thanks to the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and the direct leadership of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, as well as the support and supervision from the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress and its Standing Committee, and guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we have over the past five years pursued progress while maintaining stability, firmed up the new development philosophy, strove to realize the capital’s strategic positioning, and actively promoted the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. We have come a long way in modernizing the capital through the transfer of functions, a new growth model, better environmental management, stopgap measures, coordinated development, and livelihood improvement programs.
1. The city’s development was profoundly transformed.
We have transformed the city’s development philosophy and growth model on the basis of its strategic positioning as the capital. We attempted to build the city around its capital functions, learned to “give up” (functions) in order to “gain” (upgrading), and considered the relationship between the city’s “core” (the central space for the political function) and the “two wings” (the city sub-center and Xiong’an New Area of Hebei Province). Taking the opportunity to relieve Beijing of functions nonessential to its role as the capital, we conducted special operations to upgrade the city. We have strictly enforced the Catalogue of Prohibited and Restricted New Additional Industries, rejected a total of 18,600 applications for business registration, shut down 1,992 enterprises in general manufacturing, and relocated 594 regional wholesale markets. We have solved tough problems that were long on the agenda, such as illegal constructions, small shops operated from openings illegally cut in the wall, vending on streets and sidewalks, and poor environment of side streets and back lanes, thus making positive changes to the city’s appearance. We attempted to balance the distribution of public services such as education and medical care, and guided the relocation of certain functions in an orderly way. We have quickened the planning and construction of the city sub-center, formulated a detailed control plan for the sub-center, and made good progress in key construction projects such as the administrative office area.
2. Intermediate results were achieved in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development.
We have fully supported the planning and construction of Xiong’an New Area. We signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hebei Province, and decided on eight priority areas for cooperation and a package of initial supporting projects. We have implemented in all respects the Framework Plan for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Coordinated Development, and made breakthroughs in three priority areas, namely transport, ecological conservation and industries. Seven planned lines of the national expressway network that radiate from Beijing have seen their Beijing sections completed, and the main structure of the new airport terminal buildings has been completed. With the regional joint prevention and control mechanism for heavy air pollution in place, the air quality has been notably improved. We have added another 500,000 mu (33,333 hectares) to the Beijing-Hebei watershed protection forests, and made positive progress in the coordinated ecological planning and treatment of water bodies, such as the Yongding River. We further advanced the building of key platforms for receiving industries relocated from Beijing, advanced the pilot program for comprehensive reform of innovation mechanisms in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and the contractual value of technology transactions with Tianjin and Hebei had reached nearly 47 billion yuan since 2015. We have adopted a new social security mechanism supporting direct settlement of trans-provincial inpatient expenses, achieved mutual recognition and connection of social insurance schemes, and promoted the sharing of and cooperation in public services.
3. The innovation capacity and growth quality have been improved.
We have actively adapted to and proactively responded to the economic “new normal”, made headway with the supply-side structural reform, endeavored to build an economic structure that is based on high-end, precision and sophisticated industries, and thus ensured that, in the process of economic transformation, the capital’s economy maintained steady growth and stability. Preliminary statistics show that the city’s annual Gross Regional Product (GRP) grew by 7.1% to 2.8 trillion yuan, and general public budget revenue increased by 10.4% to 543.08 billion yuan, with the tertiary industry accounting for 80.6%. Energy consumption, water consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per 10,000 yuan of GRP dropped by 22.5%, 22% and 28.2% respectively. Beijing ranked first in the country in energy efficiency. We have implemented the general plan for building Beijing into a national center for scientific discovery and technology innovation, and accelerated the building of “three science parks plus one area” as major innovation platforms. We have enabled Zhongguancun National Innovation Demonstration Zone to play a lead role, and pioneered a series of pilot policies, which led to the birth of a number of major breakthroughs and innovative enterprises . The total revenue of enterprises above designated size in the Demonstration Zone exceeded five trillion yuan, doubling over that of 2012. We have implemented the “Made in China 2025” Beijing Platform for Action, released guidelines for the development of ten high-end, precision and sophisticated industries, such as the new-generation IT industry, and adopted a package of supporting policies including fiscal, land use, and talent policies. A favorable atmosphere for such industries to grow has been fostered throughout the city.
