“The government researches enterprises and seeks for their opinions before introducing or modifying relevant regulations” Chen Kaixuan, member of Guangdong Provincial People's Congress and President of Liby Group, repeatedly praised the relationship between politics and commerce while interviewed by reporters the other day: “nowadays the government handles affairs in a public and transparent way and we can spend more time and energy on enterprise development.”
Chen Kaixuan expressed the wishes of many enterprises in Guangdong and reflected entrepreneurs’ recognition for Guangdong actively building a “close” “clean” new relationship between politics and commerce. According to research of Guangdong Provincial Situation Research Center, 95.52% of enterprises were satisfied with rectification and anti-corruption work of Guangdong.
A piece of “clear paper”
Set up the rule for contact
Once upon a time, fair competitive and selective market rules have been replaced by “latent rules” of power-for-money deal and benefit transfer due to an unhealthy relationship between politics and commerce. Relevant responsible person of the Provincial Discipline Inspection Commission introduced, since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a great many leading cadres have been caught due to violations of law and discipline. It is not hard to find many power-for-money deal cases: some leading cadres are inextricably linked to merchants and they reach an “agreement” in respect of collusion between government and businessmen based on power and money.
“Government and business men should have intersection but no exchange and have contact but no transaction.” Huang Xianyao, member of the Standing Committee of the Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of the Discipline Inspection Commission, introduce. It is found in the research that tough the anti-corruption stance effectively contains “politician-businessman collusion” and other phenomena, but some leading cadres also tend to avoid meeting entrepreneurs or have “negative act”. Some leading cadres complain, “It is rather difficult to measure the scale to deal with enterprises. To avoid arousing suspicion, we prefer to do nothing or less.”
Under the request of comprehensively strengthening Party discipline, how to handle the relationship between leading cadres and enterprises correctly and make the relationship between politics and commerce “close” and “clean”? Guangdong deeply caries out the spirit of the speech made by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, on building a “close” and “clean” new relationship between politics and commerce, introduces Several Opinions of the Provincial Discipline Inspection Commission and the Provincial Supervision Department about Promoting Construction of a New Relationship between Politics and Commerce (Trial) (hereinafter referred to as Opinions) through plenty of researches, presents “positive list” and “negative list” on the relationship between politics and commerce as detailed as possible and identifies 9 requirements for the relationship between government departments and workers and non-public enterprises and responsible persons and 13 prohibited acts.
Opinions offer a piece “clear paper” to the relationship between politics and commerce.
“Positive list” makes requests from 9 aspects: Treating non-public enterprises fairly and equally, implementing and promoting policies on non-public economic development, intensifying propaganda of policies and regulations, elevating the efficiency of government affairs service, improving the mode of government affairs service, enhancing transparency of government affairs service, easing the burden of non-public enterprises, unclogging appeal channels for non-public enterprises and practicing contact service and non-public enterprise systems. For example, it is stipulated in Article 13: “Upon approval, workers of government departments can be invited to participate in business activities consistent with regulations and have meals according to relevant regulations on business trip where enterprise is located or have work meals offered by enterprises according to local official reception standard.”
“Negative list” explicitly requests to comply with laws and regulations and disciplinary rules, not to take advantage of power and position to “accept red packet, cash gift, gift, consumer card, prize and bonus from enterprises and responsible persons” or “raise capital and borrow money and things from enterprises and responsible persons in their own name or in the name of spouse, children and their spouses and other people with special relationship”.
A “positive and negative list”
Promote to establish a close relationship with and protect businessmen
“Enterprise warm spring action” of Foshan City was kicked off on February 15. Lu Yi, Secretary of Foshan Municipal Party Committee, and other municipal leading cadres deeply researched enterprises, had a symposium with enterprises and representatives from the industry association, listened to their appeals, requested departments at all levels to actively offer door-to-door service, helped enterprises solve the problems and supported enterprise development. It was a measure adopted by Foshan City to actively promote to build a new relationship between politics and commerce according to practical situation after Opinions were introduced.
Furthermore, departments at provincial level also introduced new policies and implemented Opinions: The General Office of the Provincial Government introduced Several Policies and Measures for Promoting the Development of Private Economy; the Provincial Communications Department, the Provincial Science and Technology Department, the Provincial Water Conservancy Department, the Provincial Quality and Technology Supervision Bureau and the Provincial FDA（Food and Drug Administration realizes an annual online handling rate of administrative examination and approval up to 100%.
