China's reform agenda 'unprecedented', official says

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 14, 2013 11:47 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's reform plan approved by party leaders is "unprecedented" and fundamental changes are expected following the decision to upgrade the role of markets in the economy, a senior party official said in comments published on Friday.

At the end of a four-day conclave on Tuesday, the leaders pledged to let markets play a "decisive" role as they unveiled a reform agenda for the next decade, looking to secure new drivers of future economic growth.

"When reforms have entered a crucial stage, the deep water, we have to push comprehensive changes in order to deepen reforms," Yang Weimin, vice head of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Finance and Economic Affairs, told the People's Daily in an interview.

"We are in a stage of crossing the middle income trap, facing many challenges and risks," Yang said.

This time the theme was all-round deep reforms covering the economy, politics and the environment, among other areas, he said. In similar meetings of the party's leaders in recent decades, they had focused on one aspect of reform, Yang said.

He said the upgrading of the market's role was "the biggest bright spot of the decision and is a significant theoretical innovation."

The leadership approved a "decision on the deepening of comprehensive reforms" in a 20,000-word text covering 15 areas, he said.

A communiqué was issued immediately after the meeting, but it only contains the fundamental principles.

(Reporting by Natalie Thomas and Kevin Yao; Editing by Neil Fullick)