4. New breakthroughs were made in reform and opening-up.
We have firmly implemented the Party Central Committee’s decisions on deepening reform in all fields, used opening to press for reform, and used reform to accelerate development. We have further streamlined administration, delegated power, innovated in regulation and improved government services. We have eliminated 1,065 administrative approval procedures, which equals 68% of the total; and abolished 206 administrative certifications of all kinds. We have seen tangible results in reforming the company registration system, including the adoption of the “license first” policy ; and 26 measures have been launched for improving business environment. We have made several breakthroughs in the economic field, and the pilot reform of replacing business tax with value-added tax in the service sector has been carried out in full swing. All government income and expenses have been put under fiscal budgetary management, and public-private partnership has been effectively expanded. We have adopted tiered pricing for water, electricity and gas, and reformed the ticketing system and fares for public transport. All municipal Class-I state-owned enterprises have been restructured to form a modern corporate system. The pilot program for market-based transaction of rural collectively-held commercial construction land has been going on well. We have deepened reforms in urban management and law enforcement, and established new urban management agencies at both the municipal and district levels, with the law enforcement power delegated to the sub-district and town/township levels. We have established, through restructuring, the Beijing Municipal Commission on Health and Family Planning and the Beijing Municipal Commission on Urban Planning and Land Resources, and improved the food and drug supervision system at all three levels (the municipal, district, and sub-district/town levels). We have endeavored to push through the reform of separating drug prescription from dispensing, and 3,700-plus medical institutions have abolished pharmaceutical markups. We introduced the Sunshine medicine purchase program, and initiated the first round of medical service pricing adjustment. These have enabled significant breakthroughs in ending the practice of hospitals funding their operations with profits from overpriced drugs.
We became the first in the country to run the comprehensive pilot program of opening up the service sector, and Beijing’s openness has reached a new level. We actualized 24.33 billion US dollars of foreign investment in 2017—ranking first in China. The service sector accounted for over 90% of the foreign capital used. We have facilitated the transformation and upgrading of foreign trade and Beijing’s trade in services accounted for 1/5 of the country’s total. We have actively supported and provided service for the Belt and Road Initiative. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund have both headquartered in Beijing.
5. More effort was devoted to alleviating “big city syndromes”.
We have implemented the Clean Air Action Plan. Environmental protection inspections have been effective.
Responsibilities to control pollution have been devolved to each level of government. Annual coal consumption has been cut from 22.7 million tons to less than six million tons. We have taken 2.167 million obsolete or worn-out automobiles off the road, and closed and rectified 11,000 “scattered, disorderly and polluting” enterprises. We have kept the annual average level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration at around 58μg/m3, and successfully completed the phase-one national air pollution control initiative. We have continued our operations to ease traffic congestion, and increased 166 kilometers of rail transit lines, making the total mileage in operation 608 kilometers. We have increased the length of bus lanes to 907 kilometers, completed construction of 114 collector roads in the six urban districts, improved 240 frequently congested or chaotic road sections , regulated the bicycle sharing market, and the ratio of green commuting reached 72% in downtown. We have carried through the “River Chief” system and two rounds of three-year action plan for constructing sewage treatment facilities. Sewage treatment rate has been raised to 92%, and the annual use of recycled water amounted to 1.05 billion cubic meters. We prioritized water conservation in water management and utilized water from the South-North Water Diversion Project in a safe and efficient manner. The water storage in Miyun Reservoir surpassed two billion cubic meters. We have implemented a three-year action plan for constructing waste disposal facilities. The daily household waste disposal capacity has been raised to 24,000 tons, and the recycling rate to 57%. We have taken measures to improve rural living environments, and accumulatively built 1,300 “beautiful villages”. We have significantly expanded the city’s eco-space, over-fulfilled the one million mu (66,667 hectares) plain area afforestation target, added another 4,000 hectares of urban green areas, and the whole city’s forest coverage has been raised from 38.6% in 2012 to 43%.
6. Living standards were steadily improved.
We have implemented 146 projects pertinent to people’s well-being and acted on our vision of people-centered development. Urban registered unemployment rate has been kept as low as around 1.5%, and residents’ average disposable income grew 6.9% over the previous year to 57,000 yuan in 2017, at the same pace with the economic growth. Income increase for low-income rural households outpaced the average level of all rural residents for the seventh consecutive year. We have advanced the integration of basic medical care systems for urban and rural residents, unified the standards for urban and rural minimum living allowance, and thus taken the lead in the country in building an urban-rural integrated social security system. We have carried out two phases of Three-Year Pre-School Education Action Plan, and accumulatively created a total of 170,000 pre-school education places. We have deepened reform in the entrance examination system, and increased the proportion of children receiving compulsory education at near-home schools through open enrollment. We have further improved the medical service system, and fully adopted a new mechanism enabling patients to make appointments before hospital visits and be allocated a time slot for the appointment. We have implemented regulations on home-based elderly service, and established a bed-side elderly care system . We have set up 208 sub-district and town/township elderly care centers and 380 community elderly care service stations. We implemented an action plan for improving the quality of life-service industries , and expanded the 15-minute community service coverage to 87.5%. Public cultural service systems have been improved, high-quality literature and art works have kept emerging, cultural and creative industries have developed with greater vitality, and “sports for all” (non-competitive sports) have flourished. We have provided more affordable housing, by building or making available over 490,000 units of government-subsidized housing, out of which 420,000 units have been completed. We have finished renovation of 175,000 households in run-down areas and the comprehensive renovation of 50 million square meters of residential buildings in old communities, and thus improved people’s living environment. We have intensified measures on the real estate market, published the Plan of Land Earmarked for Residential Property 2017-2021, and explored the public-private joint property ownership mechanism. By the end of 2017, the price of newly built commercial properties registered zero increase for 15 consecutive months and the property resale price index dropped for eight consecutive months. The real estate market has enjoyed overall stability. We have also done solid work to help poverty-stricken populations outside of the municipality under the one-on-one support and collaborative assistance program, with 2,650 assistance projects of various kinds completed, which has greatly promoted poverty alleviation in the assisted areas.
