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Chinese Public Administration Society 2023 Annual Conference is Held at Nanjing University


On December 17, 2023, the Annual Conference of the Chinese Public Administration Society (CPAS) convened in Nanjing, China. The focal theme of this conference centered around "Chinese-style Modernization: Innovations in Governance and Local Practices." Vice Secretary-General of the State Council, Mr. Jianbo LIU; Standing Committee Member and Executive Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province, Mr. Xin MA; Vice Chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, Chair of the University CPC Council of Nanjing University (NJU), and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Tieniu TAN; President of the Chinese Public Administration Society, Former Vice Secretary-General of the State Council, and Former Director of the National Government Offices Administration, Mr. Baorong LI, graced the opening ceremony with their presence and delivered notable opening speeches.

The event was attended by Vice Director of the Standing Committee of Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress and Chairman of the Jiangsu Provincial Federation of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Mr. Futian QU; Vice President of the Chinese Public Administration Society and Former Director of Education at the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China, Mr. Zongyi LUO; Representatives of the Executive Council of the Chinese Public Administration Society, Consultants of the Jiangsu Provincial Government, Special Research Fellows of the Provincial Government Consultation Office, and Executive Council Members of the Provincial Society of Public Administration. The gathering boasted a diverse participation of over 300 distinguished scholars and experts from renowned universities and institutions nationwide, as well as governmental practitioners. The opening ceremony was presided over by Mr. Yaodong ZHENG, Executive Vice President and Secretary-General of the Chinese Public Administration Society.

CPAS is a nationwide academic organization under the supervision of the General Office of the State Council. It is dedicated to researching theories and practices of public administration and providing advisory services for public governance. The current annual conference represents a profound commitment to comprehensively implementing the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, deeply grasping the significant ideology articulated by General Secretary Jinping Xi, which emphasizes the imperative to "adhere to and improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, advance the modernization of the national governance system and governance capabilities." This commitment is recognized as a critical measure concerning the prosperity and development of the Party and the nation, the enduring stability and security of the country, and the well-being and health of the people.

The purpose of this conference is to delve into the practical summaries of local governance, enhance conceptual frameworks, foster theoretical innovation, and facilitate academic exchange. The overarching goal is to continually enhance the academic community's capacity and proficiency in serving governmental reform and innovative practices. Ultimately, this endeavor aims to contribute substantively to the advancement of the Chinese-style modernization. Co-organized by the Jiangsu Provincial Public Administration Society and NJU, and generously supported by the National Social Science Fund of China, this year's conference has garnered a remarkable over 920 submissions, making it the largest and most inclusive academic event for CPAS history.

Jianbo LIU underscored in his speech that the concept of Chinese-style modernization has bestowed a new mission and clear requirements upon government governance innovation and local practices. In undertaking research in public administration theory and practical exploration, it is imperative to steadfastly adhere to this pivotal direction, engage in systematic reflection, expound upon mechanisms, and discern inherent patterns. Only through such an approach can outcome withstand the scrutiny of practical application. Embarking on this new journey, faced with novel tasks and challenges, we must assume the role of implementers, action-oriented practitioners, faithfully executing the decisions and directives of the Party Central Committee. Elevating administrative efficiency stands as a crucial lever in propelling Chinese-style modernization through governance innovation.

The theoretical and practical study of government governance innovation demands persistent efforts, requiring an understanding of long-term trends and inherent principles. In recent years, CPAS has conscientiously implemented the requirements of entering a new era and contributing to the advancements of our times. Notable strides have been made, garnering significant achievements. It is hoped that CPAS will further elevate its political standing, leverage its unique strengths, closely unite with a broad spectrum of public administration practitioners and theorists, align closely with the central tasks of the Party and the nation, and consistently delve into the critical issues of governance. Through sustained research, may the Association produce more valuable contributions, offering intellectual insights and strength to advance the modernization of governance system and capabilities, promote high-quality economic and social developments, and continually contribute to academic wisdom and prowess.

