Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, September 15th: Recently, the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCP) issued the Opinion on Strengthening the United Front Work of the Private Economy in the New Era and issued a notice requiring the conscientious implementation of this document by all regions and departments in light of their actual conditions.
The content of the Opinion on Strengthening the United Front Work of the Private Economy in the New Era is as follows.
Since reform and opening up, China’s private economy has continued to develop rapidly, and the Party has performed its United Front work in the private economy (民营经济统战工作) with constant innovation. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has put forward a series of new concepts, thoughts, and strategies and has adopted a series of major measures to guide and promote the United Front work in the private economy, achieving remarkable results. At the same time, it must be seen that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. The scale of the private economy has continued to expand; risks and challenges have increased significantly; the values and interest demands (利益诉求) of practitioners in the private economy are becoming increasingly diverse; and United Front work in the private economy is facing new situations and new tasks. In order to thoroughly implement the major decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee, further strengthen the Party’s leadership over United Front work in the private economy, and better integrate the wisdom and strength of private economy practitioners (民营经济人士) to achieve the goals and tasks of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation (中华民族伟大复兴), the following opinions are hereby offered.
i. Strengthening United Front work in the private economy is an important means by which the Party’s leadership over the private economy is manifested. As an internal element of China’s economic system, the private economy has always been an important economic foundation for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. As members of the Chinese public, private economy practitioners have always been “our people” (我们自己人)—an important force that our Party must bring together and rely on for its long-term governance. We must fully understand the importance of the private economy to China’s economic and social development, fully understand the long-term nature and inevitability of the existence and development of the private economy, and promote the innovative development of United Front work in the private economy in the new era. This will help continuously strengthen the Party’s leadership over the private economy, bring the majority of private economy practitioners closer to the Party, and gather the majestic forces (磅礴力量) that work together to build the Chinese Dream.
ii. Strengthening United Front work in the private economy is an important part of the development and improvement of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. To uphold and improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and to promote the modernization of the national governance system and governance capabilities, we must always adhere to and improve China’s basic economic system, unswervingly consolidate and develop the public economy, and unswervingly encourage, support, and guide the development of the non-public economy. We must do a good job in United Front work in the private economy to help stimulate the enthusiasm and initiative of the private economy in deepening reform and opening; willingly and proactively participate in national governance; give play to the decisive role of the market in resource allocation; make better use of the role of the government; and fully demonstrate the institutional advantages of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
iii. Strengthening United Front work in the private economy is an important way to ensure the high-quality development of the private economy. To deepen supply-side structural reforms and achieve high-quality economic development, there is an urgent need for private enterprises to accelerate their transformation, upgrade, and improve the overall quality of private entrepreneurs. Strengthening United Front work in the private economy helps guide private economy practitioners to reinforce their confidence in development; improve their innovation capabilities; encourage and support private enterprises to transform their development methods; adjust industrial structures; transform growth drivers; and promote the improved development of the private economy.
II. General Requirements
iv. Guiding ideology: Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will fully implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the Second, Third, and Fourth Plenary Sessions of the 19th Central Committee; focus on overall advancement of the general plans for “five-in-one” development (五位一体) and coordinated advancement of the “Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy” (四个全面); comprehensively improve the Party’s ability to lead United Front work in the private economy; fully strengthen the United Front work in the private economy; and educate and guide private economy practitioners to strengthen the “Four Consciousnesses,” strengthen the “Four Confidences,” achieve the “Two Upholds,” and unswervingly listen to and follow the Party so as to make greater contributions to the realization of the “Two Centenary” goals and the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
v. Basic principles: Uphold the Party’s leadership over United Front work in the private economy and always plan and advance this work from a political and comprehensive perspective. Uphold the “Two Unswervings” (两个毫不动摇) and further strengthen the Party’s leadership of, and cohesive effect on, private economy practitioners. Persist in building friendly and clean (亲清) relationships between government and business, optimize the business environment, and promote the formation of a good political ecosystem. Adhere to the principles of trust, unity, service, guidance, and education to correctly handle relationships with both consistency and diversity; provide encouragement and support with one hand and education and guidance with the other; and continuously increase the political consensus of private economy practitioners to walk the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics under the leadership of the Party.
