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Text of Premier Li's press conference


Updated: 2015-03-15 14:07:30


Q: I am with Bloomberg. You once said the government needs to show the utmost determination in reforming itself and this process could be a quite painful one.

As the Chinese economy comes under increased downward pressure, do you still have as firm a determination as before? And will the Chinese economy continue to slide? What will the future for the Chinese economy look like?

A: You asked about the pain caused by the government self-imposed reform. Let me tell you that the pain is still there. Actually, the pain is becoming more acute, and it is being felt in more places.

This is a reform the government has taken on itself. During the cause of the reform, vested interests will be upset, as the government will shatter its own powers. It's not nail-clipping. Instead, it's like taking a knife to one's own flesh. So pain is only natural, but, however painful it may be, we are determined to keep going until our job is done.

The reform of streamlining administration and delegating government powers helps us to get the relationship right between the government and the market. It helps to boost vitality of the market, and put us into a stronger position to cope with downward pressure on economic growth.

Last year, despite of economic slowdown, we managed to add more new urban jobs and this reform on government itself has played a very important role. We have completed the five-year task of cutting State Council review items by one third within just two years.

With the reform of business system, on average each day, up to 10,000 new businesses have got registered, and increased of an over 50 percent over the preview year. This fully shows that our people represent the largest source of vitality for economic activity. And this reform by reducing the powers held in the hands of the government has actually helped us to tackle downward pressures on economic growth.

At the same time, we recognized that some measures have yet to be fully implemented, and some new problems have surfaced.

A couple days ago, I came across a proposal during the Two Sessions which said that it is true that government review items have been slashed.

In the past to get one project approved, one needs to collect up to over 100 stamps from different governmental departments, but the number has been brought down to about 50 to 60, but still, all those long procedures have driven up the costs of business start-up and dampened people's enthusiasm for making innovations. That's a reason why the government is resolved that it will step up its efforts to streamline its administration and delegate more powers.

New steps will be taken this year in this reform, and our focus is on the following three areas. First, all non-governmental review items will be canceled. We must be sure that governmental power will not be exercised when it is not stipulated by the law. There are currently over 1,200 review items by the local governments as mandated by central governmental departments.

Our goal is to cut this number by over 200 in 2015. The government must not secretly hold onto powers that should be delegated, just releasing the hand brake but still keeping the foot brake on. Second, all provincial-level governments will be required to release their list of powers and list of responsibilities this year.

And this task will be assigned to governments in cities and city-level counties next year. We must keep our people well informed of what powers their governments hold and put government power under public oversight to prevent the abuse of office.

Third, we will explore new models for exercising better ongoing and exposed regulation. We will expand the trials for integrated law enforcement, and we will also ensure that there will be effective models for exercising regulation over such acts as cheating and swindling of market place, violating intellectual property rights, making and selling of fake or sub-standard goods, or cases involving food safety. Just as shoes must suit the feet, our administration must meet people's needs and deliver well benefits. Thank you.