As pointed out in the report given at the 19th National Congress of the CPC, ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, and the principal social contradiction in our country has transformed into a contradiction between people’s increasing good life demands and imbalanced and insufficient development.’ At present, the primary factors playing decisive roles in the principal social contradiction in our country remain development contradiction and economic conflict. ‘Imbalance’ includes a series of ‘imbalanced’ forms of development such as region, city and countryside, industrial structure, supply and consumption, input and output, income distribution and so on, while ‘insufficiency’ includes the ‘insufficient’ exertion of new institutions, new capacity, new power and all kinds of market factors. ‘Excess production capacity and single industry’ is an ‘imbalance’ in the classic supply structure while ‘weak innovation power and conformism’ is classic ‘insufficient’ development. The iron and steel industry can be taken as an example. There is more crude steel and less fine-grained steel, which represents insufficient technical quality development. The domestic market is saturated while there are market shortages in Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia and Africa, which represents imbalanced regional markets. There is excess construction ability in the steel and iron industry while the operation and service ability is insufficient, which represents insufficient business ability.
The change in the principal social contradiction is a historical change related to the general situation. To correctly recognize and grasp the principal social contradiction in our country at different development stages is an important prompt for enterprises to scientifically study and judge their development situation, and correctly formulate fundamental policies. On July 25th, China Minmetals General Manager, Party Group Deputy Secretary and MCC Group President & Party Committee Secretary Guo Wenqing called upon all MCC employees to highlight the reform theme, focus on the main core business, and spare no efforts to forge the first ‘national team’ of metallurgical construction and operation services in the world. On October 30th, Guo Wenqing emphasized, “The national team of metallurgical construction shall focus again on main business, and ‘be the best and restart business again’. The secondary focus is different from the first focus of 2012. We shall not only focus on metallurgical design and construction, but also focus on green construction, energy conservation and environmental protection, technology improvement, technical innovation, promoting the development quality of China’s entire steel and iron industry, and providing high-quality operation services for steel and iron enterprises, guided by transformation and upgrading demands of global steel and iron industry structure featured by green, smart and service orientation, thereby realizing profound extension from pure design and construction to integrated technology, products, management and services.” At the 11th CSM Steel Congress on November 21st, Chinese Society for Metals President and Chinese Academy of Engineering Academician Gan Yong said, “The principal contradiction faced by the steel and iron industry has transformed into a contradiction between the inadaptable industrial structure and market competition demands, and the inadaptable green development level and ecological environment demands.’
Meanwhile, the contradiction of ‘imbalanced and insufficient’ development shows that we have very great development opportunities and spaces. During the five years in which we recast national strength, we basically aimed to solve the problem of ‘imbalance and insufficiency’. Since 2012, as required in the national steel and iron industry development policies, the MCC Group has eliminated 17 million tons of backward steel and iron capacity, implemented the environmentally friendly removal of steel plants, and condensed the whole Group’s strength into spending three years building a first 10-million-ton low-carbon steel and iron panel base in the world in Zhanjiang. This is a major transformation movement in the new and old energy of motion, and a successful practice in supply-side structural reform. It is necessary to create the ‘Hengqin Model’ and grasp development opportunities. From June to October 2015, an overall strategic layout was formulated for the establishment of the first professional pipe gallery company nationwide, an RMB 100 billion-level supporting fund and the first pipe gallery technology research institute among central enterprises, opening a new journey in MCC’s transformation and development. The condensed wisdom of MCC employees in ‘MCC’s experience in Hengqin’ and the MCC brand has promoted the publication of national strategies. The Hengqin Pipe Gallery Project won the first Luban Prize for such projects in the industry. Through continuously deepening reform and continuously and accurately solving the principal contradiction in ‘imbalance and insufficiency’, and the main aspects of the principal contradiction faced by the Group’s development, MCC Group has realized a new lease of life, adapted to new situations and taken advantage of favorable situations, re-cast the strength of national steel and iron, and successfully achieved transformation on behalf of new emerging industry technology research institutes. Today, the target is clear and the approach is clear-cut, with the strategic guidance of being the ‘national team of metallurgical construction, the main force of capital construction and the pacesetter of emerging industries, insisting on taking the road of high-tech construction in the long term’; the discipline is stern and clear, and the responsibilities are distinct regarding being loyal to the Party and serving the country ‘with belief and loyalty in the heart, warm and passionate blood, and loyal undertakings’; and the simple yet profound MCC spirit of ‘Never delaying and never slacking’ is cohesive, gathering and demonstrating MCC’s strength.
