context: China is trying to achieve a comprehensive breakthrough by constructing law-based government within five years. Foreign media have framed this as part of the IT giant crackdown, while most domestic voices pointing out that this is just about Party governance. As an implementation outline for government construction, the plan sets out legislative requirements, which shows strong resistance to any division of rights.

CCP Central Committee and State Council on 11 Aug 2021 issued ‘Implementation outline for construction of law-based government (2021-25)’, specifying

  • improving functional system of government agencies
    • deepening administrative streamlining, involving investment approval system
    • optimising the business environment
      • preventing abuse of administrative power to eliminate and restrict competition
      • promoting institutional opening
      • fully listening to opinions of enterprises, industry associations and chambers of commerce in formulating regulations
      • improving anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition law enforcement
  • promoting standardisation, proceduralisation and legalisation of governance
    • key legislation areas: national security, technological innovation, public health, culture and education, ethnic religion, biosecurity, ecological civilisation, risk prevention, anti-monopoly, foreign-related ‘rule of law’
  • improving administrative decision-making system
  • improving administrative law enforcement work system
    • improving administrative law enforcement procedures
      • standardising administrative inspections related to enterprises
    • punishments
      • improving the system of punitive damages and huge fines for serious violations, and life-long ban mechanism
      • fully implementing a list of minor violations exempted from punishment
  • improving emergency response system
    • standardising boundaries of administrative power
  • improving administrative prevention, mediation and resolution of social conflicts
  • improving administrative power restriction system
  • constructing digital government
  • strengthening CCP leadership of the party
    • achieving full coverage of inspections of local governments

Compared with 2015 Outline, the 2021 Outline further highlights the requirements for improving people’s satisfaction and put forward a very innovative concept named digital law-based government, Wang Jingbo 王敬波 University of International Business and Economics vice president told Legal Daily.