Mr. Xin MA articulated in his address that achieving a "new elevation in advancing the modernization of social governance" is one of the significant "Four News" requirements put forth by General Secretary Xi Jinping for Jiangsu. This directive serves as a strategic guidepost and injects robust impetus into Jiangsu's new practices for advancing Chinese-style modernization. The entire province is unwaveringly committed to this mission, bearing in mind the entrusted responsibilities, and earnestly undertaking concrete actions. In areas such as strengthening social welfare, enhancing grassroots governance capabilities, and coordinating development and security, Jiangsu is steadfastly "taking the lead and setting examples," vigorously composing a new chapter in the modernization of a "strong, prosperous, beautiful, and high-quality" New Jiangsu.

It is believed that this annual conference will offer valuable insights for Jiangsu as it advances the modernization of social governance. The province will continue to enhance the synergy between government, industry, academia, and research, earnestly promoting Jiangsu's new practices in Chinese-style modernization. These efforts aim to make significant contributions to the construction of a strong nation and the revitalization of the Chinese nation.

Prof. dr. Tieniu TAN extended a warm welcome to the gathering of experts and scholars in the field of Chinese public administration at NJU. He emphasized that "leading the way in strengthening grassroots governance and ensuring people's well-being" and "achieving new advancements in the modernization of social governance" are not only expectations for Jiangsu but also requirements for Nanjing University. The university places high importance on serving the needs of national and local developments, actively playing Nanjing University's role in discipline construction, theoretical interpretation, scientific research, and policy recommendations.

Currently, the university is comprehensively implementing the "Energetic Action" initiative, and serving the modernization of governance systems and governance capabilities is a crucial component of several special actions. Taking advantage of hosting this annual conference, NJU will fully uphold its glorious tradition of being devoted to "national affairs" and carrying the "national responsibility." The university sees it as an opportunity to contribute to the innovation and practice of Chinese-style governance modernization, emphasizing problem-oriented approaches, advancing interdisciplinary collaboration, increasing resource allocation, strengthening collaboration between the university and local communities, and enhancing technological empowerment. In the process of advancing the Chinese-style modernization under the theme of "Governance of China," NJU aims to produce more original contributions, establish more exemplary models, articulate more distinctive voices, and contribute more substantial influence to the nation.

Mr. Baorong LI expressed that since the establishment of the 8th Council of CPAS, efforts have been actively made to propel the development of various initiatives, yielding some tangible results. Moving forward, there is a commitment to deepen collaboration with relevant academic institutions, local governments, and enterprises. The aim is to further cultivate and refine supporting platforms such as public service forums and academic awards in public management, continually enhancing the association's leadership and influence.

Li highlighted that advancing Chinese-style modernization and high-quality development through governance innovation and local practices requires a nuanced understanding of the depth and breadth of such innovation. In every stage of policy formulation, execution, and supervision, it is essential to incorporate more innovative elements, diversify governance methods, and enhance governance efficiency. There is also a need to comprehend the macro and micro aspects of governance innovation. Effective government governance is inseparable from effective grassroots governance, necessitating heightened attention to local innovative practices. Additionally, a comprehensive grasp of the institutional and cultural dimensions of governance innovation is crucial. This involves integrating the rich governance wisdom inherited and developed from Chinese civilization with modern governance concepts and methods effectively.

During the first phase of the plenary session, Professor Zongyi LUO, Vice President of CPAS and former Director of Education at the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China; Mr. Futian QU, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress and Chairman of the Provincial Federation of Philosophy and Social Sciences; Professor Jirong YAN, Vice President of CPAS and Dean of the School of Government at Peking University; and Professor Xufeng ZHU, Vice President of CPAS and Dean of the School of Public Policy & Management at Tsinghua University, delivered the keynote speeches under the themes "Strengthening Grassroots Party Autonomy Mechanisms under the Grassroots Organizations' Leadership," "Local Legislation and Transformation of Governance Methods: Jiangsu's Practice," "New Issues in Public Administration in the New Era," and "The Paradigm Transformation of Public Administration Discipline in the Era of Digital Technology," respectively. The first phase of the plenary session was hosted over by Mr. Runsheng XIE, Deputy Secretary-General of the People's Government of Jiangsu Province and President of the Jiangsu Provincial Public Administration Society.

