Giving reforms careful thought and implementing them in concert with one another
As a large country, China absolutely cannot make catastrophic mistakes on fundamental issues. If it does, they may be irreversible and irreparable. Comprehensively driving the reform to a deeper level involves a wide range of areas, and is a systemic project. China must persevere with making its reforms comprehensive and proceed with extreme caution.
As reform and opening up deepens, the interconnectedness of and interplay between reform and opening up initiatives increase significantly, naturally China is encountering more and more resistance. This requires it to pay more attention to the mutual reinforcement and positive interplay of all reforms and carry them out in a coordinated manner.
Giving reforms careful thought means formulating a top-level design and an integrated plan for comprehensively deepening them; working out its strategic objectives, strategic focus, priorities, main directions to push ahead, work mechanisms, and ways to propel it forward; and laying out an integrated program, roadmap, and timetable for reform on the basis of thorough research and investigation. It also means drawing up an overall plan for economic, political, cultural, social and ecological systems; better examining how different reforms are interrelated; and striving to ensure that the whole and the individual parts are coordinated, both symptoms and root causes are addressed, and steady progress and breakthroughs promote each other.
Implementing reforms in concert with one another means better coordinating reform measures. China’s reform has always been comprehensive. It is wrong to say that it lags behind in political systems and other areas. It is true that reforms have proceeded more quickly or slowly in certain respects or at particular times, but on the whole, there is no such thing that reform is occurring in some areas but not in others. The question is what to change and what not to change. Certain things that aren’t being changed and can’t be changed will never be changed, but this does not mean we are not reforming.
It needs both to be bold in reform and take sure steps. Before being introduced, policies and measures must be subjected to repeated debate and careful evaluation to ensure that they are practical and effective and can stand the test of time. At the same time, once China is sure what reforms are required, it should proceed with firmness of purpose and strive for results as soon as possible. For reforms that have broad ramifications, China should carry out related reforms alongside them in concert.