Media Analysis of the New Meanings of the “New Four Modernizations”: From Giving First Place to Materials to Putting People First

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(People’s Daily, 17 January 2013)

Where Are the New Ideas of the “New Four Modernizations?”

The first “new”, a strategic focus on going from stressing development objectives to stressing development trajectories.

The second “new”, a development concept changing from “first place to materials” to “putting people first”.

The third “new”, the relationship of the “Four Modernizations” changes from mutual independence to an integrated mix, to complement each other.

Dreams encourage people to advance, realizing them require being earnest and down-to-earth. The magnificent ideal of the “Four Modernizations” encourages Chinese people to struggle for this, and today’s China has gained huge achievements because of this. On the 15th, Comrade Li Keqiang stressed, when he investigated and researched the State Grain Bureau, that pushing forward the construction of the “New Four Modernizations”, new industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization, is the road China must follow for modernization. The “New Four Modernizations” have outlined the concrete path for constructing China’s modernization with an even closer feel for the times.

Where is the new in the “New Four Modernizations”? What is their significance in promoting scientific development?

First and foremost, the “new” is in the transformation of stressing development objectives to stressing development trajectories. This concept of the “Four Modernizations” has a special historical position in China. In December 1964, Zhou Enlai put forward for the first time in his Government Work Report that, within the 20th Century, China was to be built into a strong Socialist country with modern agriculture, modern industry, modern national defence and modern science and technology. In December 1979, Deng Xiaoping, when talking with the Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira, quantified the Four Modernizations as “by the end of the 20th Century, striving to obtain that the Chinese GDP reaches 1000 US Dollar per capita, realizing a relatively well-off living standard”, this objective was clear and explicit. Although the wording and context of the “Four Modernizations” was different, and the content was different, we still can see from them the process that China’s modernization construction has experienced and the characteristics of the phase nature. The “New Four Modernizations” put forward today refer to new industrialization, informatization, urbanization and rural modernization. In 2011, China’s GDP per capital reached 5432 US Dollars, and the total amount ranks second in the world, this has exceeded the objective of the “Four Modernizations” put forward 33 years before by far. In the future, to realize an even greater “Chinese dream”, we must have even higher-level “Four Modernizations”, the realization of these can all be grasped through the “New Four Modernizations”.

Furthermore, “new” is found in the transformation from “giving first place to materials” to “putting people first”. In more than 30 years of reform and opening-up, China has obtained huge achievements, but “post-development problems” have also emerged. In past urbanization, the regretful matter of “materials are important, people are not important” exists as well. Even though China’s urbanization rate reached 51.27 per cent in 2011, and the scale of urban construction has become ever greater, the urban registered population only occupies a proportion of about 35% of the total population. More than 200 million peasant workers who live in cities have realized a shift of region and a professional transformation, but have not realized a transformation of identity and status, and thus far have not been able to enjoy same levels of public services, this creates unfairness, and also buries hidden dangers of social instability. When putting forward the “New Four Modernizations”, Li Keqiang especially stressed that the “human” factor, is directly aimed at the crux of the problems. The core of China’s future urbanization will be “human” urbanization, which benefits the common people and makes the peasantry well-off by raising “human” living quality. Similarly, among the other “Three Modernizations”, prominence is given to energy-saving and environmental protection in industrialization, prominence is given to intelligent cities in informatization and to the pursuit of better food safety in agricultural modernization, “people” are also their final service target. The future “New Four Modernizations” certainly will give more prominence to the basic concept of “putting people first”.

Finally, “new” is found in an even stronger focus on the integrated mix and mutually complementing relationship. China has a large quantity of surplus agricultural population, and we must rely on industrialization to further absorb this; China’s traditional industries must rely on industrialization to raise efficiency; cities and towns must rationally accommodate the large numbers of rural dwellers who participate in industrialization, and let peasant workers become townspeople; agricultural production must transform from “stressing quantity and resolving the issues of food and clothing” to “stressing quality, and satisfying grades”. These have decided the new types of relationship  of the “New Four Modernizations”, which are too close to be separated, and complement each other: urbanization has the largest potential for internal demand, and is the crux for broadening the production capacities of industrialization, informatization and agricultural modernization, urbanization also requires support from industry, industrialization, informatization and rural modernization, conversely, are also the locus of the industries that urbanization must rely on. For the same reason, informatization and industrialization are “twins” at a certain stage of development, their deep integration is the orientation and driver of industrial upgrading; agricultural modernization is the locus of the basis for industrialization and informatization to develop greatly. These sorts of relationships of the “New Four Modernizations” may raise efficiency and guarantee the sustainable development of the Chinese economy.