III. Strengthen the Ideological and Political Construction of Private Economy Practitioners
Hold high the banner of patriotism and socialism; increase political and ideological guidance; and continue to build the foundation for the ideological and political work of private economy practitioners.
vi. Consolidate and expand political consensus: Educate and guide private economy practitioners to arm their minds and guide their practice with Xi Jinping’s Thoughts on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee on political positions, political directions, political principles, and political roads; and always be politically sensible. Further strengthen the Party building work of private enterprises and sincerely give full play to the role of Party organizations (党组织) as battle fortresses and to the vanguard and exemplary role of Party members. Vigorously publicize the Party Central Committee’s major policies concerning the development of the private economy, further promote ideological and theoretical innovation, and promptly respond to the ideological concerns of the majority of private economy practitioners. The United Front departments of Party committees at all levels must implement responsibility systems for ideological work in the private economy sector (民营经济领域意识形态工作责任制) in order to guard the land with responsibility, accountability, and diligence.
vii. Deepen education in ideals and beliefs: Continue to carry out in-depth ideal and belief education and practice activities (理想信念教育实践活动), create innovative educational forms and systems of discourse, and continuously expand their coverage and improve their effectiveness. Rely on theme-oriented education demonstration bases such as the old revolutionary areas, poverty-stricken areas, and frontier areas in reform and opening up; strengthen education on the conditions of the world, the country, and the Party; and guide private economy practitioners to continuously increase their political, ideological, and emotional identification with the CCP and socialism with Chinese characteristics. Give full play to the exemplary role of Party members among private entrepreneurs and representative private economy practitioners in education on ideals and beliefs; fully mobilize the subjective initiative of the majority of private economy practitioners; and strengthen self-learning, self-education, and self-improvement.
viii. Enhance ideological guidance: Guide private economy practitioners to increase their awareness of self-discipline; build a strong line of ideological and moral defense; strictly regulate their own words and actions; cultivate a healthy lifestyle; and create a good public image. Improve systems of friendship and earnest communication; increase the scope and depth of friendships; and build a backbone team of private economy practitioners who are reliable and useful at critical moments. In accordance with the principle of “Unity-Criticism-Unity” (团结－批评－团结), expand the scope of unity and exemplify tolerance.
ix. Advocate the emulation of the “Four Models” (四个典范): Strengthen the guidance of values and guide the private economy to establish correct views on the country, the rule of law, professional endeavors, and wealth. Be a model of patriotism and dedication, law-abiding business operations, entrepreneurship and innovation, and giving back to society. Deepen the promotion and education of the Chinese Dream; guide the private economy practitioners to establish a sense of home and country; undertake the responsibility to serve the country through industry and make the country strong through industry (产业报国, 实业强国); work in a down-to-earth manner and be modest and low-key. Pay attention to the warning role of typical cases; carry out publicity, warning, and education work to normalize the rule of law; establish bottom lines concerning business operation legality and compliance; advocate and respect the values of credibility, trustworthiness, and integrity; and continuously improve respect for the rule of law and moral standards by private economy practitioners. Vigorously promote an outstanding spirit of entrepreneurship and craftsmanship and fully stimulate creative vitality and innovative potential. Advocate for the concept of giving consideration to both fairness and benefits and putting righteousness first (义利兼顾、以义为先); insist on thinking about the sources of wealth and the uses wealth can be put to (致富思源、富而思进); earnestly fulfill social responsibilities; vigorously build harmonious labor relations; actively participate in glorious undertakings; targeted poverty alleviation and public welfare undertakings; overcome hedonism and extravagance; and become rich and virtuous, rich and loving, and rich and responsible (富而有德、富而有爱、富而有责).
IV. Build a Team of High-quality Representatives of the Private Economy
Adhere to the principle of the Party exercising leadership over personnel management, follow the laws of private economic growth, and build a team of high-quality and responsible private economy representatives with the aim of improving quality, optimizing structures, and playing a key role in the economy.
x. Clear scope of work: The United Front work should be aimed at all private enterprises and private economy practitioners. The targets of work mainly include the main investors and actual controllers of private enterprises, the main shareholding managers of private enterprises, the major individual shareholders of private investment institutions, and the main leaders of social organizations (社会团体) in the industrial and commercial fields, and should be centered on private enterprises and private economy practitioners, the principals of relevant social service organizations, the principal partners of private intermediaries, Hong Kong and Macao businessmen who invest in mainland China, and representative individual industrial and commercial households (个体工商户).
