context: Many officials are eager to experiment with using think-tanks and advisors ostensibly outside the policymaking process. While encouraged in some sectors, such groups have thus far had mixed success. Gansu officials, facing some fundamental obstacles in their efforts to fashion an affluent province, seem either willing to try and trial other avenues, or have been pushed by Beijing to do so.

People’s Daily reports that Tang Renjian 唐仁健 Gansu governor convened a meeting of the Gansu Provincial People’s Government Decision-making Advisory Committee in Lanzhou recently.

According to reports, the more than 50 members of the Committee include experts from Gansu universities and scientific research institutes, provincial Party and government think tanks and central units, as well as entrepreneurs, representatives from state-owned and private enterprises, and business associations in Gansu.

The Committee’s main responsibilities involve

  • working on especially challenging economic and social development issues currently faced in Gansu
  • understanding and channelling public opinion
  • undertaking policy research, consultation and other work assigned by the Gansu government and relevant units, including municipal and state governments
  • providing advice on policy formulation and planning, as well as other suggestions for Gansu government decision-making