Eighth, we made progress in building a rule of law government and pursuing innovation in governance and ensured social harmony and stability.
We submitted 18 legislative proposals to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for deliberation, and formulated or revised 37 sets of administrative regulations. We reformed and adjusted the composition and responsibilities of government bodies. The State Council conducted major accountability inspections to ensure the implementation of reform and development policies and plans. We made full use the role of auditing in oversight.
We reformed and improved urban and rural governance at the primary level. New approaches were adopted to address public complaints. We reformed and strengthened emergency management, responded swiftly and effectively to major natural disasters, and achieved a continued reduction in both the total number of workplace accidents and the number of serious and major accidents.
We strengthened oversight over food and drug safety and investigated and took stern action in defective vaccines cases like that involving Changchun Changsheng.
We improved the national security system. We strengthened comprehensive measures to maintain law and order, launched a campaign to combat organized crime and root out local mafia, and cracked down on crime and other legal violations in accordance with law. Further headway was made in carrying out the Peaceful China initiative.
We fully implemented the Party Central Committee’s strategic decision on enforcing full and strict discipline over the Party, and intensified efforts to improve Party conduct and build a clean government. We moved to ensure that all Party members, on a regular and institutionalized basis, work to gain a good command of the Party Constitution, Party regulations, and General Secretary Xi Jinping’s policy addresses and to meet Party standards.
We acted in strict accordance with the central Party leadership’s eight-point decision on conduct and the rules for its implementation. We took stern action against formalities performed for formalities’ sake, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance. Activities of various types in violation of laws or regulations were severely punished or prosecuted. Steps were taken to bring the corrupt to justice, and the fight against corruption was a resounding success.
Over the past year, we attained new achievements in pursuing diplomacy with our own characteristics as a major country. We successfully hosted major diplomatic events such as the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, the Qingdao Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders visited many countries and attended major international events, including the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, the G20 Leaders Summit, the BRICS Leaders Meeting, the Asia-Europe Meeting, and the East Asian leaders’ meetings on cooperation.
China’s relations with other major countries remained generally stable, our relations with neighboring countries saw all-round growth, and our bond of unity and cooperation with other developing countries grew stronger.
We promoted the development of a new type of international relations and a human community with a shared future, and resolutely protected China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests. Our pursuit of economic diplomacy and cultural and people-to-people exchanges yielded rich fruit. China endeavored to promote world peace and development and made important contributions recognized around the world.
We owe our achievements of the past year to the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, to the sound guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and to the concerted efforts of the Party, the military, and the people of all ethnic groups in China. On behalf of the State Council, I express sincere thanks to the people of all our ethnic groups, and to all other political parties, people’s organizations, and public figures from all sectors of society. I express sincere appreciation to our fellow countrymen and women in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, in Taiwan, and overseas. I also express our sincere gratitude to the governments of other countries, international organizations, and friends from all over the world who have shown understanding and support for China in its endeavor to achieve modernization.
Only alertness to danger will ensure safety. While fully recognizing our achievements, we must also be clear about the problems and challenges our country faces in its development.
Growth in the global economy is slowing, protectionism and unilateralism are mounting, and there are drastic fluctuations in the prices of commodities on the international market. Instability and uncertainty are visibly increasing, and externally-generated risks are on the rise.
Downward pressure on the Chinese economy continues to increase, growth in consumption is slowing, and growth in effective investment lacks momentum. The real economy faces many difficulties. The difficulties that private firms and small and micro businesses face in accessing affordable financing have not yet been effectively solved. The business environment still falls far short of market entities’ expectations.
Our capacity for innovation is not strong, and our weakness in terms of core technologies for key fields remains a salient problem. Budgetary deficits in some localities are quite large. There are still many risks and hidden dangers in the financial and other sectors. In deeply impoverished areas, we still face many difficulties in the fight against poverty. Ecological conservation and pollution prevention and control continue to be a weighty task.
There is still public dissatisfaction in many areas, such as education, healthcare, elderly care, housing, food and drug safety, and income distribution. Last year saw the occurrence of a number of public safety incidents and major workplace accidents. The lessons these incidents left us with should never be forgotten.
There is room for improvement in the work of government. Some measures and policies for reform and development have not been fully implemented. We still have a serious problem with pointless formalities and bureaucratism. Excessive and over-frequent inspections and evaluations and a focus on the superficial to the neglect of the substantive have increased the burden on officials working at the primary level. A small number of government employees lack drive. Instances of corruption still occur frequently in some sectors.
We must face the problems and challenges squarely, shoulder our responsibility, fully perform our duties, and do all we can to truly live up to people’s expectations.