English Version of Zhu Rongji's Book Unveiled in NY
Former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji's book about reforms implemented here in China has been unveiled in English in New York. He says he wrote the book to help people understanding the difficulties he faced while brining in reforms here in China.
• On Comprehensively and Correctly Understanding the Spirit of Deng Xiaoping's Talks in Southern China
I'm here today as a member of the Shanghai delegation. I served as Mayor of Shanghai for over three years and attended five meetings of the National People's Congress. I see all of you every year, and while I can't say that I know everyone, I do recognize 90% of you. I'm very pleased to see that all of you here today, particularly some of our older comrades, are in very good health. Yesterday, Gongqi asked me to make some remarks. He wanted me to speak at length, but we don't have much time today, so what should I talk about?
• On Reform of the Housing System
Housing is a major issue that affects the personal interests of the broad masses, and the Party Central Committee and State Council take housing reform very seriously. To solve the housing problem of our urban residents, we must first clarify the direction of housing reform. In recent years, all regions and departments have done a great deal of work to deepen their housing reforms. Broadly speaking, there has been a significant improvement in the housing situation of [urban] residents, but it's still not nearly enough. When I was Mayor of Shanghai, on average the urban populace had only 4 square meters of housing per person. Since we introduced measures such as a provident housing fund, it has now reached 8 square meters per person, doubling within a few years.
• Letter to Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, and the Standing Committee of the Politburo on Implementation of the Tax Streaming System
After tax streaming is implemented, the Central Government will centralize more of the fiscal revenues of the two provinces than it did under the fiscal "package deal" system, , but the centralized portion will not be a large proportion of the finances of either province. The fiscal "package deal" in Hainan was originally supposed to last until 1995. Under this system, it is estimated that in 1994 and 1995 Hainan will collect 6.5 billion yuan in fiscal revenues. After tax streaming is implemented, the centralized amount from Hainan will total 300 million to 500 million yuan over two years, which is roughly 5ĘC8% of local fiscal revenues during that period.
• A Memorable Two Years as Governor of the Central Bank
This advanced seminar on financial law organized by the People's Bank has been very well run and is very timely. You've discussed many excellent ideas, which is very good for helping us to align our thinking within the entire banking system. I've been Governor of the People's Bank for two years, and all you bank presidents here have been colleagues working with me during this period. You've written monthly reports for me that I've read carefully, and I've joined you in acquiring financial knowledge. This period of time has been memorable both for me and for all of you.
Former Premier Zhu Rongji Publishes New Book
China's former premier Zhu Rongji has published a new book -- a collection of speeches and letters from his time as a leading official in Shanghai.
Readers Welcome Outspoken Former Premier's Book
Readers flocked to bookstores on Thursday to buy the second book published by Zhu Rongji, China's outspoken former premier and top economic planner in the late 1990s, eight years since his retirement.
About the Book
"Zhu Rongji on the Record" is a compilation of Zhu's writings. It covers China's reform, opening up and modernization drive. It includes important speeches, articles, letters, and directives. Zhu Rongji is a key Chinese reformer and statesman, and served as Vice Premier of the State Council from April 1991 to March 1998. He later served as Premier, from March 1998 to March 2003. Most of the materials in the book are being published for the first time. The Chinese edition of the book was published in Chinese mainland in 2011, and was very well received. The two-volume English edition includes 112 speeches, articles, letters, and directives selected by Zhu himself from the 348 articles in the four-volume Chinese edition. The English edition of the book is published by the Foreign Languages Press of the CIPG and the Brookings Institution Press in the U.S.
Preface by VIPs
I first met Zhu Rongji in 1993, when he was still Vice Premier and had become fully responsible for economic affairs. Although Zhu was educated as a technical engineer, his economic insight was remarkable, surpassing that of most other political leaders in the world I have met. That year  Zhu launched widespread reforms to restructure China's financial sector. As one result, the People's Bank of China became a genuine central bank that was now able to conduct a nationally unified monetary policy. At the same time, Zhu addressed the need to shift fiscal power to the central government as its share of tax revenues had fallen sharply during the 1980s. A federal-style tax-streaming system with centralized tax administration replaced a rather complicated system in which all taxes were collected at the local level. This put the central government's financial resources on a much healthier foundation than before and meant the resources could be redistributed to provinces where needed.
For scholars outside of China, the publication of this book stands as a significant contribution to the historical record. On major debates over China's reform path, which English-speaking readers once knew of only in general terms, Zhu sheds considerable historical light. He publishes here his written instructions to colleagues and transcripts of his internal remarks on policy issues. These include Zhu's watershed March 1992 analysis of Deng Xiaoping's "Southern Tour" talks, in which Zhu stressed--at a crucial period in China's internal debate--the imperative of bold but sustainable growth. This candid discussion earned a crucial endorsement from Jiang Zemin, who ordered it distributed to cadres nationwide, and it became the basis for many of Zhu's subsequent efforts. Scholars will have a chance to study too the conclusions Zhu drew from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the lessons he distilled for China's policy course.