All this was sourced from MCC’s fresh Party building experience in ‘one core and five leading’ which was formed in silence at the ‘September 5th’ Meeting in 2012. The practice of MCC employees’ is the practice of always insisting on transforming the Party’s political advantages into MCC’s reform development advantages. ‘One core’ means rallying around the Party’s leadership, always firmly insisting on the Party’s leadership, following the Party and never slacking. It is necessary to always remain highly consistent with the Party Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core in thought, politics and actions, and give full play to the Party organization’s leading nucleus and political nucleus roles. It is necessary to follow Party building with reform all the time. It is necessary to unswervingly insist on the Party’s leadership and transform the Party’s theory and policy advantages into enterprises’ development power, its cadre management advantages into enterprises’ leadership, its organization team advantages into enterprises’ executive force, its supervision guarantee advantages into enterprises’ management and control power, its publicity ideology advantages into enterprises’ cultural power and its mass work advantages into enterprises’ cohesive force. Just like a tall tree, Party building takes root in the deep soil of the MCC’s reform and development. The ‘five leading’ is the leading of political style, strategy, reform problem-solving, system innovation and state-owned enterprise culture.
Abolition and establishment are both very significant. ‘Establishment’ means unswervingly insisting on the Party’s leadership from beginning to end. At the ‘September 5th’ meeting in 2012, Guo Wenqing made the firm and unyielding oath that “the MCC Group shall unswervingly insist on the Party’s leadership and insist on the direction of socialism with Chinese characteristics. All MCC’s leading cadres must clearly understand that central enterprises must insist on the Party’s leadership and socialism direction in any time period and under any conditions. We must take a clear-cut stand to firmly correct and object to any behavior or speech that seeks to weaken the Party’s leadership and deviate from the socialism direction, and make efforts to get rid of it.” Abolition means always holding the reform banner high and marching in the front ranks of state-owned enterprises’ reform and innovation. As Guo Wenqing emphasized, “The fundamental and only road to realizing the MCC Group’s scientific and stable development is reform. We must break through the ‘rules and regulations’ limiting development with the courage of ‘contending for first place bravely’, and depend on reform and innovation to eliminate resistance and blaze a ‘blood trail’.” The MCC Group has given great impetus to supply-side structure reform, enhanced its enterprise innovation power, complemented its management power, promoted its market breakthrough power, motivated its vitality and fighting capacity, taken practical measures, made practical efforts in accurate promotion and realized actual effects in accurate implementation.
In the new era, MCC employees must make great achievements. As the ‘promoter’ guiding China to transform from a big country in steel and iron to a steel and iron power, the ‘guardian’ of the steel and iron power dream, and the ‘main leader’ for metallurgical devices and capacity cooperation to go global, MCC employees must still continuously and firmly take aim at the principal contradiction and the main aspects of the main contradiction that we face, change the contradiction into power and opportunities, seize breakthroughs, concentrate strength and solve development problems.