Continue history, link up with the future. These three “news” will let us see that the future march of China’s economy must be a path of adjusting structures and transforming methods.

媒体析“新四化” 新意:从以物为主转向以人为本
“新四化” 新意在何处(新论)

●一“新”,战略重点从强调发展目标转向注重发展路径

●二“新”,发展理念从“以物为主”向“以人为本”转变

●三“新”,“四化”关系从相互独立向融合集成、相辅相成转变

梦想激励人们前进,实现需要脚踏实地。“四个现代化”的宏伟理想激励几代中国人为之奋斗,今天的中国因此取得了巨大成就。15日,李克强同志在国家粮食局考察调研时强调,推进新型工业化、信息化、城镇化和农业现代化的“新四化”建设是中国现代化的必由之路。“新四化”,更具时代感地勾画了建设中国现代化的具体之路。

“新四化”新在何处?对我们推动科学发展有怎样的意义?

首先,“新”在从强调发展目标到注重发展路径。“四化”这个概念,在中国有着特殊的历史地位。1964年12月,周恩来在政府工作报告中首次提出:在20世纪内,把中国建设成为一个具有现代农业、现代工业、现代国防和现代科学技术的社会主义强国。1979年12月,邓小平在与日本首相大平正芳会谈时,把四个现代化量化为“到20世纪末,争取国民生产总值达到人均1000美元,实现小康水平”,目标十分清楚明确。虽然“四化”的说法语境不同,内涵也不同,但我们还是从中看到中国现代化建设经历的过去和阶段性特征。今天提出的“新四化”是指新型工业化、信息化、城镇化和农业现代化。2011年,中国人均国内生产总值已经达5432美元,总量排名世界第二,远远超过了33年前设定的“四化”目标。未来要实现更大的“中国梦”,需要更高水平的“四化”,这些都可以通过“新四化”这一抓手来实现。

其次,“新”在发展理念从“以物为主”向“以人为本”转变。改革开放30多年来,中国取得了巨大成就,但也出现了“发展起来以后的问题”。以往的城镇化,就存在“重物不重人”的遗憾。尽管2011年中国的城镇化率达到51.27%,城市建筑规模越来越大,但是城镇户籍人口占总人口的比例却只有约35%。2亿多生活在城镇里的农民工实现了地域转移和职业转换,但还没有实现身份和地位的转变,尚不能享受到同等的公共服务,这既造成不公平,也埋下了社会不稳定的隐患。李克强提出“新四化”时特别强调“人”的因素,直指了问题关键。未来中国城镇化的核心将是“人”的城镇化,以提高“人”的生活质量造福百姓、富裕农民。同样,其他“三化”中,工业化突出节能环保,信息化突出智慧城市,农业现代化追求食品更安全,“人”也都是它们的最终服务方向。未来“新四化”必然会更加凸显“以人为本”的基本理念。

最后,“新”在更强调“四化”融合集成、相辅相成的关系。中国有大量剩余的农业人口,需要靠工业化来进一步消化;中国的传统工业要依靠信息化来提高效率;城镇要合理容纳参与工业化的大量农村人口,让农民工变成市民;农业产出必须从“强调数量、解决温饱”转向“强调质量、满足品位”。这些,决定了“新四化”密不可分、相辅相成的新型关系:城镇化是扩大内需的最大潜力,是扩大工业化、信息化、农业现代化的生产能力关键所在;而城镇化又需要产业来支撑,工业化、信息化、农业现代化反过来又是推进城镇化所必须依赖的产业所在。同理,信息化与工业化是发展到一定阶段的“孪生子”,其深度融合是产业升级的方向与动力;农业现代化又是信息化和工业化可以大发展的基础所在。“新四化”的这种关系,可以提高效率,保证中国经济的可持续发展。

承接历史,对接未来。这三个“新”,让我们看到,中国经济的未来走向,必是一条调结构、转方式的道路。(作者为国家发改委城市和小城镇中心研究员 易 鹏)

One thought on “Media Analysis of the New Meanings of the “New Four Modernizations”: From Giving First Place to Materials to Putting People First

    […] to look at the concrete measures and plans that the new leadership will put forward. Today, another People’s Daily article introduces the “Four New Modernizations”, which were presented by Li Keqiang on a visit to the […]

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