Zheng Changzhong: Two-way Construction of City Governance and Political Party Development
Created On : 2017-10-31    Views : 10

Source: Page 008 of Chinese Social Sciences Today on October 19, 2017

On one hand, the development logic of China's modern civilization, makes the political party a leading force in promoting development of the country and society; on the other hand, development of the country and society requires the political party to make adjustment and innovation accordingly, otherwise, it will not be able to deliver effective leadership and administration. Therefore, a landscape of mutual promotion and effective interaction is established between political party and country, and the society and the form of state governance can also achieve development in this process. This logic is also followed in city governance, with a landscape of two-way construction and mutual promotion being established between city governance and political party development as well. This landscape can be most clearly seen in Shanghai.

In order to overcome the drawback of the traditional society and the need of modernization building for organization-oriented development, after the People's Republic of China was founded, China established a planned economy system with the state's political power as the dominating force at the macroscopic level; while, at the microscopic level, China established an entity-based society system that has political party organization at the core of the leadership. This model has been fully and typically realized in Shanghai. Regarding the form of organization, Shanghai's Party organizations have established a Party organization operation form that is suitable for the planned economy system regarding its relations with the government; regarding the relations between the Party organization and society, Shanghai’s Party organizations have established an embedded type of entity-based Party building model, i.e. "building Party branches in companies", and achieved the objective of the political Party organization's direct organization of the country and society.

Implementation of the reform and opening up policy marks that China's modernization building is transiting from the stage of completing fundamental development and establishing of a fundamental order to the stage of seeking the driving forces for sustainable development. The development tasks of modern China and modern Chinese society were comprehensively put forward. Then, a political institution reform that takes separation of the Party and politics as the main content began to be pushed forward; and regarding the economy and society, an economic system reform with establishing a market-oriented economy as the main objective began to be pushed forward. 

In order to meet this development requirement, regarding the relations with government organs, Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPC continues to promote Party committee building, so as to serve the development of government organs in city governance; on one hand, Shanghai has adjusted the function and positioning of the Party working committee, and overcome the tendency of substituting government functions with the Party in the planned economy period, and promote continuous generation of the subjectivity of government organs; on the other hand, by improving and giving a good play to the coordination function of Party Working committees, it has overcome the separation between different departments and government organs, as a result of the functional division of labor between different government organs, and promoted holistic building of state organs.

Regarding society, Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPC strives to serve the linkage of power during the transition process of the society, and to ensure smooth development of the society: on one hand, it strives to promote building of community Party organizations, so as to take on various work as a result of many people being thrown into the community with declining of entity-based society, and to promote community development by leveraging the resources of Party organizations', and build a new space of grassroots city governance; on the other hand, it strives to adapt to the requirement for Party organizations raised by transformation of the society by promoting innovation and development of various grassroots Party organizations, and give a good play to the Party organizations' governance function in various areas. 

With deepening of the reform and opening up, further development of the market oriented economy, and basic completion of the social transformation, Shanghai's problems in city governance are mainly caused by social development. One of the most prominent problems is how can the various governance entities achieve organic interaction in the society, which mainly includes the following two aspects.

Firstly, with the emergence of various types of non-public ownership enterprises and social organizations in large numbers in cities, issues of how to give a good play to their role in city governance, and how to get these organizations to organically cooperate with existing Party organizations and government organs not only concerns the issue of mobilizing the forces of various parties to participate in city governance, but also concerns whether we can achieve effective integration of the newly emerging social forces. 

Secondly, multiple governance entities have appeared in places as small as a residential community, or as large as a district level area. How to integrate these resources and promote cooperation between these governance entities will not only affect the effectiveness of community governance and regional governance, but will also affect the issue of building of social communities.

In such a context, since the beginning of the 20th century, Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPC has decided to establish a regional big Party building landscape, so as to lay an organizational foundation for integrated building of a social community, with the Party organizations' overall advantage in unitization. After many years of efforts, a multi-layered regional big Party building landscape, with spectrum-like characteristics, has been established in Shanghai. Specifically, at the residential community level, a residential community governance system, which takes Party organization as the core and platform, has been established. At the sub-district level, a joint community governance system that is based on the "1+3" community big Party building landscape has been established. In addition, in the recent new exploration about the governance system at the sub-district level, some districts have also established a big Party building landscape at the district level, so as to overcome the resource endowment restriction of sub-district administrations. Meanwhile, Shanghai also innovates such supplemental big Party building approaches as: joint Party building with property management companies of residential communities; and joint Party building between construction sites and residential areas.


(The author is the Director of Shanghai Party Building Theory and Practice Innovation Study Base, and the Director of Shanghai University Think Tank & Fudan University Political Party Building and State Development Research Center)