Since the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress in 2012, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has been all over the country on inspection tours.
Five years ago, Xi chose Shenzhen as his first stop of inspection, outside the capital, after being elected as the Party’s top leader. Shenzhen is in Guangdong Province, China’s reform and opening up frontier.
Shortly after returning from Guangdong, he visited impoverished villages in Hebei Province, near Beijing, to inspect poverty alleviation efforts.
These moves signalled the focus of Xi’s governance, which has highlighted fulfilling the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation and realizing the goals set for the centenaries of the CPC in 2020 and the People’s Republic of China in 2049.
Since 2012, Xi has completed 50 inspection tours across the country, totaling 151 days. REFORM & INNOVATION: Reform and innovation have always been in Xi’s thoughts. In 2016, Xi visited Xiaogang, Anhui Province, and walked into the courtyard where in 1978, 18 farmers signed a secret agreement to divide communally owned farmland into family plots and ignited the flame for China’s rural land reform. Xi chose here to say that reform is the only way out and that the word should be repeatedly injected with new meaning.
During his visits to the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, Tianjin Binhai New Area, Wuhan Countryside Comprehensive Property Exchange and others, Xi put comprehensively deepened reform on top of his agenda.
In the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong and Hubei, he stressed the need for bold exploration and advancing reform, and explicitly stated balance should be properly dealt with in the process, including that between boldness and steadiness, and reform and stability.
In 2014, Xi went to the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China and boarded the sample of C919, China’s self-developed large passenger aircraft. He encouraged engineers to give themselves progressive goals and strive to get China’s own passenger aircraft in the air. Only three years later, C919 completed its maiden flight.
While inspecting research institutes, universities, hi-tech companies and new development zones, he has always stressed the need for innovation and the importance of commercializing research results.
POVERTY RELIEF: In the past five years, Xi visited a number of impoverished places and households. From the Liupanshan Mountain region in west China to the Dabieshan Mountain region in the east, Xi went to all the poorest areas.
He visited homes of impoverished workers and villagers in Inner Mongolia, Hunan, Ningxia, amongst others, to see with his own eyes the life of people in poverty in order to work out solutions for improvement.
Xi said it was heart wrenching to see people live in such difficulties.
He also presided over a series of symposiums across the country, bringing what he had seen and heard during the inspection trips to discuss with participants.
China has set the baseline task to lift all people out of poverty by 2020 and build an “all-round well-off society,” or a moderately prosperous society, in all respects.
Since China started the reform and opening-up drive more than 30 years ago, over 700 million have shaken off poverty since, accounting for over 70 percent of global poverty reduction.
MAJOR POLICY PLANNING: On February 23, 2017, Xi visited Anxin County of Hebei Province to learn about local population density, geological and hydrological conditions.
Little over a month later on April 1, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, China’s cabinet, announced to set up a national-level new area there.
The inspection tours of Xi often come with the planning and implementation of major policies but he also listens to public opinions on these policies.
When documents were being compiled for the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee two years ago, Xi visited the east, middle, west, and northeast parts of the country to have better ideas on planning the economic and social development during the 13th five-year plan.
He also presided over symposiums in the provinces of Zhejiang, Guizhou and Jilin to hear from leaders in 18 provinces on development during the 13th five-year plan.
As the 19th CPC National Congress is to be held later this month, when Xi visited Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in April, he talked with grassroots-level delegates to the congress about their advice and expectations for the event. He stressed that preparations for the congress must take in wisdom from people of all ethnicities in the country.