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Xi urges fewer barriers to reform

By ZHAO YINAN | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-25 01:16

Chinese president Xi Jinping has called on governors to eliminate barriers hampering reform and further free up social productivity amid ongoing economic blues.

China must deepen reforms in major areas with "ever more political courage and wisdom" to surmount the institutional barriers that are restraining growth, Xi said during a trip to Wuhan, Hubei province.

"China must break the barriers from entrenched interest groups to further free up social productivity and invigorate creativity," he said at a symposium on Tuesday, the last day of his three-day tour to the province.

Speakers at the symposium included the governors of Hubei, Shanxi, Heilongjiang and Hunan provinces, the Shanghai mayor, the top Party leader in Wuhan and the president of Dongfeng Passenger Vehicle Co.

Noting China's reforms have entered a difficult phase, Xi urged authorities to carry out comprehensive and in-depth research and to gauge public opinion in seeking solutions to push development forward.

"China is facing complicated situations in the deepwater zone of reform, during which investigation and research are the basis of and way to success," he said.

"There is no right to speak or to make decisions without first investigating."

Xi said reform plans should never be drawn up "behind closed doors, without considering the changing reality, or under a fancy illusion".

The areas Xi cited as needing more thorough research include the fostering of more fair and market-oriented mechanisms, enhancing government efficiency, boosting social harmony and innovation, safeguarding social justice and improving Party governance.

The latest emphasis on deepening reforms comes as the world's second-largest economy remains in a protracted slowdown. Economic growth expanded by 7.5 percent in the second quarter, down from 7.7 percent in the first quarter and just in line with the annual 7.5 percent target set for 2013.

Chinese authorities have refrained from initiating a massive stimulus program to lift the economy to allow leeway to proceed with structural reforms for long-term benefits.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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