Zhu Rongji on the Record

Zhu Rongji on the Record: The Road to Reform: 1998-2003

Zhu Rongji
Translated by June Y. Mei
Henry A. Kissinger
Helmut Schmidt
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 396
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Zhu Rongji on the Record
    Book Description:

    China's explosive transformation from a planned economy to a more market-oriented one over the past three decades owes much to the charismatic reformer Zhu Rongji. As China's premier from 1998 to 2003, Zhu displayed a pragmatism and strong work ethic that have been key forces in China's drive to greater modernization and global stature.

    During this time, Zhu embarked on a plan to reduce the size of government and reform the heavily indebted banking system and state-owned enterprises as well as to overhaul the housing and health care systems. His sweeping efforts ranged from lobbying for the establishment of stock exchanges to revitalizing agriculture through the introduction of a modern grain market. The ramifications of these reforms are still being felt throughout China and the globe, and The Road to Reform provides a real-time look at these plans as they were being formulated during the 1990s to the early 2000s.

    The second of a two-volume collection containing more than 100 speeches and personal papers by Zhu, this volume is a revealing and insightful look at Zhu's thinking and will lead to greater understanding of one of the world's two largest economic powers.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2629-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Publication Note
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Henry A. Kissinger

    It is commonplace to refer to China’s enormous strides of the past decades as an “economic miracle.” Yet in essence a miracle is an event beyond human performance or comprehension. China’s reform and development was a policy course adopted by top officials and carried out through the efforts and vitality of the Chinese people. Even if the feats this course involved could not easily be duplicated, they can be studied and mined for practical lessons within China and beyond.

    WithZhu Rongji on the Record,China’s former Premier Zhu Rongji has made a valuable contribution to this process. He has...

  5. Foreword
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    Helmut Schmidt

    During the late 1960s I had an inkling that China was regaining its status as a world power. However, since Germany and China had no diplomatic ties, I traveled to East Asia hoping to look at China from the perspective of the Japanese, the South Koreans, the Thai people, and the Australians. In 1972, as one outcome of these travels, Germany and China established diplomatic relations. Three years later, I visited China for the first time at the invitation of Zhou Enlai, but owing to Zhou’s illness, I was received by Mao Zedong and by Deng Xiao ping. In the...

  6. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  7. Note from The Brookings Institution
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  8. 1998

    • 1 Speech at the First Plenary Session of the State Council March 24, 1998
      (pp. 1-15)

      Last night I barely slept, thinking about today’s speech. Because this is a plenary meeting of the State Council, I had earlier asked the State Council Research Office to draft a speech, which since then has been revised several times and commented on by all the Vice Premiers and State Councilors. It is a very comprehensive draft, but I’m not going to read it today. It will be printed and distributed to all of you. Instead, this is an impromptu speech for which I take full responsibility. Consider it for your reference only.

      I’d like to focus on three topics:...

    • 2 On the Proper Reassignment, Resettlement, and Reemployment of Laid-off Workers March 25 and 26, 1998
      (pp. 16-27)

      The Party Central Committee and the State Council have decided to help large and medium state-owned enterprises out of their difficulties over a period of roughly three years through reforms, restructuring, transformation, and the strengthening of enterprise management. We will also do our best to start establishing a modern enterprise system at the majority of large and medium pillar SOEs by the end of the century. The conditions for achieving this goal are definitely present, and the key is to do a good job of reassigning, resettling, and reemploying laid-off workers.

      Although laying off, reassigning, resettling, and reemploying surplus staff...

    • 3 Reforms of Government Agencies Require Strong Determination, Steady Steps, and Solid Work April 10, 1998
      (pp. 28-36)

      This special seminar for provincial-level officials on reforming government agencies is very timely, and I am fully supportive of it. I’d like to bring two points to your attention now.

      I’m going to open with a story first reported by theTopics in Focusprogram on CCTV, about a factory in a certain city that produced “Sanmei” wine, a well-known brand. When the enterprise was acquired by the Sanjiu Group, the trademark should also have been transferred. Instead the municipal Party secretary told the municipal finance department to buy the trademark, and it became the property of the government. Although...

    • 4 Key Aspects of Reform of the Grain Circulation System June 3, 1998
      (pp. 37-46)

      After late April’s national conference on reform of the grain circulation system, the State Council dispatched five investigative teams to more than 10 provinces to promote and check on implementation of the spirit of the conference. We could see from the situation in these places that the leaders at all levels are taking this task very seriously and focusing on it very hard. However, the work is progressing unevenly; particularly at the county and township levels, it hasn’t been addressed forcefully enough, and the spirit of the conference hasn’t been fully implemented.

