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A new start for change

来源: 作者: 2014-10-17 09:39:51


  REE MEDICAL SERVICE: A retired woman (second left) receives a free health check-up at her community in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, on June 9 (XINHUA) 

  The Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, held in November 2013, unveiled an overall deployment of China's new comprehensive reforms. A leading group for overall reform headed by Xi has been established as a key measure to promote the country's comprehensive deepening of reforms.

  A series of reforms have already taken place since the landmark plenary session. The reeducation-through-labor system, which allowed detention for up to four years without an open trial, has been officially abolished. The one-child policy has been eased by allowing couples to have two children if one of them is an only child.

  Business registration rules were reformed on March 1 by lifting restrictions on minimum registered capital, payment deadlines and cash ratio of registered capital to encourage start-ups. Between March and June, about 1.27 million new companies were registered in China, representing a year-on-year growth of almost 67 percent.

  More reforms are in progress, such as the household registration system reform to give citizens without urban household registration equal access to public services in cities, reform on the purchase and use of government vehicles to cut hefty spending and avoid misuse of public money and the reform of cutting hefty salaries for executives of large state-owned enterprises. Meanwhile, medical reform will be expanded from 311 county-level public hospitals to more than 1,000 such institutions, covering 50 percent of Chinese counties, in 2014. The reform is aimed at improving the management of public hospitals and setting up a payroll and human resources system suited to the medical sector.

  In the economic field, China is opening the door to private investors in oil and natural gas exploration and the banking sector, areas previously closed to private capital. Private capital has also been encouraged to invest in railway construction. The price mechanisms for agricultural products, and public service products are also undergoing reform.

  The 'new normal' mode

  "The Chinese economy is transitioning from a stage of high-speed growth to a stage of medium-high-speed growth. In order to step into the new growth routine smoothly and quickly, it is crucial for the government to reduce risks by deepening reforms so as to achieve improved quality of the economy during the next stage," said Liu Shijin, Deputy Director of the Development Research Center of the State Council.

  During his inspection of central China's Henan Province in May, Xi said that China's economic growth must adjust itself to the requirements of a "new normal" phase.

  The relatively weak economic data since the beginning of this year were seen to be the background for Xi's remarks. In August, China's industrial output grew at its slowest pace since December 2008. Electricity production, automobile and property sales and foreign direct investment have all been weaker than expected.

  However, more than 9.7 million urban jobs were created during the first eight months of 2014, over 100,000 more compared with the same period last year. In the aforementioned timeframe, the total number of newly registered market entities was more than 8 million. From March to August, in the wake of the business registration reform, the number of new businesses grew by 61 percent over the same period of the previous year, all pointing to a massive upsurge which has generated more than 10 million jobs.

  During the first half of 2014, average disposable resident income rose 10.8 percent year on year to 10,025 yuan ($1,627) and the inflation-adjusted growth rate stood at 8.3 percent. The income gap between urban and rural residents narrowed, with actual income growth in rural China 2.7 percentage points higher than that in urban areas in the January-June period.

  A series of commentaries on "China's economy in the 'new normal'" appeared on the first page of People's Daily on August 5, 6 and 7, respectively. They said that the seemingly indomitable economic growth China experienced in the three decades since 1978 is no longer feasible, sustainable or necessary; the "new normal" China is less interested in growth rates and more interested in quality and efficiency of growth: pushing forward reform, adjusting structure and improving people's lives.


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