xi. Improve candidate selection mechanisms: Expand the horizons of selection; take into account different regions and industries, large and medium-sized enterprises, and small and micro enterprises; and establish a database and talent pool of private economy representatives. Broaden the channels for talent discovery; give full play to the roles of talent authorities, United Front departments, and industry authorities; and build a talent work system that is compatible with the healthy growth of private economy practitioners. Optimize the structure of the representative team and appropriately incline toward strategic emerging industries, high-tech industries, advanced manufacturing, modern service industries, modern agriculture, and other fields. Cultivate and grow a team of private economy practitioners who unswervingly follow the Party and devote themselves to development.
xii. Strengthen education and training: Do a good job in planning for the construction of a team of representatives of the private economy and form a standardized and normalized education and training system. Give full play to the incentivizing role of commendations for outstanding builders of socialism with Chinese characteristics among people in the non-public economy and further expand its social influence. With the promotion of excellent traditional culture and excellent entrepreneurial spirit as the main content, strengthen the education and training of private entrepreneurs. Local Party schools (administrative schools) at all levels must pay attention to strengthening the education and training of Party members and private economy practitioners. Adhere to political standards, actively and steadily do a good job in recruiting Party members among outstanding private economy representatives, and promptly recruit into the Party private economy representatives with good political qualities, high public recognition, and who are qualified for Party membership. If a unit does not have a Party organization, the personnel department of the Party committee (Party group) at or above the county level can organize direct contact and training work.
xiii. Standardize political arrangements: Adhere to selection and employment standards with high ideological and political requirements, strong industry representation, high requirements for participation in politics and deliberation, and high requirements for social reputation. Strictly control the selection of candidates in terms of political qualifications and compliance with laws and regulations and solicit opinions from the enterprise Party organization and various parties in advance according to regulations. Improve the comprehensive evaluation system for representatives of the private economy to ensure the quality of the candidates selected and employed. Do a good job in the pilot work for private entrepreneurs serving as the chairmen of provincial federations of industry and commerce. Do a good job in recommending outstanding private entrepreneurs as candidates to become members of the people’s congresses and CPPCC standing committees at all levels and ensure that entry is controlled well. Carry out the work of hiring private entrepreneurs as special inspectors (特约检察员) and special ombudsmen (特约监察员). Guide the representatives of the private economy to strengthen their awareness of performing their duties diligently and establish and improve performance evaluation systems and exit mechanisms.
xiv. Strengthen the training of the younger generation: Formulate and implement a plan to promote the healthy growth of the younger generation of private economy practitioners and increase education and training. Give full play to the role of the older generation of private entrepreneurs, vigorously promote the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation, and pay attention to the construction of family, family education, and family traditions. Guide the younger generation to inherit and carry forward the glorious tradition of listening to and following the Party and strive to realize the handover and orderly inheritance of responsibilities between old and new generations.
V. Support and Serve the High-quality Development of the Private Economy
Perseverance in focusing on the center, serving the overall situation, and promoting the high-quality development of the private economy is an integral part of United Front work in the private economy and an important criterion for measuring the effectiveness of the work.
xv. Promote the practice of new development concepts: Strengthen education on relevant situations and policies; vigorously select and establish advanced models; guide private economy practitioners to plan and promote enterprise reform and development in accordance with new development concepts; make full use of various industry-academia-research-application integration platforms (产学研用对接平台) built by the government; and give play to the active role of private enterprises in technological innovation and achievement transformation. Carry out in-depth investigation and research and promptly report and promote the resolution of institutional and mechanism-related obstacles faced by private enterprises in their transformations and upgrades. Guide private economy practitioners to insist on progress while maintaining stability, adhere to industry and strengthen main businesses (坚守实业、做强主业), strengthen bottom-line thinking, increase risk awareness, and effectively prevent and resolve operational risks, especially financial risks.
xvi. Encourage participation in major national strategies: Rely on the United Front to organize the mobilization of private economy practitioners to devote themselves to major national strategies such as the Innovation-Driven Development Strategy [创新驱动发展战略]; achieve enterprise development while serving the overall situation of national economic construction; and enhance the ideological realm and career big-picture thinking. Strengthen exchanges and cooperation with key countries and regions in terms of social organizations in the industrial and commerce fields and their representative offices in China and give full play to the role of federations of industry and commerce in relevant international cooperation mechanisms. Guide private enterprises to actively participate in “Belt and Road” development, consciously safeguard national interests, and establish a good image of Chinese private enterprises.
