Minister of Culture outlines main directions for further cultural policy reform

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Published in Qiushi, on 16 August 2013.

Unwaveringly Deepen Cultural Structural Reform

The recently convened Work Conference on Cultural Structural Reform stressed that it is necessary to establish new ideas, determine new objectives and adopt new measures, and with even more daring and wisdom, push cultural reform and development forward. In the face of new circumstances and new tasks, we must unwaveringly deepen cultural structural reform.

I, The basic circumstances for cultural structural reform at present.

Since the 16th Party Congress, cultural structural reform has progressed through exploration and developed through innovation, historical achievements have been made, a new picture has been established for cultural construction, and a development path of Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics has been marched. With the 18th Party Congress as a symbol, cultural reform and development has entered a new phase.

Clear achievements have been made in cultural reform and development, and deepening cultural structural reform stands on a new starting point. Since the 16th Party Congress, under the firm leadership of the Party Centre and the State Council, cultural structural reform has been expanded at many levels and moved forcefully forward, structural and mechanistic obstacles have been eliminated, difficulties in cultural development have been overcome and historical achievements have been made. The phase-type reform objectives determined by the Centre have been realized on schedule, publishing, distribution, film, television drama, radio and television transmission work units, common State-owned literature and art troupes, non-news newspaper and periodical publishing work units, and other such State-owned commercial cultural work units have basically completed a transition into enterprises; comprehensive cultural market law enforcement reform is basically complete. The problems of overlapping functions and multi-headed law enforcement in cultural market management have been effectively resolved; the intra-provincial integration of radio and television transmission networks and publications distribution networks has been basically completed; undertaking personnel allocation nationwide has been reduced by 300.000, nearly 7000 undertaking legal person work units were cancelled, and a batch of backbone cultural enterprises with a sales volume exceeding billions has emerged. The beginnings of modern public culture service structures and frameworks have been established, in 2012, the comprehensive population coverage of nationwide radio and television programmes was 97.5% and 98.2% respectively, it has been basically realized that every town and community has a comprehensive culture station, every rural village has a peasant book room, it is guaranteed that one film is screened free of charge every month in every village, it has been realized that public museums, cultural halls, libraries, memorial halls and fine art galleries are open free of charge. Cultural industries’ contribution to GDP is incessantly rising, since 2004, the cultural industries have grown by 23% on average annually, according to preliminary calculations, industrial growth numbers for 2012 promise to exceed 1.8 trillion Yuan, a proportion of 3% of GDP. In general terms, a new series of major changes has been realized in the cultural area, matters have generally taken on an entirely new look, powerful energy has been collected and a firm basis established to further deepen reform.

The overall picture of the development of the Party and State undertaking has put forward new and even higher requirements of cultural structural reform. The 18th Party Congress revolved around persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and put forward the “Two Centuries” struggle objective of comprehensively constructing a moderately prosperous society, constructing a wealthy, strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious Socialist modern country, and established the general composition of the “Five Integrations” of economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction and ecological civilization construction. Cultural flourishing and development are not only important aspects and important objectives of the overall picture of Socialist modernization construction, they are also extremely important supports. Realizing the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, requires persisting in the Chinese path, carrying forward the Chinese spirit and concentrating Chinese forces, fully giving rein to the functions of culture in guiding fashions, educating the people, serving society and promoting development, further deepening cultural structural reform and promoting cultural flourishing and development. Through more than thirty years of reform and opening up, the lives of our country’s people have generally become moderately prosperous, their hope of pursuing beautiful lives has become even more strong, spiritual and cultural needs have become even more exuberant. At present, the comprehensive level of our country’s cultural development is still not high, and there still is a relatively large difference with the popular masses’ daily increasing spiritual and cultural needs. Satisfying cultural needs, improving the people’s cultural livelihoods and raising the people’s happiness indicators have become important areas to adapt to the popular masses’ new expectations of beautiful lives, this is also a new and even higher demand put in to deepening cultural structural reform.

