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Scientific connotations of Chinese social governance modernization

Author  :  Xu Hanming     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2023-03-14

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress put forth “advancing the great rejuvenation of Chinese nation with Chinese modernization.” Chinese modernization incorporates Chinese social governance modernization, which itself has rich scientific connotations and remarkable epochal characteristics.

First, the Party’s overall leadership and the people-centered philosophy of governance should be upheld in its social governance, so as to promote whole-process people’s democracy in social governance, and improve the overall efficacy of the political consultative system. China’s greatest advantages are the leadership of the Party and the socialist system, which must be leveraged throughout the whole process of social governance. Meanwhile, to promote the modernization of social governance, people should be put first.

Democratic consultation is an important aspect of socialist democratic politics with Chinese characteristics. It has the institutional advantages of great unity and common cohesion of collective support for the great cause of national rejuvenation.

Second, we should develop a law-based country, government, and society simultaneously to build a social governance community pattern and a socialist governance system with Chinese characteristics. This covers the new development pattern, major risk prevention and control, cyberspace governance, food supervision, media integration, urban and rural governance, and other aspects of social governance.

From the height of creating a new form of human governance advancement, the Chinese social governance incorporates a national security system, a public security system for crime prevention and control, a public security contingency system, an ecological governance system, a primary-level governance system, and so on.

Third, special governance, systematic governance, governance under the rule of law, comprehensive governance, and governance from source should be organically combined to liberate and enhance social vitality and ensure that society is vibrant and orderly. Social governance and the construction of a peaceful China run through the overall development of socialism with Chinese characteristics and are essential for meeting people’s material and cultural needs after adapting to changes in principal social contradictions, and continually delivering higher quality “public goods” in democracy, the rule of law, fairness, justice, security, and the environment. The principle of comprehensive governance must be applied to improve people’s wellbeing, and improve all aspects and links of security construction such as crime prevention and control, public security, municipal governance, primary-level governance, and cyberspace governance.

To safeguard a lively and orderly society, we must start with institutional arrangements to minimize social inequities and protect the rights of the people.

Fourth, we need to promote the modernization of social governance systems and capacity in alignment with the rule of law, and improve the level of socialization, rule of law, intelligence, and specialization of social governance.

The modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance requires the guarantee of the rule of law. We must take effective measures to integrate the modernization of the social governance system and capacity into the overall layout of state governance according to the law. First, we must adhere to the spirit of solving disputes and problems lawfully, strengthen infrastructure construction, accelerate the innovation of social governance systems and mechanisms, promote legislation in key areas of social governance, and constantly improve the implementation, supervision and guarantee of the rule of law in social governance. Second, civil servants, especially those in leading positions, should demonstrate due respect for the rule of law when handling affairs, and apply it while deepening reform, promoting development, resolving conflicts, maintaining stability, and evaluating risks. Finally, the masses should be encouraged to consciously abide by the law, resort to legal means of problem solving, deepen law-based governance at the primary level, build the rule of law on solid basic work at the primary level, and promote the formation of a law-based society.

China is a country whose people respect etiquette. Its fine traditional culture is integrated with self-governance and law-based governance, and complements the construction of a society under the rule of law. Self-governance is an indispensable and important part of social governance.

Fifth, changes to the global governance system should be promoted with the goal of building a human community with a shared future. Global governance is focused on the changes of the world, the times, and history.

Promoting global governance system reform and fostering a human community of shared future incorporates global governance system reforms, expanding openness, global ecological governance, public health, anti-terrorism cooperation, cyberspace governance, civilizational exchanges, human rights protection, foreign-related rule of law and other significant propositions in global governance. China actively participates in reforming and building the global governance system with “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits” as its motivation, and constantly contributes Chinese input and insights for world peace and development.


Xu Hanming is a professor from the School of State Governance at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.

Editor: Yu Hui

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