Tianjin municipality announced on Thursday that it has streamlined institutional committees in three districts of Binhai New Area (BNA), making it a spearhead for China's new round of administrative reform.
Tianjin canceled the administrative committees of all three districts in the Binhai area and allowed the BNA government to deal directly with public affairs.
Fifty-one bureau-level officials of the administrative committees in Tanggu, Hangu and Dagang districts will be transferred to other positions by the end of this year. These administrative committees were set up in October 2009 as part of the BNA's initial institutional reform.
Yuan Tongli, Communist Party chief of the Binhai area, said loopholes due to over administration and inconsistent procedures have emerged since 2009.
With an area of 2,270 square km and a population of 1.4 million, the BNA has championed reform in administration and social management, land management and finance innovation. The finance lease business there accounts for a quarter of China's total.
This unprecedented round, involving most departments and great personnel reduction, chimes with a call by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in August to transform local governments and push forward institutional reform.
A streamlined administrative system with Chinese characteristics will dovetail with the central government's efforts. Tianjin is made to pioneer the campaign.
"The approval of a Free Trade Area in Shanghai has stimulated Tianjin to speed up its reform, liberalizing the economy from within through institutional reform," said Zhou Liqun, deputy dean of Binhai Development and Research Institute of Nankai University.
In line with government plan, the BNA will steadily and sustainably develop institutional and systematic innovation, Zhou said.
"Reform of the Binhai New Area is a significant example for other regions in this regard," said Xiao Jincheng, deputy director of Institute of Spatial Planning & Regional Economy of National Development and Reform Commission.
"Past reform was mere organizational adjustment. This time Binhai has touched upon individual interests by reducing personnel," Xiao said, explaining that reform is not to satisfy individual interests but to improve governance and social justice.