      During an inspection tour of Anhui Province, I...

    • 5 A Conversation with U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin June 26, 1998
      (pp. 47-54)
      Robert E. Rubin and Zhu Rongji

      ZRJ: You certainly work quickly. Just yesterday I saw you on TV in the United States, and today you’re in Beijing. Moreover, you’ve already paid lightning visits to the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance.

      RER: Yes, although I only talked with them for a short time, it was very productive.

      I’m not a diplomat and can dispense with the formalities. We only discussed substantive issues.

      ZRJ: Although you’re not a diplomat, your words are more valuable than those of a diplomat.

      RER: That’s why I have to be careful when I speak, especially when I’m commenting...

    • 6 Crack Down Hard on Smuggling July 15, 1998
      (pp. 55-66)

      This national conference on cracking down on smuggling is yet another very important meeting convened by the Party Central Committee and the State Council this year. At its opening, Jiang Zemin met with all the participants and delivered a major speech reflecting deep thought and emotion. His words were powerful, occupied the moral high ground, and were infused with concern for the nation. They offer us vital guidance as we rapidly launch a major project nationwide in a special joint action to crack down hard on smuggling, and as we intensify the fight against corruption and endeavor to run the...

    • 7 Rebuilding after the Floods with the Same Spirit Displayed in Combating Them August 31–September 10, 1998
      (pp. 67-81)

      Our country has been ravaged by exceptionally serious floods this year. Flooding in the Yangtze River basin was the worst in history—worse than in 1931 and also worse than the unusually heavy floods of 1954. And the floods in Northeast China were of a magnitude seen only once every 300 years. Although a terrible thing, these floods have drawn all our people together. Had they not been so united, and had it not been for the decisive power of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in particular, the consequences of these floods would have been unthinkable.

      We have just heard...

    • 8 A Talk with the Producers of Topics in Focus October 7, 1998
      (pp. 82-88)

      I’m not sure if I’ve been the most enthusiastic viewer ofTopics in Focusever since it started broadcasting, but at least I’m among your very enthusiastic viewers, and what’s more, I’ve been a strong supporter and volunteer publicist. I often spread the word about the program at different venues. Many ministers haven’t been watching it but fear that when they come to meetings I convene, I might just ask them if they watchedTopics in Focusthe night before, so they make sure to do so before the meeting opens.

      Topics in Focusis getting better and better and...

    • 9 Closing Down Guangdong International Trust and Investment Company Was the Right Thing to Do October 24, 1998
      (pp. 89-91)

      Why were we able to avoid a financial crisis? Because since 1993, we began to introduce forceful and timely measures to solve prominent problems exposed in our economy. In particular, we put an end to real estate fever and focused on rectifying the financial order as well as preventing and resolving financial risk. The only reasons for the Asian financial crisis were these:

      —Economic structures were unsound; countries invested a lot of capital in real estate and built large high-grade buildings, but they had no pillar industries.

      —Borrowing from abroad became uncontrolled: if they didn’t have money, they...

    • 10 A Conversation with Michael D. Eisner, CEO, the Walt Disney Company October 26, 1998
      (pp. 92-97)
      Michael D. Eisner and Zhu Rongji

      ZRJ: I’ve met the head of the Disney Company twice. Was it you I met with last time?

      MDE: It was Frank Wells.

      ZRJ: I welcome you, your wife, and your colleagues to China. I’m very familiar with the Disney Company. I visited Disneyland in Los Angeles, accompanied by Mrs. [Caroline] Ahmanson.² Unfortunately, I’ve never been to Disney World in Florida. I’ve also visited the Disneylands in Tokyo and Paris, but I’ve never paid admission on any of my visits. I’ve talked to both the former Disney CEOs about building a Disneyland in Shanghai. A piece of land had already...

    • 11 “Tofu Dreg Projects” Are a Crime against the People December 3, 1998
      (pp. 98-99)

      An important policy measure adopted by our country to cope with the Asian financial crisis is to issue fiscal bonds to increase funding for infrastructure construction. The key to its success or failure lies in the quality and [economic] benefits of these infrastructure projects. Therefore “tofu dreg projects”² are a crime against the people. The Ministry of Transportation should inform the entire country of any quality problems in highway construction that it discovers, and it should expose them so that they come to the attention of Party and government leaders at all levels....

