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Seize the Opportunity to Make Reform and Innovation and Strive to Build High-end National Think Tanks

( drc.gov.cn ) 2017-08-15

Li Wei, DRC


To implement the important instructions made by General Secretary Xi Jinping on April15 and fulfill the requirements on the construction of new-type think tanks with Chinese characteristics set forth at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the Development Research Center of the State Council (hereinafter referred to as DRC) will conscientiously study the important instructions on the construction of think tanks made by General Secretary Xi Jinping, accurately grasp the connotations of and ways for providing decision-making services for the Central Government, actively explore the organizational forms and management modes of new-type think tanks with Chinese characteristics, earnestly implement the new concepts, new ideas and new strategies put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping on national governance, continuously improve the comprehensive analysis and strategic planning ability, enhance the capability and level of providing decision-making and consultant services for the Central Government, and do our utmost to build DRC into a national high-end think tank.

We will enhance our awareness of responsibility to get a better understanding of the important instructions on the construction of think tanks made by General Secretary Xi Jinping. The Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council have attached great importance to the construction of new-type think tanks with Chinese characteristics. The CPC Central Committee has issued the Guidelines on Strengthening the Construction of New-Type Think Tanks with Chinese Characteristics (hereinafter referred to as the Guidelines), indicating the direction for the construction of think tanks and relevant principles to be followed. DRC is among one of the first batch of institutions to launch the pilot projects relating to national high-end think tanks construction. We will focus our work on a par with national planning, firmly grasp the basic direction of our work in providing policy options to the Central Government, and work harder to improve the reform-and-innovation-oriented organizational management in building DRC into a high-end think-tank so as to make our contributions to the enhancement of national soft power.

We will adhere to reform and innovation, and accurately grasp the service connotations and ways in providing policy consultations to the Central Government. The Guidelines tell us that the construction of new-type think tanks with Chinese characteristics should focus research work on rendering decision-making service to the Central Government with relevant policy consultations and options, and further point out that the high-end think tanks need to take a problem-oriented approach, give prominence to the solution of hot issues and set the direction of research work through distinctive institutional innovations. In other words, high-end think tanks need to focus on policy research work and fulfill their responsibilities and tasks in providing decision-making services to the Central Government in the new era. We will implement to the letter the important instructions on the construction of think tanks made by General Secretary Xi Jinping, and accurately grasp the connotations and the ways in providing decision-making services to the Central Government with clearly-defined responsibilities and targeted measures. In 2011, DRC proposed the target of building itself into a leading think tank, and we have now become more confident to realize our above-mentioned goal after studying General Secretary Xi Jinping’s systematic instructions on the construction of new-type think tanks with Chinese characteristics made in April 2013. In view of our research work relating to the overall, strategic, forward-looking, long-term, hot and difficult issues in economic and social development, we have accumulated and enriched our experience in connection with the provision of decision-making services to the Central Government. With innovated service ways and improved service quality level, we have formed a “four-in-one” pattern in our research work, including policy research, policy evaluation, policy interpretation and higher-level international exchanges and cooperation. According to the instructions and relevant requirements made by leading members of the Central Government relating to the work of DRC, we will enhance our research work to provide more valuable policy options in a forward-looking and targeted manner, strive to improve the scientific, professional and standardized level for the evaluation of reform measures, improve the accuracy, influence and social effect of policy interpretation, raise the level and effectiveness of international exchanges and cooperation, and make efforts to build DRC into a world-class and high-end think tank so as to make better service for the Central Government. 1. DRC will focus its policy research work on central decision-making arrangements and economic and social development goals. 2. DRC will make endeavor to do well the third-party evaluation work relating to major reform tasks and the implementation of policy measures. 3. DRC will actively push forward with policy interpretation and communication work. 4. DRC will vigorously promote international cooperation and exchanges with its counterparts.

We will carry forward development and strive to innovate the organizational form and management style of the new-type think tanks with Chinese characteristics. New-type think tanks with Chinese characteristics are important carriers of the national soft power. In recent years, the domestic think tanks have developed rapidly, and their contributions and influence have been constantly increased. However, there are some "congenital" factors constraining their development, and they are facing some challenges such as heavier tasks entrusted by the Central Government to be fulfilled with strict requirement, as well as more peer-to-peer competitions. Under such a landscape, we need to make breakthroughs in terms of institutional mechanisms and explore ways to improve the internal governance structure and new operation mode so as to further integrate resources, straighten out relations and release vitality. The Guidelines also point out that the construction of think tanks should focus on improving the organizational form and management style bolstered by reform and innovation. In this regard, DRC will focus its future work on the following issues.

