China to deepen reform as 2018 marks 40th anniversary of opening-up

By Bai Tiantian Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/2 21:53:39

2018 marks 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up

China will more boldly carry forward political and economic reforms this year, as the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress in 2017 fortified central leadership and created favorable conditions to transcend vested interests, experts say.

"The Party congress created advantageous conditions for furthering reforms. It increased the authority of the Party's central committee, which will help overcome resistance from interest groups," Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Last fall's congress also refrained from mentioning the previous goal of doubling China's GDP, a signal that China is determined to balance growth with reforms.

The second plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee will be held later in January, during which the amendment of China's Constitution will be discussed, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee announced in late December. It will be the first constitutional amendment since 2004.

The third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee is expected to convene next fall, where reform policies and strategies may be hammered out.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, which created China's economic miracle, said Party officials and economists.

In his 2018 New Year's message, President Xi Jinping said the reform and opening-up policy is the only way for modern China to make progress in its development and to realize the Chinese Dream.

"With the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening-up policy as a turning point, we shall cut paths through mountains and build bridges across rivers, overcome all difficulties and carry reform through to the end," Xi said.

Su said the reforms since the 18th CPC National Congress have exceeded expectations. He noted a major breakthrough was to cast reform policies in legislation to implement the rule of law.

"China now stresses that reform policies should be translated into laws before they are implemented nationwide. The pace of reform might slow, but the steps will be steadier," Su said.

Challenges ahead

Multiple reforms are expected to be carried out in 2018. A draft law on national supervision will be submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) for approval, which is scheduled to meet in March, according to the work report of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

A national supervision commission will also be established at the NPC session, and its members will be named.

China's wide-ranging structural reforms, designed to improve the supply side of the economy, are expected to gear up in 2018.

To overcome overcapacity - a major task for reforms - China slashed steel production by some 50 million tons and coal by at least 150 million tons last year.

Progress has also been reported on four other fronts of the economy, including deleveraging, destocking, lowering costs and enhancing weak links.

Financial reforms are set to continue as senior leaders agreed to maintain steam on the crackdown on irregular and illegal activities in the financial sector.

In what some dubbed the "toughest year" for China's finance sector, authorities have taken real steps to curb widespread malfeasance in the rapidly expanding financial market.

Banks, insurance, and securities companies have received heavy fines for flouting market rules, and internet finance companies that once earned easy and fat profits are now facing enhanced rules.

Reforms of State-owned enterprises will also dive into deeper waters in 2018 as the government expects them to play a bigger role in leading cuts to excess capacity, keeping the debt ratio under control and driving high-quality economic development.

Newspaper headline: China to deepen reforms

Posted in: POLITICS

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