The Centre has put forward a series of new ideas and new judgments concerning deepening reform, and has pointed out the direction for advance in deepening cultural structural reform. After the 18th Party Congress, in the face of new circumstances and new tasks for reform and opening up, the Centre has put forward a series of new ideas and new judgments, that have a profound guiding significance for the greater picture of comprehensively deepening reform, and has also pointed out the direction for advance for further liberating thoughts and transforming ideas in the cultural area, and promoting and deepening cultural structural reform. We understand that the development of practice is boundless, and reform only has a progressive tense, not a perfect tense, the phase-type objectives for cultural structural reform have already been achieved, but the task of deepening reform is still extremely arduous, reform still is a strong driver promoting cultural flourishing and development, and we must unwaveringly move cultural structural reform forward. We comprehend that promoting cultural structural reform must mean that culture jumps out from culture, that it is both necessary to stress its own particularities, and pay attention to its linkage with reform in the economy, politics, society, ecological civilization construction and other areas, realizing mutual stimulation and coordinated development in all areas of reform. We comprehend that the process of reform is a process of incessantly resolving problems, and that it is necessary to continue to analyse and explain a series of difficulties restraining cultural development through deepening reform. We have learnt that at present, cultural structural reform and comprehensive deepening reform are similar, having entered the deep end and the period to storm fortifications, what needs to be overcome are profound structural and mechanistic obstacles, we must have the confidence and bravery to firmly storm fortifications and overcome difficulties, dare to gnaw at tough bones, dare to charge toward difficult passes, and promote the incessant realization of new progress in cultural structural reform.

In terms of the practice of cultural structural reform, cultural structural reform faces many new problems. Through a long period of development and especially the deep promotion of cultural structural reform in recent years, our the overall scale and overall strength of our country’s culture has clearly increased. At present, our country’s cultural development has already entered a period to storm fortifications, and a crucial stage, apart from old problems that we need to resolve, there are also profound new problems that emerge incessantly, the difficulty of reform is even greater and tasks are even heavier. How to transform from quantitative expansion to qualitative improvement, resolve resource integration, structure optimization, technological content and other such problems restraining cultural development, have become major topics in changing cultural development methods; after the transformation of commercial cultural work units, how to truly establish modern enterprise systems, how to establish and complete suitable macro-level management structures and management structures for State-owned assets in cultural enterprises, urgently require our resolving them; after categorizing cultural undertaking work units, how to reform them, how to raise service effects, still await further exploration; cultural industry trends are good, but we still face the major tasks of increasing quality and effect, strengthening comprehensive scale and strength; there are still many situations in which the functions and boundaries of government, market and society in the cultural area are indistinct, the phenomenon that in some areas, government manages too much, but management is lacking in some other areas, still exists, etc. In order to resolve these problems well, we must further liberate and develop cultural productive forces through continuing to deepen cultural structural reform, breach structural and mechanistic obstacles restraining cultural scientific development, raise the comprehensive levels of cultural development and realize the sustainable development of culture.

II, Main tasks in deepening cultural structural reform

According to the requirements of “expanding strength, consolidate and improve, deepen and expand, storm fortifications and overcome difficulties, scientific development”, in the present and future phase, the main tasks contain the following aspects.

Accelerating the transformation of administrative cultural management departments’ functions, raising macro-level cultural management capacity. The 2nd Plenum of the 18th Party Congress stressed that we must make even greater decisions and promote the transformation of government functions with even larger strength. We must deepen cultural management structure reform, complete comprehensive cultural market law enforcement organs, perfect comprehensive cultural administration responsibility structures, promote that government functions are even better transformed into government regulation, market supervision, social management and public service, promote that government realizes scientific management, management according to the law and comprehensive management. We must explore and complete State-owned cultural asset management systems, establish and complete management structures integrating personnel management, object management, asset management and guidance, and guarantee the value of State-owned cultural assets is maintained and increased.

Deepening reform of State-owned commercial cultural work units, fostering and expanding cultural market subjects. Commercial cultural work units’ completion of transformation into enterprises is only the first step in reform. We must accelerate the establishment of modern enterprise systems with clear property rights, explicit powers and responsibilities, with separation of government and enterprise and scientific management, give prominence to the characteristics of cultural enterprises, promote that cultural enterprises who have transformed their structure accelerate reform of their corporate systems and shareholding systems, promote that cultural enterprises marge and acquire across regions, across sectors and across ownership systems, promote the concentration of cultural resources and factors towards top-grade enterprises and superior industrial categories, shape a batch of backbone cultural enterprises with strong core competitiveness. We must choose a batch of large-scale State-owned cultural enterprises that have reformed satisfactorily and are mature, for focus fostering, expand support strength in finance, projects, resources and other such areas, and make them larger, better and stronger as quickly as possible.