    • 12 Speech at the 1998 Central Economic Work Conference December 7, 1998
      (pp. 100-111)

      I’d like to share some thoughts on concrete plans for next year’s economic work, focusing on six issues.

      After the first session of the Ninth National People’s Congress (NPC) last March, I spoke on behalf of the State Council in summarizing economic work for this year as “one assurance, three implementations, and five reforms.” The “one assurance” was that we would maintain the economic growth rate at 8%. It now appears that we won’t be able to ensure this, as the State Statistical Bureau estimates the rate will be 7.8%. The main reasons are as follows.

      First, there is the...

    • 13 Hainan Must Keep Its Hills Green and Its Waters Blue December 19, 1998
      (pp. 112-114)

      If Hainan is to develop its economy, the first thing it must focus on is agriculture, as agriculture has very good prospects there. This is an island full of treasures, and protecting its environment is of the utmost importance—it mustn’t start any polluting projects. Hainan should be a place of green hills and blue waters, of red bricks, and green roof tiles. With excess industry all over the world and everyone competing for markets, Hainan mustn’t engage in any ordinary industries. It must do well in agriculture, and it must do well in tourism.

      Yangpu should launch several good,...

    • 14 Ensure Construction Quality of the Three Gorges Project and Properly Resettle the Area’s Inhabitants December 30, 1998
      (pp. 115-124)

      My main purpose in coming to the Three Gorges at this time is to inspect the quality of the engineering work and the resettlement of the residents from the area around the reservoir, in order to prepare for next year’s conference on resettlement work. The Three Gorges Project is an exceptionally large project of global significance not only for the new millennium but also for the ages. Indeed, the whole world is watching. The Party Central Committee and State Council attach great importance to it and have made many decisions [about it]. We must abide by the decisions and directives...

  9. 1999

    • 15 A Conversation with Alan Greenspan, Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve January 12, 1999
      (pp. 125-131)
      Alan Greenspan and Zhu Rongji

      ZRJ: Mr. Greenspan, your role in the U.S. economy is becoming greater and greater, and you’ve already gone from a human being to a god. Last December, the U.K.Financial Timespublished an article saying that you’re allowing the U.S. stock market bubble to continue growing, and it pointed out that short-term success may lead to a major collapse of the financial markets in the future. Do you have any thoughts on this?

      AG: The Chinese economy has benefited from your tireless efforts. It is developing very successfully and has achieved a rather high growth rate. The American economic growth...

    • 16 A Conversation with an American Congressional Delegation March 31, 1999
      (pp. 132-138)

      ZRJ: First, I want to apologize for having kept you waiting for 10 minutes. It was because the delegation I had just been meeting with was also an American congressional delegation. They were fewer in number than you, but the arguments were very spirited, so we couldn’t control the time—I’m sorry. This is the first time I’ve received such a large American congressional delegation, but you won’t break my record of meeting with 24 members of Congress in a single day. In May of 1990, when I visited the United States as a member of a delegation of Chinese...

    • 17 Remarks at President Bill Clinton’s Welcoming Ceremony April 8, 1999
      (pp. 139-141)

      In this sun-drenched spring and at President Clinton’s invitation, I’m very pleased that the delegation of the People’s Republic of China is making this friendly official visit to your beautiful country. At President Jiang Zemin’s behest, and exhorted by the 1.25 billion people of China, we bring to the great American people their warmest regards and their best wishes.

      Over the past 18 months, Presidents Jiang and Clinton have conducted successful mutual visits and have resolved to work toward building a constructive strategic partnership. This type of friendly cooperative relationship is in the interest of the people of both China...

    • 18 Address at a Welcoming Dinner Hosted by President Bill Clinton April 8, 1999
      (pp. 142-145)

      My wife, my colleagues, and I are deeply grateful to President and Mrs. Clinton for hosting such a lovely dinner for us. At the same time, I want to take this opportunity to express heartfelt thanks to the American government and the American people for their generous hospitality toward us, and especially to my old friends in the United States for their warm support.

      This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, and the relations between our countries have come through these 20 years with ups and downs. However, I’ve...

    • 19 The Future of Science Lies with Young People June 10, 1999
      (pp. 146-149)

      Since its founding in 1994, the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars has achieved great results. It has supported over 400 outstanding young scientists, of whom 80% returned home after studies abroad. These scientists have already matured to become leaders in science, and some have become members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences or the Chinese Academy of Engineering. I feel very pleased by all this. It proves that a science endowment system can play a very great role in selecting, cultivating, and attracting scientists and in stabilizing their ranks. The endowment system is a major result of reforms...