Social harmony and stability has been maintained. We have stepped up the development of “pivotal social organizations ”, and basically realized full coverage of gridded social management. We have actively supported the military and national defense reforms, given full assistance to the armed forces based in Beijing as they end all paid public services, improved the capacity for national defense mobilization, and enhanced shuangyong-gongjian and the civil air defense; civil-military integrated development has produced fruitful results. Social programs for women, children and people with disabilities have made new headway; and work related to ethnic minorities, religion, Taiwan and overseas Chinese has been intensified. We have stepped up food and drug regulation under the “four most” standards, and redoubled our efforts to ensure workplace safety. Our work in flood prevention and disaster reduction has been proven effective, and the city’s drainage capacity has been significantly increased. We steadily pressed ahead with reforms in how complaints against law enforcement were handled, and intensified efforts to detect and defuse social tensions. We have extensively involved the pubic in keeping Beijing safe, and developed several “brands” of participation that highlighted the unique approaches taken by different districts. We have improved our counter-terrorism capability through “six measures” . We have upgraded our public security precaution and control system, deepened reforms and innovation in community-level policing, cracked down on all illegal and criminal activities in accordance with law, and thus maintained harmony and stability of the capital.
Thanks to the close attention of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and the strong support from all relevant sectors over the past five years, Beijing joined hands with Zhangjiakou of Hebei Province and successfully won the bid for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and solid progress has been made in preparations for the Games. We have devoted ourselves to the great cause of the Party and the country, constantly striven to be the best, and earnestly performed our duties as the capital. We provided services that contributed to the success of many important events, such as the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, as well as the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. We have also delivered quality services and ensured security of the 19th CPC National Congress, living up to the expectations of the Party and the people.
Our achievements in the past five years have been all-dimensional and profound. Inspiring changes have taken place in Beijing: the quality of growth has improved; the eco-environment has turned better; urban and rural landscapes have become more beautiful; and the people have a stronger “sense of benefit”. These achievements are attributable first and foremost to the strong leadership by the CPC Central Committee led by General-Secretary Xi Jinping, and the well-conceived guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. They are also the result of hard work and concerted efforts by the entire city under the leadership of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee. The achievements were not easy to come by, and must be cherished. Here, on behalf of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, I would like to express our gratitude to all people of Beijing, to deputies of the Municipal People’s Congress and members of the CPPCC Beijing Municipal Committee, to the non-ruling parties, to people’s organizations and personages from all sectors of society, to all CPC central organs and central government departments, to other municipalities, provinces, and autonomous regions, to officers as well as rank-and-file members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Armed Police Force based in Beijing, and to our fellow countrymen and women in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and to overseas Chinese and international friends who have cared for and given support to the capital’s development.
We are keenly aware that our society’s principal contradiction has changed. In light of the mandates of Beijing as the capital, the targets set forth in the updated Municipal Master Plan, and people’s growing aspirations for a better life, we still face many challenges in our development and have much room for improvement in our work. There remain high tensions between the population size and available resources and the environment capacity. “Big city syndromes” remain acute, and therefore require the adoption of refined and professional management. Beijing, as the national center for scientific discovery and technological innovation, needs to play a better role in supporting and driving high-quality growth. Development between urban and rural areas and between different regions of Beijing remains uncoordinated; public services and facilities still fall short of people’s needs. The open-up and development is losing dynamism, as our capability and environment for international services is inadequate. Public security in the city is no cause for optimism; the November 18th tragic fire blitz has taught us a bitter lesson and still leaves our hearts aching. People still complain about the difficulty in getting things done at government agencies, which means we must improve our competency and accessibility. Faced with these problems, we must remain cool-headed and confront them head on. We must resolve them in our future work as they are our duty to the people.