Wen Liang, member of the Standing Committee of Provincial Political Consultative Conference and President of Tianyuan Group, thought, “Opinions were introduced just in time. I hope the government could communicate with enterprises as always.”
While protecting enterprise’s lawful rights and interests, Party Committees (party organization), governments and discipline inspection and supervision authorities at all levels of Guangdong actively undertook entity responsibility and supervision responsibility for building a “close” and “clean” relationship between politics and commerce, strengthened supervision and accountability through standardizing the relationship between politics and commerce and intensified management of problems such as “government officials are neglectful of their duties” and “briberies” in order to offer support without “blindness” and exercise supervision without omission. According to statistics, after Opinions were introduced, discipline inspection and supervision authorities upheld a “zero tolerance” attitude towards violations of law and discipline in the relationship between politics and commerce, investigated and treated a great many typical cases on collusion between government and businessmen and held 1707 “government officials who are neglectful of their duties” accountable.
In order to avoid “collapse of an enterprise and loss of a great many enterprises due to investigation of a case”, Opinions explicitly proposed “four don'ts” for discipline inspection and supervision authorities. That is, do not freeze account of enterprise without permission, do not sequester account book of enterprise without permission, do not clog capital channels of enterprise without permission and do not make reports affecting reputation of enterprise without permission. For private entrepreneurs who actively cooperate with and assist in investigation, maintain their legal duties such as examination and approval of documents and fully guarantee that production and operation activities, reputation and image of enterprise are not affected.
A “rule of discipline”
Encourage career cultivation
A new relationship between politics and commerce should be backed by mechanisms for fault tolerance and error correction. While exercising supervision over discipline and accountability, discipline inspection and supervision authorities at provincial level stick to the principle of “two respects” and “three differentiations” (respect the history of Guangdong and respect actual situation of Guangdong; differentiate errors arising from inexperience and priority to carry and try from violating the discipline knowingly, differentiate trial test which is not explicitly stipulated by the state from persisting one old ways which is explicitly prohibited by the state, and differentiate unmeant fault arising from accelerating development from abusing public power for private gains and violating the discipline intentionally), build a good political and social environment for encouraging reform, tolerating faults, containing corruption and go things honestly and enable leading cadres to take initiative to do things instead of being caught in a dilemma.
There are 127 village-level industrial parks in Nanhai District of Foshan City and some small and micro businesses feature low benefit, serious pollution and difficult management. Many substandard enterprises must be closed according to relevant laws and regulations. Can they find a good way to control the ecological environment and realize transformation? Many cadres think this way, but they dare not to do so. After “two respects” and “three differentiations” are released, the environmental Protection Agency of Nanhai District breathed freely and confidently proposed to “control environmental pollution and convoy enterprises”.
According to the principle of “two respects” and “three differentiations”, discipline inspection and supervision authorities at principal level grasped the clue of problems 11784 times in recent years and formed a protective network for cadres who dare to think and do and undertake the responsibility, which effectively encourages leading cadres to take the initiative to do things.
Data is the best witness. According to statistics, private investment of Guangdong increased by 13.5%, added value of private economy broke 4 trillion Yuan with a contribution rate to GDP growth of 55.5% and a year-on-year growth rate of 1.3%, and the growth rate of GDP reached up to 4.2% in 2016.
““The business environment of Guangdong becomes increasing fair and equal. Power is no longer unruly. Enterprise operator can invest more in R&D and production and consequently economic benefit increases. We gradually take a space in the industrial competition.” said Li Qin, President of Guangzhou Zhengsheng Investment Management Co., Ltd.
According to research of the Provincial Association of Industry and Commerce, private enterprises of Guangdong no longer focus on “working in and accumulating contacts with government departments” while cultivating successor. The proportion of owners of enterprises “able to deal with the relationship between politics and commerce” decreases. A well-ordered “close” and “clean” relationship between politics and commerce offers a powerful guarantee for healthy economic and social development of Guangdong and healthy growth of leading cadres.
（Tu Yijun participated in interview and writing）