    • 20 We Must Be Selective in Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises June 24, 1999
      (pp. 150-151)

      In supporting small and medium enterprises, we have to be clear about what we’re supporting and what goals we hope to achieve—this is an extremely important issue. Right now many of our small and medium enterprises are township and village enterprises. They surged into existence all at once when there were markets for their products, but now many of their products have no markets. Even goods from state-owned enterprises (SOEs) can’t be sold. If we try to support these small and medium enterprises now, we won’t be able to succeed.

      The other day I was watching a TV report...

    • 21 To Tame the Yellow River, We Must Conserve Soil and Water in Its Middle and Upper Reaches August 6, 1999
      (pp. 152-157)

      Our purpose in coming to Shaanxi this time is to carry out General Secretary Jiang Zemin’s directive on doing good work in taming the Yellow River, and to join all of you in studying how to do this. The Yellow River is the hardest river in China to tame, yet our experience and our wherewithal for taming it are better than in the case of the Yangtze River. Putting aside how it was done earlier, ever since the Qing Dynasty [1644–1911] the work of taming the Yellow River has been under unified leadership, and this is much better than...

    • 22 We Must Be Determined to Stop Logging in Natural Forests August 14, 1999
      (pp. 158-163)

      On this visit to Lijiang, I can sense great changes. Since the earthquake,² Lijiang looks very different from the way it did several years ago. This has been achieved with the support of the entire country, including our compatriots living abroad, but it was mainly through your own efforts. This proves that provided that our Party’s programs and policies are correct, many things can be accomplished when our people are fully mobilized.

      One endeavor that now needs support is the protection of natural forests. Logging in natural forests has reached a point where stopping it is of the greatest urgency...

    • 23 Some Thoughts on Speeding Up Development in Ethnic Minority Areas October 3, 1999
      (pp. 164-169)

      It is essential to speed up the development of ethnic minority areas, especially to improve their economy. This will have deep and far-reaching significance for narrowing differences between regions, promoting the revitalization and development of the national economy, achieving common prosperity for all ethnic groups in the country, and reinforcing and fostering ethnic unity.

      Although we must have a strong sense of historical responsibility as well as urgency in speeding up the development of minority areas, we must also proceed from realities and abide by objective rules. From now on, a prime concern must be to study circumstances in these...

    • 24 Three Main Approaches for the Development of Western China October 29, 1999
      (pp. 170-175)

      On this visit to the northwest, I’ve been to Gansu, Qinghai, and Ningxia. I had previously visited several other provinces, including Shaanxi, Yunnan, and Sichuan. My main purpose is to implement the grand concept of the “great development of western China” proposed by General Secretary Jiang Zemin. After many investigations and studies, I believe that we will mainly have to use three approaches to develop western China.

      This is the foundation for western China, which is full of mountainous and arid areas. If transportation isn’t expanded, if we don’t first solve this problem, then there won’t be any way to...

    • 25 The Iron and Steel Industry Must Control Total Output and Restructure December 6, 1999
      (pp. 176-177)

      I completely agree with [Wu] Bangguo’s opinion [on controlling total volume], and we should carry it out in earnest. These past two years, we have been producing 110 million to 120 million tons of steel a year and importing another 10 million or more tons—I cannot believe we’re using it all up. The steel industry should curb its tendency to value quantity more than quality and benefits. At its present stage, the industry should not take on any more large projects, and technical upgrading should focus on quality and management—spend less and get more done.

      We have been...

  10. 2000

    • 26 Let Outstanding Arts and Culture Be Passed Down from One Generation to the Next February 13, 2000
      (pp. 178-182)

      The Chinese people have a magnificent culture with a long history that we should greatly cherish and love. I’ve visited the Sanxingdui site in Sichuan, for example, and found it truly breathtaking. Cultural relics such as this must be conserved and managed well. They are not only classrooms for our people’s patriotic education but also potential centers of culture and tourism showcasing Chinese civilization; they can yield great social and economic benefits. In short, work involving cultural relics is very important and must be handled well.

      At present, we are studying and drawing up the 10th Five-Year Plan for all-round...

