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Reforms to exceed world 'expectations' | Updated: 2018-01-25 21:28
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China has been busy drafting a market-oriented reform package that will go over and above what the rest of the world expects, a senior Chinese official said at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the changes will go beyond “the expectations of the international community”.

The reform package “will be announced when it marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up,” Liu said, addressing the forum’s plenary meeting on Wednesday.

Liu said there is no doubt that China will advance reform and opening-up at a faster pace because it is the very reason behind China’s robust growth over the past four decades.

“And it will remain the key driving force to achieve China’s quality growth in the future,” said Liu, a leading economic policy adviser who was elected as member of the Political Bureau in October.

Business leaders and experts, meanwhile, said the reforms are expected benefit the rest of the world to help materialize President Xi Jinping’s proposal of creating a community of a shared future for mankind.

Liu said China will continue to let the market play a decisive role in resource allocation and will focus on better protection of property rights, especially intellectual property rights. It also will fully encourage entrepreneurship and competition and oppose monopolies, he said.

Liu said China will open wider to the world “across the board, with further integration with international trade rules and easing market access.”

“We will also substantially open up the services sector, the financial sector in particular, and create a more attractive investment environment,” said Liu. “We will encourage both inbound and outbound investment and business activities, as we seek greater economic and trade interactions with other countries and work with them toward an open world economy.”

Liu said after decades of development, a large middle-income population has emerged in China, the biggest in the world, giving rise to a vast domestic market. “This open market with a fast-growing middle-income population of 400 million will contribute significantly to global development,” said Liu.

Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooper¬ation and Development, said he has pinned high hopes on China’s reform agenda, which is people-oriented to deliver a better life for millions. “Every year I have traveled to China two or three times, and I can tangibly feel the impacts of China’s reform agenda,” Gurria said. “I particularly feel impressed by China’s poverty-reduction efforts, which have year-by-year targets.”

Liu also said that China will continue with smarter, more targeted efforts to lift more people out of poverty after the number of rural residents living in poverty dropped from nearly 100 million to around 30 million in the past five years under Xi’s leadership.

Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip, a leading travel service group in China, said she was delighted about China’s decision to open wider to the rest of the world, believing the upcoming reforms will be closely linked to pledges Xi made in Switzerland last year.

“President Xi stressed the importance of building a shared future for mankind and I think China’s reform agenda will be linked to the vision,” Sun said.

She said her company is dedicated to bringing people around the world together by increasing international exchanges, which will be driven by the reform agenda.

“The Davos forum this year has highlighted the spirit of President Xi Jinping’s speeches, and I have seen people from the United States, Africa, India, Russia, from everywhere, discussing President Xi’s proposals and China’s reform agenda,” said Sun, among dozens of Chinese business leaders in Davos.

“I am also very much looking for the detailed reform and opening measures to bring the people world together and build a shared, beautiful and prosperous world.”

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