xvii. Support and commit to comprehensively deepening reforms: Guide private economy practitioners to adopt a correct attitude to the adjustment of benefits brought about by reforms, understand the reforms, support the reforms, participate in the reforms, and provide wise words and pragmatic strategies for comprehensively deepening the reforms. Encourage private enterprises to participate in mixed ownership reforms (混合所有制改革). Guide private enterprises to improve their corporate governance structure and explore the establishment of a modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics [中国特色现代企业制度]. Promote private enterprises to actively strengthen exchanges and cooperation with world-class enterprises and outstanding state-owned enterprises and continuously improve their operational capabilities and level of management.
xviii. Continuously optimize the business environment: Viewing the promotion of fair market competition and equal protection of property rights as the key, promote the construction of a market-oriented and internationalized business environment governed by the rule of law. Educate and guide private economy practitioners to establish legal awareness, adhere to legal compliance in business operations, and consciously maintain fair, open, and transparent market rules. Strengthen the statistics, monitoring, and analysis of the private economy and vigorously promote service management innovation. Give full play to the advantageous role of federations of industry and commerce (工商联) and chambers of commerce; actively participate in business environment evaluation; and actively cooperate with relevant departments to identify and correct wrongful cases of infringement of the property rights of private enterprises in accordance with the law and prevent and dispose of debts to private enterprises.
VI. Establish a Sound Government-Enterprise Communication and Consultation System
Promoting the establishment of a friendly and clean relationship between government and business is an important task in United Front work in the private economy. Relying on the United Front to carry out communication and consultation between government and enterprises is the key to building friendly and clean relationships between government and businesses.
xix. Standardize the content of communication and consultations. This includes analysis and judgment of the economic situation and the development of the private economy, economic and social development and industrial development planning, annual economic work planning, important reform measures and corporate policies; the formulation and revision of important enterprise-related laws and regulations; optimization of the business environment; establishment of friendly and clean relations between government and businesses; addressing common problems faced in the development of private enterprises; and risk prevention and crisis management for key backbone private enterprises.
xx. Innovative communication and consultation formats: Party committees, governments, and relevant departments at all levels first listen to the opinions and suggestions of representatives of private enterprises, industry associations, and chambers of commerce on consultation matters. The main responsible comrades of Party committees and governments at all levels communicate with the representatives of private enterprises, industry associations, and chambers of commerce through seminars, informal discussions, and other means; communicate the relevant situations; focus on development problems; discuss solutions; and establish strong mechanisms for overseeing communication results and feedback. Establish a special survey system for private economy representatives and conduct key surveys and investigations every year. Party and government leaders and relevant departments must carefully listen to the opinions and suggestions put forward in the surveys. In localities where the private economy occupies a relatively large share in the economy, Party committees and governments should hold economic work conferences and conferences related to the development of the private economy. Local people’s congresses should formulate and revise relevant local regulations and may invite representatives of private enterprises, industry associations, and chambers of commerce to participate in the policymaking process. Relevant departments shall generally entrust industry associations and chambers of commerce to provide opinions when formulating industry standards and regulations.
xxi. Strengthen liaison services for chambers of commerce and private enterprises: Establish a system for Party and government leaders to contact chambers of commerce, focus on industry and professional chambers of commerce and township and neighborhood chambers of commerce, and provide smooth channels for chambers of commerce to report to the Party committee and the government and make suggestions. Regulate the contact and interactions between Party and government leaders and private economy practitioners; formulate positive and negative lists; encourage cadres to take the initiative and serve on the frontier; urge cadres to maintain their bottom lines during interactions and prevent risks of corruption; and adopt a “friendly” (亲) attitude and “clean” (清) behavior. The United Front work departments and federations of industry and commerce must take the initiative to go deep into private enterprises, promptly report issues, and help solve difficulties and problems.
xxii. Improve the appeals and rights protection mechanisms of private enterprises: Guide private economy practitioners to rationally report their demands and safeguard their rights and interests in accordance with the law. Maintain the normal operating order of enterprises in accordance with the law and respect and protect the personal and property rights of entrepreneurs as per the law. Improve diversified dispute resolution mechanisms (多元化纠纷解决机制) such as mediation, arbitration, and litigation to resolve civil and commercial disputes involving private enterprises in a timely and effective manner.