    • 27 Customs Must Regain Its Former Stature February 20, 2000
      (pp. 183-193)

      The General Administration of Customs is currently holding a meeting of nationwide Customs directors. Generally, we State Council leaders don’t attend the working meetings of departments—this is one of our rules. However, Customs is facing an extremely difficult situation: some serious problems have been exposed in the way Customs is cracking down on smuggling, for which it is being criticized in many quarters. Thus you are now burdened with the task of trying to keep your spirits up as you forge ahead with Customs work.

      Leaders from the State Council are having this informal heart-to-heart discussion today to demonstrate...

    • 28 A Conversation with Pascal Lamy, EU Commissioner for Trade March 29, 2000
      (pp. 194-202)
      Pascal Lamy and Zhu Rongji

      ZRJ: Mr. Lamy, I’m delighted to meet you. I had previously dealt with Lord Brittan² for many years, and now I’m meeting you. I think that we’re negotiating counterparties as well as partners in cooperation, and at the same time we will also become close friends.

      The moment I saw you I knew you would be a tough negotiating counterparty, because you’re just like our Minister Shi,³ who has lost all his hair in his negotiations. This suggests that you’ll be a bit tougher than Leon Brittan, but I think that the more this is so, the better friends we’ll...

    • 29 Three Economic Risks We Must Guard Against April 18, 2000
      (pp. 203-214)

      At the time of this year’s “Two [Annual] Meetings,”² we saw a great increase in the number of social disturbances all over the country, marked by protest marches, railroad and highway blockages, deaths in coal mines, and so on. General Secretary Jiang Zemin and I were both extremely anxious and didn’t sleep well for several nights in a row. When I discussed this with him, I pointed out that we have to carefully guard against three risks: (1) the risk at state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which might also be called the risk in social employment; (2) the latent financial risk; and...

    • 30 The Electric Power System Must Be Reformed June 13, 2000
      (pp. 215-216)
      Zhu Rongji

      Please ask [Jiang] Zemin to read this. The Ertan power plant is not discharging large volumes of unused water because of high electricity prices. (The cost of power generation is low; electricity prices are high because the interest on investment loans is high, so recouping costs is expensive.) The regulated price of electricity is RMB 0.31 per kilowatt-hour, whereas the regulated price of power supplied to the grid is only RMB 0.18 per kilowatt-hour. It’s so cheap, yet they’re not allowed to generate—in 1998 they discharged enough unused water to generate 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours, in 1999 it was enough...

    • 31 On Using Relending to Help Local Financial Institutions Repay Debts and Guarantee Payments August 1, 2000
      (pp. 217-220)

      Yesterday, we exchanged views on preventing and mitigating financial risks. The policy of using central bank relending to help local financial institutions repay loans and to guarantee payment is very important and complex. Such relending is in fact a form of fiscal relending because apart from a very few provinces, most do not have the ability to repay debts, so this is equivalent to having the central government print money to repay local debts. If we don’t handle macro-economic controls seriously and prudently, there will be a dangerous potential for financial risks and inflation. I’ve been considering this problem for...

    • 32 We Should Use Economic Measures to Eliminate Overcapacity August 3, 2000
      (pp. 221-222)

      For the past two years, the State Economic and Trade Commission has been actively organizing and implementing the work of industrial restructuring, with notable results. As experience has shown, enterprises that pollute the environment, destroy resources, are poor in quality, or fail to meet production safety standards must be administratively shut down in accordance with the law; otherwise, these enterprises will not withdraw from the market on their own. However, we can only use economic measures to shrink and constrain those enterprises manufacturing products that are already oversupplied and force them out through elimination by the market.

      By so-called economic...

    • 33 Several Issues Regarding Xinjiang’s Development September 10, 2000
      (pp. 223-232)

      Xinjiang is very important strategically. It covers one-sixth of China’s total land area and lies adjacent to most of our neighboring countries. The Central Committee pays a lot of attention to our work in Xinjiang, and Jiang Zemin in particular has spoken about the region many times at meetings of the Politburo Standing Committee.

      I’ve been to Xinjiang four times since 1987. On this trip, we went to Ili in northern Xinjiang and then Aksu and Bayingolin in southern Xinjiang. We visited oil fields and gas fields and gained a deeper understanding of the region. At the same time, we...

  11. 2001

    • 34 Pay Greater Attention to Environmental Protection and Building the Eco-Environment January 11, 2001
      (pp. 233-236)

      Over the past few years, our country has done a great deal to protect and manage the environment, and our progress has been encouraging. However, the present trend of environmental deterioration has still not been effectively checked and is still very challenging.

