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Beijing Declaration on city governance widely adopted

LMS| Updated: December 22, 2022


The closing ceremony of the Beijing Forum on Party-Led Reform of Swift Response to Public Complaints is held in Beijing on Dec 19, 2022. [Photo provided to]

Beijing, together with other 12 Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, released the Beijing Declaration, a manifesto on modernizing city governance, at a forum on Monday.

Focusing on problems of urbanization and city governance, the declaration absorbs major concepts from the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda. It echoes themes of ecological conservation, resilient city, smart city and multiparty coordinated governance — all of which concern the international community.

It also shares Chinese experience and wisdom in city governance acquired on the path to modernization.

Based on the public service hotline 12345, Beijing initiated "swift response to public complaints" reform in January 2019.

It aims to improve the quality of its public services. After three years, it has become a vital mechanism in responding to public complaints and adopting people's advice on city governance.

David Ferguson, the honorary chief English editor of China International Communication Group, said one of the greatest strengths of China's system is that its powers are delegated.

"China has very strong grassroots authority. People in villages and in residential communities actually exercise a significant amount of power," he said. "One of the key features of the Beijing system is its human dimension and the number of physical places in which you can bring up issues. That the huge strength of the system...

"In China, the Communist Party of China always tries to serve the people."

The forum — the Beijing Forum on Party-Led Reform of Swift Response to Public Complaints — focuses on the theme of "super large city governments driven by public demand". It has provided a platform for officials, scholars, entrepreneurs and residents interested in city governance to exchange their ideas in six parallel forums.

In its closing ceremony, the forum also released the Index System of Good Governance in Chinese Cities, which consists of system, capacity, feedback and performance.

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