VII. Fully Exert the Role of Federations of Industry and Commerce and Chambers of Commerce
Federations of industry and commerce and their affiliated chambers of commerce are an important organizational support for United Front work in the private economy. It is necessary to deepen the reform and construction of federations of industry and commerce; cultivate and develop chambers of commerce with Chinese characteristics; and promote the effective coverage of United Front work to cover chambers of commerce.
xxiii. Promote the reform and development of federations of industry and commerce: Focusing on the theme of promoting “Two Healths” (两个健康) work, insist on political establishment of associations, united establishment of associations, service development of associations, and the reform and strengthening of associations. Actively explore the organizational systems, operating mechanisms, and activity methods that demonstrate the organic unity of the United Front and its economic and non-governmental advantages, and continuously enhance the cohesion, execution, and influence of federations of industry and commerce. Give full play to the leading role of federations of industry and commerce in the ideological and political consciousness-building of private economy practitioners; their role as a main channel for the orderly political participation of private economy practitioners; their service role in the reform and development of private enterprises; their collaborative role in ensuring and improving people’s livelihoods and making innovations in social governance; and their role of democratic supervision in the equal protection of property rights in accordance with the law in an effort to build federations of industry and commerce into “homes of private economy practitioners.” Actively explore effective ways to better utilize the functions of federations of industry and commerce as private chambers of commerce (general chambers of commerce). Make innovations in service, training, and rights protection platform vehicles; accelerate the development of the “Online Federation of Industry and Commerce”; and further enhance the overall efficiency of the work.
xxiv. Promote effective coverage of United Front work over chambers of commerce: Strengthen the Party building work of chambers of commerce affiliated with federations of industry and commerce and explore and improve effective mechanisms for Party organization leadership and management over the Party building work of the affiliated chambers of commerce. Explore the establishment of United Front work liaison systems (统战工作联络员制度) in the Party organizations of chambers of commerce affiliated with federations of industry and commerce. Actively cultivate and develop chambers of commerce affiliated with federations of industry and commerce so that the chambers of commerce will cover all industries and fields of private economy development. Encourage and guide private enterprises to join chambers of commerce. In the development of chambers of commerce, thresholds—such as size of assets— shall not be set for members. Federations of industry and commerce shall strengthen contacts, guidance, and services for industry associations and chambers of commerce that are dominated by private enterprises and private economy practitioners. Transfer or entrust the public service functions that can be provided by chambers of commerce to such organizations. Support and help chambers of commerce to better undertake public services and participate in social services through government procurement of services. Encourage qualified regions to issue local regulations or government regulations to standardize and promote the development of industry associations and chambers of commerce. Accelerate the registration of chambers of commerce affiliated with federations of industry and commerce.
xxv. Guide the organization of private entrepreneurs to develop in a standardized and orderly manner: Do a good job in the organization of private entrepreneurs in accordance with the work policies of situation clarification, active contact, supervision according to law, and active guidance. Entrepreneur-related organizations that have not been registered as social organizations (社团) shall not engage in social activities (社团活动). Entrepreneur-related organizations that are registered with market supervision departments but mainly carry out social activities shall be organized and rectified, and those that meet the conditions shall be registered and managed according to law. Strengthen the guidance and management of forums, seminars, lecture halls, salons, and other activities held by entrepreneur-related organizations.
VIII. Strengthen the Party’s Leadership over United Front Work in the Private Economy
United Front work in the private economy is important work for the whole Party. It is necessary to put the strengthening of United Front work in the private economy on the agenda of important work, and under the unified leadership of Party committees, form a United Front work in the private economy pattern with a clear division of labor and efficient coordination in all aspects.
xxvi. Improve leadership institutions and mechanisms: Party committees at all levels shall rely on United Front work leading groups to establish and improve coordination mechanisms for United Front work in the private economy, regularly study plans, and coordinate the promotion of United Front work in the private economy. It is necessary to give full play to the leading and coordinating role of the United Front departments of Party committees in United Front work in the private economy and give full play to the bridging, linking, and assistant roles of federations of industry and commerce.
xxvii. Strengthen organizational safeguards: Enrich the United Front work in the private economy force. Requiring both proficiency in United Front work and familiarity with economic work, select cadres to strengthen the relevant business departments of United Front work departments and the federations of industry and commerce. The United Front departments of the Party committees of cities and counties with heavy task loads must coordinate existing resources, enrich their work forces, and ensure the carrying out of work.
xxviii. Enhance capability building: Strengthen education and training, focus on practical training, comprehensively improve the overall quality of private economy United Front cadres, and further enhance the ability to grasp problems from the perspective of the overall situation, respond to risks and challenges, communicate and coordinate, and develop and innovate to provide strong support for United Front work in the private economy in the new era.