Xi calls for political courage in nation's reforms

Updated: 2013-11-14 00:59

By Chen Jia (China Daily)

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The key to China's comprehensive reform is to solve practical problems, President Xi Jinping recently emphasized, and innovative plans and new measures are required to address conflicts and issues that have surfaced during the nation's development surge.

In a symposium in Beijing in September, Xi said the nation must pursue sustainable economic and social progress, which includes improving standards of living.

The symposium was held to field comments and suggestions from non-Communist parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and from people without any party affiliation on major issues concerning the nation's reforms, according to a statement by the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Wednesday.

Xi said reform cannot be achieved overnight and called for greater confidence, political courage and wisdom as well as more forceful measures to push forward the country's reforms.

During the symposium, Xi called for improved policies and overall planning at the highest level of government. He also urged further research into the feasibility of China's reform policies.

The Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, which ended on Tuesday, aimed for "decisive results" in its new policies by 2020.

On Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang urged officials nationwide to come up with concrete plans to implement the session's new guidelines.

He said at an executive meeting of the State Council, or China's cabinet, that efficient implementation of the nation's new policies will determine how quickly specific economic sectors can grow.

"We have carried out reforms efficiently this year, which is important in stabilizing and improving economic growth," he said. "But reform measures in some sectors have not yet been completed."

Wang Tao, chief economist in China at UBS, a Swiss global financial services company, said change to the nation's economic system is the most crucial aspect of the reform campaign. She said the government is pushing for less intervention in developing the economy.

Li emphasized that the main tasks for reform this year include improving the pricing system for resource products, deepening agriculture and rural reforms, promoting construction of free trade areas, and using financial resources to support the industrial economy more effectively.

Relatively broad changes include reducing governments' administrative approvals, freeing the interest rates on bank loans and expanding pilot programs that involve changing business levies into added-value taxes.

Xinhua contributed to this story.