      The signs of desertification and grassland regression are quite serious and very worrisome. The Hunshandake Desert in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is a direct cause of sandstorms, and it is vital that we do something about this. Although we have no control over the sands that blow in from the Mongolian People’s Republic, we can cooperate more...

    • 35 Hunan Must Give Priority to Managing Its Mountains and Waters April 11, 2001
      (pp. 237-243)

      In 1998 and 1999 I came to Hunan mainly to direct its flood-control efforts. This time I’ve come to have a look at western Hunan. Fifty-seven years ago, I studied at senior high schools in Xinhua and Huatan. When I saw them during this trip, they had changed greatly, with some places no longer recognizable. Today people also appear to be living quite well. Jishou, for example, used to have only a single [granite-] paved street, but now it’s a very large city, and Jishou University is nicely constructed. Back when I was studying at Tsinghua University, it only had...

    • 36 Teachers Are the Basic Driving Force of Education April 27, 2001
      (pp. 244-246)

      In this vibrant spring, you have all come to the verdant Tsinghua campus to join us in celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of Tsinghua University, as well as to offer suggestions for how to run the Tsinghua School of Economics and Management well. For this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

      It has been half a year since the last meeting of the International Advisory Committee. With the support of all of you, we have made definite progress in establishing a first-rate school of economics and management. The training program for senior executives organized jointly...

    • 37 The Spirit of Tsinghua Is the Pursuit of Perfection June 5, 2001
      (pp. 247-253)

      I’m very nervous today. I wasn’t so nervous even when speaking on the South Lawn of the White House because I’m not the least bit afraid of foreigners. But in front of you students I’m very tense—perhaps because “it is the young who are formidable!”

      The President of Tsinghua University and Party Secretary asked me to say a few words, and I hope my remarks will be of some benefit to you because after all, I’m speaking from experience. However, you will have to be the judge of their value. If what I say is correct, if you feel...

    • 38 On Economic Development Issues in Three Autonomous Ethnic Minority Prefectures in Sichuan June 11, 2001
      (pp. 254-262)

      My first goal in coming to Sichuan this time is to fulfill a promise to visit three autonomous minority prefectures. In 1996 I went to Liangshan, in 1999 to Ngaba, and this time to Ganzi. Another consideration is the fact that the Party Central Committee is about to convene a conference on our work in Tibet, and after the conference is over, we will announce the commencement of work on the Qinghai-Tibet railroad. This railroad will play a very important part in the development of Tibet. We must make the construction of this railroad a “first in the world,” because...

    • 39 Further Speed Up Tibet’s Economic Development June 25, 2001
      (pp. 263-272)

      With its vast territory stretching along our country’s southwest, Tibet is of great strategic importance. The Party Central Committee and the State Council have always considered it a pressing task to accelerate the region’s economic development. As far back as the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping pointed out that we must “stimulate rapid development in the region and bring it into the fore-front of the drive for modernization.”² In 1994 Jiang Zemin stressed that “the most fundamental means of accelerating Tibet’s development is to speed up economic development. If its economy improves, other matters will be easier to deal with.”³ Further speeding...

    • 40 In Attracting Foreign Investment, We Must Achieve the “Three Integrations” July 4, 2001
      (pp. 273-282)

      Four years have passed since the 1997 national conference on foreign investment. The present conference is particularly significant because great changes have occurred in the interim, both domestically and internationally. To help us move forward better, we need to do timely studies of the new circumstances relating to foreign investment, must resolve new problems, and be clear about our new tasks.

      To begin with, we should fully acknowledge the achievements of our work on foreign investment. Amid the international complexities during the Ninth Five-Year Plan, we persevered in “ utilizing foreign investment actively, reasonably, and effectively” and sustained good momentum...

    • 41 A Conversation with George Soros September 17, 2001
      (pp. 283-290)
      George Soros and Zhu Rongji

      ZRJ: I welcome your participation in the international forum organized by the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs. Your new book has been published in China, and I congratulate you on that. I received the copy ofThe Crisis of Global Capitalismthat you sent me. It’s my pleasure to meet you. Did you fly from the United States to Japan and then to Beijing?

      GS: I flew over from Mongolia.

      ZRJ: Were you in the United States when the attacks took place?

      GS: I had already left.

      ZRJ: I was shocked by the losses suffered by the American people...

    • 42 Toward a More Open and Prosperous Chinese Economy September 19, 2001
      (pp. 291-303)

      As we enter into the new century, it is particularly meaningful that the Sixth Convention of the World Chinese Entrepreneurs Association is being held in China. On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, I would like to express a warm welcome to our honored guests who have come from all corners of the world!

