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China to deepen reforms in fundamental, key areas in 2018

Updated: Mar 5,2018 11:35 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will endeavor to make new breakthroughs in reform this year and continue to unleash and develop productive forces, Premier Li Keqiang said on March 5.

China will be bolder in reform and opening-up, he said while delivering the government work report at the opening meeting of the annual parliamentary session, calling it “a game-changing move in making China what it is today.”

“It now remains a game-changing move for us to achieve China’s two centenary goals,” the Premier said.

Reforms will be advanced in State capital and State-owned enterprises (SOEs). “Our SOEs should, through reform and innovation, become front-runners in pursuing high-quality development,” he said.

Reforms introducing mixed ownership in SOEs will be carried forward prudently, according to Premier Li.

The development of private enterprises will also be supported, he said, pledging to fully implement all policies and measures in support of non-public sectors, earnestly address salient problems that concern private companies, and take firm action to remove hidden barriers.

China will improve property rights systems, the cornerstone of a socialist market economy, as well as mechanisms for market-based allocation of the factors of production.

Meanwhile, the country will continue structural fiscal and tax reforms, speed up reforms in the financial sector, advance institutional social reforms and build a more robust system for developing an ecological civilization.

“We will improve local tax systems, and prudently advance legislation on the real estate tax,” the Premier said, adding that the government will also reform the personal income tax.

The financial service system will be reformed and improved, and efforts will focus on solving financing problems of small and micro enterprises.

China will deepen reforms to make the interest rate and exchange rate more market-based, and see that the RMB exchange rate remains generally stable at an adaptive and equilibrium level, he said.

For institutional social reform, the government will deepen reform in the old-age pension system, and establish a central system for enterprise employees’ basic old-age pension funds to be used inter-provincially.

Reforms will also be advanced in the healthcare sector and continued in sectors such as education, culture and sports.

To enhance ecological protection, China will reform and improve the ecological and environmental regulation system, strengthen regulation over the use of natural ecological spaces, roll out a compensation system for ecological and environmental damage, and improve the compensation mechanisms for ecological conservation.