In the second phase of the plenary session, Mr. Xuejun DUAN, Deputy Director of the General Office of the State Council; Min ZHAO, Consultant of the People's Government of Jiangsu Province and former Deputy Secretary-General of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee; Professor Jianxing YU, Party Secretary of Zhejiang Gongshang University and Director of the Academy of Social Governance Zhejiang University; Professor Huang DING, Co-convener of the Public Management Discipline Evaluation Group of the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council and Director of the National Governance and Public Policy Research Center at Wuhan University; and Professor Xing TONG, School of Government at NJU, delivered speeches on topics such as "Advancing Government Function Transformation and Digital Government Construction to Serve Chinese-Style Modernization through Governance Innovation," "Rural Public Space Governance: An Important Approach for Jiangsu to Promote Rural Governance," "Constructing the Macro Theory of Digital Government," "Progressive Trends in the Discipline of Chinese Public Administration," and "Risks China May Face in the Process of Chinese-Style Modernization," respectively. The second phase was presided over by Professor Shuiquan ZHENG, Vice President of CPAS and Deputy Party Secretary of Renmin University of China.

In the third phase of the plenary session, Mr. Kanzhen LI, Consultant of the People's Government of Jiangsu Province, President of the Provincial Macroeconomic Society, and former Director of the Jiangsu Development and Reform Commission; Professor Qianwei ZHU, School of International Relations & Public Affairs at Fudan University; Mr. Yingdong ZHA, Deputy Mayor of Suzhou; Professor Jinming YAN, Secretary-General of the National MPA Education Steering Committee and Dean of the School of Public Administration & Policy at Renmin University of China; and Professor Zhengwei ZHU, School of Public Policy and Administration at Xi'an Jiaotong University, delivered speeches on topics such as "Comprehensively Promoting Reflections and Research on New Practices for Chinese-Style Modernization in Jiangsu," "The Logic of Governance: A Comparative Perspective," "Suzhou's Practice and Exploration in Promoting Grassroots Governance," "A High-Level Socialist Market Economic System and Marketization Reform of Factors," and "Free Trade Pilot Zone: A Chinese Experiment for Better Government Intervention," respectively. The third phase was presided over by Professor Xufeng ZHU, Vice President of CPAS and Dean of the School of Public Policy & Management at Tsinghua University.

The conference included seven parallel forums, where over fifty renowned experts from the political, industrial, academic, and research fields exchanged views on topics such as high-quality development and better government intervention, urban-rural development and public service construction, urban-rural integration and smart governance, grassroots social governance innovation, traditional governance wisdom and Chinese governance, innovation in public safety governance and emergency management, and the localization construction of Chinese-style modernization and governance theories.

The closing ceremony was presided over by Ms. Jing BAO, Vice President of CPAS. Professor Fanbin KONG, Dean of the School of Government at NJU, delivered the closing remarks.

During the meeting, CPAS held the second meeting of the 8th Executive Council. Representatives of the Executive Council from central government departments, domestic universities and institutions, and local administrative management associations attended the meeting, where they heard the annual work report and voted on the addition of executive council members.

On December 16, the organizers also held the CPAS 2023 Young Scholars Forum. Over a hundred experts, scholars, authors, and journal editors from dozens of research institutions engaged in in-depth discussions and exchanges on topics such as governance innovation and institutional reform, grassroots governance modernization, cutting-edge issues in governance in the new era, high-quality development, public safety governance, and integrated development. The forum was also hosted by the School of Government at NJU. Ding'an ZHANG, Vice Secretary-General of CPAS and President of the Chinese Public Administration Journal, attended the opening ceremony and delivered a speech. Professor Fanbin KONG delivered the closing remarks.