Beijing, 28 April 2022 (TDI): Chinese President Xi Jinping, presided over the 11th meeting of the CCFEA. The agenda of the meeting was to discuss advancing infrastructure development and implementing plans made by the CCFEA since the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017.
The meeting was held on April 26. President Xi Jinping is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Director of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs (CCFEA), and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission.
President Xi enunciated that “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.”
The CCFEA is an essential organization for the CPC Central Committee to wield supervision over economic work. All regions and departments must completely comprehend the commission’s judgments and plans, to take concerted actions to put them into practice.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, attended the meeting. In addition, the 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 attended the event.
Likewise, Vice Premier Han Zheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, and also a member of the CCFEA, was also in attendance.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development, and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and the Ministry of Water Resources delivered reports on advancing infrastructure development.
The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the People’s Bank of China, and the Ministry of Emergency Management delivered reports on the implementation of the CCFEA’s decisions and plans since 2017.
China has made a series of world-leading achievements since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. These achievements are in water conservancy projects, major sci-tech facilities, transportation hubs, national strategic reserves, and information infrastructure.
These sectors have witnessed leapfrog progress in their overall infrastructure development. Though it’s critical to mention that China’s infrastructure growth nonetheless falls short of the needs of the national security and development.
Increasing infrastructure development is of significance to facilitating economic flows, guaranteeing national security, promoting a positive interplay between international circulation and domestic circulation, promoting high-quality development, and expanding domestic demand.
The council emphasized 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.”
The commission called for improving the structure, layout, development mode, and function of infrastructure, along with mobilizing society to build a modern infrastructure network, to ensure economic, social, ecological, and security benefits.
All these will support economic and social development, serve as major national strategies, and lay a solid foundation for creating a modern socialist country in all respects.
The Commission also underscored the need to stay future-oriented while extending infrastructure development. It was said in the meeting, “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.”
Along these lines, the Commission called for sound plans to be made. Following the new development philosophy, China will proceed from a complete lifecycle viewpoint to counterbalance the design of all kinds of infrastructure and boost interconnectivity and shared growth via cooperation, coordination, and interaction.
A multi-faceted approach should be taken to advance infrastructure development at various levels on a classified basis by completely leveraging the functions of government and market, public and private capital, as well as central and regional authorities.
The Commission surmised that benefits count. In this context, it was concluded that “China will consider economic benefits over a broad horizon, and improve the comprehensive returns of infrastructure projects throughout their entire lifecycle.”
“China 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.”
“China will build the framework for national integrated multidimensional transportation networks at a faster pace. China will improve the planning and construction of coastal and inland harbors and waterways to upgrade the national water transportation system.”
“China 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, logistics, and science and technology industries needs to be boosted. Plans will be made to build facilities for a new generation of supercomputing, AI platforms, cloud computing, and broadband networks.
The planning and construction of major sci-tech infrastructure will be advanced. China will build comprehensive transportation hubs as well as the related collection, distribution, and transportation systems. It 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, and public transportation.
Agricultural and rural infrastructure will also be improved so that modernized infrastructure will advance agricultural and rural modernization. China 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.
It will also speed up the 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, it 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, China will establish a coordination mechanism for major infrastructure development, 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, the country will expand long-term financing channels, increase fiscal input, and better secure the fund for the development of major national infrastructure projects.
China 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.
The Commission surmised that China 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 meeting deduced.
Furthermore, 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 is carried out to ensure effectiveness in policy implementation.
Other members of the Commission also attended the meeting along with the leading officials of relevant central departments.