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Market reforms pledged by Chinese leadership

October 18, 2017

In his keynote address at the opening of the Communist Party congress, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said economic and financial reforms will be accelerated. What exactly is the leadership aiming to do?

Chinese auto worker
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Xi Jinping said Wednesday China would push ahead with market-oriented reforms, emphasizing that the country's leadership was willing to let the market play a greater role in the allocation of resources in the years ahead.

Xi stressed the government would "clean up rules and practices that hinder a unified market and fair competition, support development of private firms and stimulate vitality of all types of market entities" while pledging to further open China's services sector to foreign investors.

But more support for private firms does not mean China is going to turn its back on its decades-old policy of strengthening huge state-run companies.

"We'll deepen reform of state-owned enterprises and support the development of a mixed-ownership economy," Xi stated.

China's economic challenges

Do it yourself

China's ruling Communist Party said it would focus on stepping up technology development, an area in which Beijing had faced massive complaints from abroad, with market players saying the Asian nation kept encouraging theft of foreign know-how and blocking access to emerging industries.

In his keynote speech, Xi called for making China a "country of innovators" with a view to creating competitors in aerospace, cyberspace, transportation and other key areas.

As it strives to move from high-speed to high-quality growth, China looks set to strengthen domestic consumption as a foundation for future development, focusing on the expansion of the middle class and the narrowing of the gap between rural and urban areas.

China is expected to post its strongest economic growth in several years in 2017, riding on a government-led construction boom. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said the country had so far only taken "baby steps" to contain its rapid buildup in debt and needed to take stronger measures to address the issue.

hg/jd (Reuters, AP)

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