March 12, 2008

Rearranging The Deck Chairs

The biggest news so far of the 11th National People's Congress is a major restructuring of China’s state council, the day-to-day government of Beijing and the Chinese President’s cabinet.

New “super ministries” will be set up to prevent bureaucratic turf wars and bring central control down to at least the provincial level. There will be a new energy ministry charged with energy security that will be under the increasingly powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

A new ministry for industry and information, also under the NDRC, will integrate macro level economic data and control.

A new ministry of transport will be consolidated from the existing Ministries of Coomunications and Civil Aviation. This will create in effect a Chinese FAA and national postal service.

A new ministry for human resources and social security including a central government bureau for civil servants will be made out of the old Ministry of Personnel and Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

The Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration will become a cabinet level ministry of environmental protection, a Chinese EPA, if you will.

There will be a new ministry for housing and urban and rural construction to replace the Ministry of Construction. And the State Food and Drug Administration will come under direct control of China ’s Ministry of Health.

All told 15 central government departments are involved the most important reshuffle in Beijing for close to a generation. There will be significant impacts on the regulatory environment and business resulting from these moves, something to watch over the next few years as consolidation takes place.

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Hoping the Chinese people can one day directly elect their representatives! I found on one of the major China sites (China Daily, People's Daily, or the China Internet Information Center) that the "democratic parties" have non-voting seats. This is unfair. All parties, including the Communist Party should have the franchise, and exercise initiative, recall, and referendum!
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