First, we will flesh out the quality management system, and comprehensively improve the service level in providing decision-making proposals to the Central Government. In accordance with different research tasks and results, and by taking the quality-, innovation- and practical contribution-based research findings as the benchmark, DRC will standardize evaluation methods and procedures and press ahead with management and assessment mechanism on a type-by-type basis. 1. We will establish a rapid response mechanism in fulfilling the tasks assigned by the Central Government with joint efforts and in a timely manner. We will actively undertake the national major research projects, and constantly expand the ways and scope in rendering decision-making and consulting services in all aspects. 2. We will consummate the selection mechanism of scientific research topics and co-ordinate the arrangements for major projects, key projects, bidding projects and foreign cooperation projects. 3. We will improve the performance evaluation and the examination and approval system for the improvement of research findings, establish and enhance the "three-level" examination and approval mechanism before the research findings are submitted to the Central Government, and formulate relevant regulations for the release of research results. 4. We will establish a quality-oriented incentive mechanism. With the formulated incentive system for assessing work performance, we will give rewards to outstanding achievements in policy research, interpretation and evaluation and outstanding contributors to the construction of think tanks, which not only reflects the intellectual value, but also encourage more talented people to produce more outstanding achievements, and make decision-making service for the Central Government. In recent years, many research reports containing decision-making proposals and policy options sent by DRC to the Central Government have received approval and appreciation in written form from leading members of the Central Government and the number of such reports is totaled around 200 pieces a year.

Second, we will implement the projects for the cultivation of talented personnel and enhance our ability across the board in providing decision-making proposals to the Central Government. Policy consultation rests on high-quality talents, who are the core competitiveness of think tanks. Through fostering talented personnel, we will encourage researching personnel to excel in their work. 1. We will establish a mobile employment system for talented personnel in an open and competitive manner and create a personnel management mechanism with a proper system, adequate incentives and effective constraints. 2. Through the implementation of projects for fostering talented personnel, we will cultivate a number of high-level talents for policy research, foster a team of high-level academic pacesetters, train a group of young talents with strong research ability and proper academic mindset and construct a research supporting team with strong cultural quality and professional knowledge. Every year, we plan to send eight researchers to Harvard University and the University of Cambridge for advanced study and academic exchanges as visiting scholars.

Third, we will increase input in scientific research. DRC will try to get more support from relevant departments to establish a diversified, stable and sustainable funding guarantee mechanism and will work harder to obtain financial support by way of government procurement of services. On the basis of sustained and stable government financial input, we will make an overall planning of the non-government financial funds for policy research, policy interpretation, policy evaluation, the construction of personnel team, the enhancement of software and hardware facilities, and domestic and international exchanges and cooperation. We will strive for the support from relevant departments, draw up the management system for the use of funds in line with the functions of think tanks, and improve the fund assessment system for the work of think tanks. We will use the funds according to the principle of transparency to ensure rational use of funds and effective supervision. We will carry out IT-based fund management, simplify procedures and improve efficiency, establish and improve the auditing system and strengthen the combination of normal auditing with special auditing.

Fourth, we will enforce supporting measures. DRC has actively developed and constructed the information database on the research of state development policy and collected relevant information, reports and data on policy research from various government departments, local governments and various think tanks since the launching of reform and opening up, forming a national high-end and open-oriented common sharing platform for think-tanks across the country to support the national high-end think tanks construction and render service to functional departments of the government. We have optimized the English and Chinese portal websites, research work network and China think-tank network platform, strengthened the construction of DRC digital library, increased the content of data information, raised the level of information support, enforced the application of the latest information technology, integrated related resources, made full use of emerging technologies such as big data, built professional analysis and experimental system with policy simulation, data acquisition and simulation functions, and enhanced the economic situation projection and policy effect evaluation ability.

Fifth, we will improve Party conduct in an all-round way. The Leading Party Members’ Group of DRC will earnestly fulfill the principal responsibility that the Party should supervise its own conduct and run itself according to a strict code of discipline, create a positive political environment, and work harder to provide a strong guarantee for the high-end national think-tank construction. 1. We will carry out in earnest activities to enable Party members to gain a good understanding of the Party Constitution, Party regulations and General Secretary Xi Jinping’s major policy addresses and to meet Party standards. We will earnestly study the basic principles, the new ideas and strategies for governing the country led by the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, get a better understanding of the rich connotations and essential significance of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speeches, steadily strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, uphold the leadership core and keep in alignment, and improve our service quality in providing policy-making proposals to the Central Government with Marxist epistemology and methodology. 2. We will promote the overall construction of the Party building. We will push forward with the combination of research work with Party building in all research departments, and fully implement the system relating to the regular holding of Party meetings and Party lectures on Party history and policies. 3. We will continuously improve work styles with practical measures and work scrupulously to ensure compliance with the Party Central Committee’s eight-point decisions on improving Party and government conduct and make persistent efforts to fight formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance. 4. We will strengthen the weak points in our work in a prompt manner according to the suggestions raised by the inspection team sent by the CPC Central Committee. 5. We will take targeted measures toward poverty relief projects. We have sent research teams to Daming County in Hebei Province, who have made field surveys in different towns, poor villages and poor households. Various research departments in DRC have made coordinated efforts in poverty relief work by enhancing the skills of the impoverished population through education and relevant projects and have strived for policy loans and public opinion support. DRC has made positive progress in this regard.

We will make an in-depth study of the new concepts, new principles and new strategies put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping relating to the governance of China. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, China has continuously made new achievements and unceasingly explored new frontiers of development. The fundamental reason lies in the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and the scientific guidance of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions. DRC will rally closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, forge ahead with firm confidence and determination, seek truth from facts and bring forth new ideas while keeping a just and impartial stand, make every effort to fully strengthen Party self-governance, and further promote the high-end national think tanks construction, provide high quality and high level decision-making services to the Central Government, strive to make new contributions to the realization of the two centenary goals and the fulfillment of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, and usher in the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China with more progress.