      Since the founding of New China over 50 years ago, especially since our reforms and opening up, China’s economy has continued to thrive and has achieved tremendous growth, attracting the notice of the entire world. From this new historic starting point, our economy...

    • 43 The Impact of 9/11 on Our Economy, and Our Countermeasures September 27, 2001
      (pp. 304-311)

      Uncertainties in the international situation have increased in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. It’s still too early to predict how great an impact they will have on the American and global economies. It seems that the United States is sure to resort to arms, but fighting won’t be so easy, and we won’t know what will result once the fighting starts. Therefore we should be prepared early, plan strategies in depth, and study what measures to take once war breaks out.

      The events of 9/11 and their aftermath will affect our own economy in a...

    • 44 China Can Become the World’s Investment Paradise October 22, 2001
      (pp. 312-316)

      Compatriots and friends, we have shared roots, so I should call you overseas compatriots. I know you have tremendous professional expertise in many areas and that your achievements are outstanding. I admire you very much. Why? Because I studied engineering, and to this day I continue to have a strong interest in engineering. Unlike you, however, I have no practical engineering experience—at most, I laid some low-voltage power lines and built a couple of transformer stations. As soon as I left the university, I worked basically in macroeconomics, where the biggest headache is finance. I still don’t know how...

    • 45 Strengthen Oversight through the Media December 6, 2001
      (pp. 317-322)

      It’s very important that we strengthen oversight through the media. Our current administrative and legal capabilities alone are inadequate for resolving many serious immediate problems. Why do I take so much time to read letters from the people, to read “Internal References,” and to watchTopics in Focus?Nowadays it isn’t only CCTV Channel 1 that featuresTopics in Focus. Several CCTV channels and many local TV stations all have similar programs that expose certain problems and criticize some signs of corruption. I think this is a fine thing.

      I read “Internal References,” including thePeople’s Daily’s “Information Bulletin,” more...

    • 46 Strengthen Oversight through Publications December 13, 2001
      (pp. 323-326)

      Today, Li Lanqing, Ding Guan’gen, and responsible members of the departments concerned have come with me to the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) with three goals in mind:

      —First, to express our congratulations, to congratulate GAPP on its restructuring and upgrading. This shows that the Party Central Committee and State Council have entrusted you with an even more difficult mission and expect that you will play an even greater role.

      —Second, to express our affirmation: under the leadership of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, you’ve done a great amount of work, and your...

  12. 2002

    • 47 Halt the Tendency to Blindly Seek Increases in Urban Size January 9, 2002
      (pp. 327-328)

      The overall economy performed really well last year despite many hidden problems that may gradually come to light this year. At present, many sectors—especially urban construction—show a tendency for overkill, extravagance, and disregard of realities. The “Happy Homes” project hasn’t been resolved, and ordinary people still find a great deal of housing unaffordable at over RMB 10,000 per square meter. For whom is this being built?

      This very dangerous tendency is now worsening. One hundred and eighty-two cities across the country all want to build international metropolises—how can this be? They’ve forgotten that there are still several...

    • 48 Inner Mongolia Should Play to Its Own Strengths in Its Development March 7, 2002
      (pp. 329-334)

      I’m delighted to be with the delegation from Inner Mongolia to hear your thoughts on the “Report on the Work of the Government.” Inner Mongolia is the largest minority autonomous region in northern China and has always received a great deal of attention from the Party Central Committee and the State Council. In 1966 I was sent to work for a year in the Abag Banner of Xilingol League. I have a great deal of affection for Inner Mongolia. These past few years, it has developed very quickly and very well. Provided the peoples of all ethnic groups are united...

    • 49 A Conversation with Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger April 14, 2002
      (pp. 335-338)
      Henry A. Kissinger and Zhu Rongji

      ZRJ: I’m delighted to be able to meet with Dr. Kissinger, Mrs. Nancy Kissinger, and Ambassador [Stapleton] Roy today. I just returned from Hainan yesterday. This year is the 30th anniversary of President [Richard] Nixon’s visit to China and the Sino-American “Shanghai Communiqué.” I think this day is not only an important one for relations between China and the United States; it’s also an important one for Dr. Kissinger. Dr. Kissinger, you’ve had a very good relationship with three generations of New China’s leadership. There are no longer many leaders like you in the world today, so I wanted to...