Establishing and completing modern cultural market structures, creating a good market environment. To develop cultural industries under Socialist market economy conditions, the market is a crucial factor. We must vigorously develop cultural product markets, forcefully foster markets for technology, information, talent and other such markets, smash market fragmentations, complete networks and circulation, stimulate the reasonable flow of cultural products and production factors on a nationwide level. We must accelerate the fostering of capital markets, stimulate the linkage of cultural resources and financial assets, and fully use multi-level capital market to resolve the problem that it is difficult for cultural enterprises to find capital. We must accelerate the fostering of property rights markets, strengthen management of cultural property rights exchange, complete intangible asset appraisal mechanisms, encourage and guide cultural enterprises to conduct exchange in shareholding, copyright, trademarks, brands and other areas according to the law.

Promote cultural undertaking work reform in a categorized manner, upgrade service capacity and levels. We must, according to the requirements of the centre, give prominence to the characteristics of the cultural sector, link up cultural structural reform, government organ reform and functional transformation, and on the basis of scientific categorization, rationalize the relationship between government and undertaking work units, vigorously explore effective forms of separation of government and business, and separation of management and running business. We must deeply stimulate the internal mechanism reform of cultural undertaking work units, adopt advanced trial methods, promote that cultural halls, museums and libraries establish legal person governance structures, perfect policymaking and supervision mechanisms, raise service levels, and increase usage effects. We must promote the further perfection of management and operation mechanisms in Party newspapers, Party periodicals, radio and television stations, and promote that common current affairs newspaper and periodical publishers, public interest-type publishers, literature and art troupes representing the characteristics of the nation and national levels and other such work units implement enterprise-type management.

Perfecting public cultural service structure construction, ensuring that the people’s basic cultural rights and interests are guaranteed even better. Public cultural services are the main channel to guarantee the people’s basic cultural rights and interests. We must, according to the requirements of complete coverage, guaranteeing the basis, stimulating perfection and sustainability, deeply implement focus culture projects that benefit the people, promote that cultural resources are tilting towards the grass roots, the countryside and poor regions, accelerate the formation of an integrated cultural development structures whereby cultural services are equally enjoyed, and cultural development is pushed towards town and country in even measure. We must forcefully increase the usability and convenience of public cultural services, perfect facilities, enrich content, improve methods, promote the effective linkage of public cultural services and the demands of the masses, and guarantee that public cultural service structures are both “complete” and “used well. We must strengthen work effect evaluations and perfect appraisal indicator systems, in order to pursue even greater work effects on the basis of scientific evaluation.

Promoting the healthy and rapid development of the cultural industries, raising the quality and effect of development. The 18th Party Congress put forward that the cultural industries are to become a pillar industry of the national economy by 2020. We must put raising quality and effect at the centre, accelerate the transformation of cultural development methods, optimize industrial structures and compositions, forcefully stimulate content innovation, formal innovation and business model innovation, stimulate the integrated development of culture with science, technology, tourism and other related industries, construct modern cultural industry structures, raise the scale levels, intensification and specialization levels of the cultural industries. We must encourage and guide nongovernmental capital to invest in the cultural industries and shape a cultural industry structure with public ownership at the core, jointly developing with many kinds of ownership. We must expand policy, law and regulation guarantee strength, further resolve fiscal, financial, land support and other such issues, and provide powerful support to cultural industry development. We must implement major cultural industry programmes, strengthen the planning and construction of cultural creation and pioneering parks, and strive to raise the scale levels, intensification and specialization levels of the cultural industries.

Raising cultural marching out levels, strengthening national cultural soft power. We must, according to the requirements of government leadership, enterprises as the main part, market operation and social participation, innovate cultural marching out models, vigorously develop many forms of foreign-oriented cultural exchange and foreign cultural trade. We must encourage cultural enterprises to deeply excavate the nation’s cultural resources, exploit cultural products and services that are easy to accept for foreign audiences, strengthen support in dubbing, marketing and other such areas, push out even more excellent national cultural brands having Chinese characteristics, Chinese styles and a Chinese air. Vigorously explore channels and methods for marching out with cultural enterprises at the core, develop and expand a batch of foreign-oriented cultural enterprises, accelerate the formation of new cultural export superiorities, expand cultural product and service export, promote Chinese culture’s march towards the world even better, strengthen national cultural soft power.

(Author: Ministry of Culture Party Group Secretary, Minister)


















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