On the one hand, it is necessary for the ‘national team’ of metallurgical construction to ‘be the best and restart business again’. It is an undoubted fact that MCC has a share of above 90% of the domestic steel and iron market and above 60% of the global steel and iron market. However, our target is to realize an 80% share of the global steel and iron market by 2020. In 2015, the Group started to formulate its global steel and iron market layout, and the CISDI Group’s UK Company and USA Company have been established successively. A new round of competition based on the global steel and iron market has begun, while the core of the competition is still first-class technology, first-class strength and first-class talents. The situation is severe and it is extremely urgent for MCC to ‘be the best and restart business again’. It is necessary to make efforts in core green, recycling and low-carbon technologies for iron and steel industry development along the complete flow scheme in steel and iron production technologies. It is necessary to regard promoting the quality of the supply system as the main attack direction, regard green and low carbon technology, environmental protection and safety as the primary responsibility, tackle core technologies in the eight metallurgical business sectors, promote the percent conversion of scientific and technological achievements, grasp the development opportunity of electric furnaces, insist on the joint development of ‘construction and operation’ and ‘technologies + services’, provide strong support for taking part in the smart reconstruction work of iron and steel enterprises at a higher level, form a new smart manufacture innovation chain for the complete production flow scheme, comprehensive management and whole product life cycle, and strive to build a modern eco-friendly steel and iron industry with an upgraded structure, advanced technology and supporting services. Taking Zhanjiang Steel and Iron as an example, MCC employees have applied first-class engineering technologies in the world and the most advanced energy conservation and environmental protection, core devices and other core technologies independently researched and developed at home and abroad in the Zhanjiang Steel and Iron Project, as well as promoting the overall engineering technology level and import substitution rate. The project’s iron use ratio, floor area per ton of steel, solid waste use ratio, labor productivity, molten iron shipment distance and many other economic and technical norms have exceeded the first-class advanced level in the world. Taking MCC Baosteel Technology as an example, it has realized transformation from the steel and iron ‘nursing worker’ to the steel and iron ‘nurse’ in metallurgical operation service capability, and then the steel and iron ‘doctor’, and it is devoted to developing into a metallurgical operation service ‘expert’. Their target to ‘be the best and restart business again’ is clear, namely undertaking their responsibility as the ‘national team’ of metallurgical operation services to provide the whole industry chain, whole flow scheme and whole life cycle for the first-class steel and iron enterprises in the world to lead industrial development.
On the other hand, it is necessary to innovatively develop non-steel industries within a reasonable radius. As pointed out by famous state-owned enterprise reform expert Li Jin, “The principal social contradiction was formerly the contradiction between demand and supply, and it is now the primary low-level product surplus. State-owned enterprises with key investments in steel and iron, coal, raw materials and other traditional industries shall boldly move towards the modern photovoltaic industry, modern manufacturing industry, internet, artificial intelligence, etc. and realize new balance in the industrial structure.” MCC employees have grasped the contradiction points of regional development imbalance and devoted themselves to infrastructure construction, emerging industries and other non-steel fields within a reasonable operational radius of action, not only effectively utilizing their own skills but also making up for the shortages in the development imbalance. Design construction subsidiaries shall give full play to their comparative advantages, rise to the high end of the industry chain, advance towards health care, pipe gallery, sponge city, water environment, soil restoration, energy conservation and environmental protection, fabricated residences, rail traffic and other markets within reach, expand their development space, form absolute brand advantages and features, simultaneously develop scale and benefits, and carry out the responsibilities of the MCC Group in its leading role. Taking theme parks as an example, the demand for cultural entertainment industry has surged in recent years, and theme park construction is like a raging fire. For all central enterprises, it is a brand new field in which everyone can contend from the same starting line. MCC employees have the courage to conduct innovative practices, utilize MCC’s own experience in water, electricity and gas, steel structure, large-scale comprehensive venue construction and other aspects, and succeed in ascending in the theme park construction field. MCC has constructed Universal Studios Singapore, Shanghai Disneyland, Zhuhai Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Huai’an Journey to the West Cinema and other famous projects, and is devoted to forging a whole industry chain model integrating technology consulting, design deepening and engineering construction, while sparing no efforts to march into the high-end market with creativity and high quality.
The contradiction in question is the inexhaustible driving force for things to develop. The MCC Group shall face the new contradiction, comply with the new situation, carry out new concepts and do new deeds. While striving to promote the level and strength of the ‘national team’ in metallurgical construction and focusing on imbalanced regions in domestic development, it is necessary to take a broad view of the market development along the ‘Belt and Road’ route and give full play to MCC’s leading role in the global steel and iron industry. Meanwhile, MCC employees should broaden their vision, change their train of thought, positively march towards non-steel business fields, strive to make breakthroughs towards becoming a high-end enterprise of core competitiveness, solve the contradiction of development imbalance and insufficiency in the new era with strength and performance, and ceaselessly pursue the beautiful vision of ‘focusing on MCC’s main business and building a Beautiful MCC’. We believe that in this new era and on this new journey, to enable MCC’s Party building experience of ‘one core and five leading’ to continuously develop, MCC employees must compose the two new achievements of becoming even more excellent in civilized construction and becoming the most trustworthy and reliable strength for the Party and China.