    • 50 On Visiting the Former Residence of Hu Xueyan May 5, 2002
      (pp. 339-340)
      Zhu Rongji

      At the former residence of Hu Xueyan,² I saw carved beams and embossed tiles, and clusters upon clusters of buildings. These were supreme examples of southern Chinese garden landscaping and the embodiment of Wu and Yue³ cultures. Hu was as rich as any prince or noble and owned half the wealth in the land. There’s an old saying, “Wealth does not last more than 3 generations.” For all his guile, the wealth of this red-tasseled merchant did not even last 10 years. Pride and extravagance caused him to forget himself—should this not be a warning to us all?


    • 51 A Conversation with an American Congressional Delegation May 30, 2002
      (pp. 341-347)

      ZRJ: I’m delighted to meet with both of you and your wives today, as well as with Vice President [Arnold] Wellman.² I hear that you went to Zunhua in Hebei Province, that you went to a village, donated to educational work there, and personally participated in manual labor. I’m very moved by that. Our Foreign Minister tells me that two department heads from the Foreign Ministry also went with you. If I had gone, I would certainly have done as well as you, because I worked on a farm for five or six years. I want to thank you on...

    • 52 Put “Accuracy” Foremost in Statistical Work October 28, 2002
      (pp. 348-352)

      The National Bureau of Statistics recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It so happens that in 1952 I was transferred from northeastern China to the State Planning Commission. At the time, the State Planning Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics were both located in Beiheyan. Xue Muqiao was then the Director of the National Bureau of Statistics as well as Vice Chairman of the State Planning Commission; the Deputy Director of the Bureau was Wang Sihua, who later became Director. I was working in the General Affairs Bureau of the State Planning Commission, and many of the people there are...

    • 53 Hong Kong Has a Bright Future November 19, 2002
      (pp. 353-357)

      I want to thank Chief Executive Tung [Chee-hua],² the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), and our friends here from all circles for your great friendship and for hosting such a grand dinner to welcome me and the members of my delegation. Allow me to take this opportunity to offer our genuine regards and best wishes to our Hong Kong compatriots! I also want to express our deep admiration and heartfelt thanks to all the friends and colleagues here for the great efforts you have made and for your outstanding contributions to the work of reenergizing Hong...

    • 54 Speech at the 2002 Central Conference on Economic Work December 9, 2002
      (pp. 358-368)

      This meeting has great significance for implementing the spirit of the 16th National Party Congress and for properly handling next year’s economic work. I entirely agree with the speech by Hu Jintao just now in which he analyzed the domestic and international situations and laid out the overall expectations and main tasks for next year’s economic work. We hope that all locales and all departments will implement these in earnest. Now, proceeding from the spirit of the Central Committee’s discussions, I’d like to make a few points about the state of the economy this year and the overall arrangements for...

  13. 2003

    • 55 Comprehensively Understand and Implement the Party’s Policies on Religion January 10, 2003
      (pp. 369-372)

      Today, I’ve come to join with you in discussing guidelines and policies on religious affairs. To tell you the truth, you know more about this than I do. So what should I talk about? I suppose I should say something about my own understanding of the subject. Perhaps this can serve as a point of reference for your discussion of guidelines on work regarding religious affairs.

      We Should Firmly Believe That Our Party’s

      Guidelines on Religion Are Correct

      Our guidelines are based on the teachings of Marxism, are the most comprehensive and correct policies on religion, and accord with historical...

    • 56 A Memorable Five Years January 27, 2003
      (pp. 373-383)

      Today’s meeting is the last plenary meeting of this administration and offers an opportunity to review the rather unique stage in the history of New China’s development that emerged in the past five years. During this period, we were faced with an external environment clouded by the catastrophic impact of the downturn in the global economy and the Asian financial crisis. At the same time, we had many domestic problems on our hands, including the exceptionally large floods of 1998 and the somewhat large floods of 1999, as well as some other natural disasters. We also happened to be at...

    • 57 Make a Concerted Effort to Develop Public Transport February 1, 2003
      (pp. 384-386)

      Today is the first day of the lunar New Year, and on behalf of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, I bring you greetings for the New Year and wish you all a happy Spring Festival. Through you, I also want to express our best wishes for the New Year to everyone working in the Beijing public transport system and in the public bus and taxi industries. You’ve been working hard! While we’ve been home celebrating the festival, you’ve been here at your posts, on duty. Your hard work has, in return, allowed all the residents of the...

  14. Index
    (pp. 387-396)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 397-397)