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Xi's remarks boost private sector

By An Baijie,Wu Jiao (China Daily)

Updated: 2016-03-10 02:30:22


In a rare move, the government released on Wednesday the full transcript of President Xi Jinping's remarks in support of private businesses during a panel discussion with political advisers last week.

Lawmakers and political advisers from the private sector have taken them as a pledge from the top leadership to continue market-oriented reform and to protect private enterprises.

Some policy researchers also see the remarks as an effort to clarify the relationship between government officials and private businesspeople.

In the 5,000-word article, Xi says that any notion that aims to negate the private economy is wrong.

The remarks come as the private economy is experiencing difficulties and doubts over its health amid an overall economic downturn and a nationwide anti-corruption drive.

Despite growth, many small companies face difficulties in getting equal market access, such as in getting bank loans, as they compete with State-funded counterparts.

The fall of a number of private entrepreneurs found to be in collusion with corrupt officials, including some tycoons, has also come into the limelight, causing wide doubt over the private sector and its role in the country.

Yet, in his remarks, Xi pledged the government will "unswervingly" encourage, support and guide the development of the private sector, giving it wider market access and easier financing.

He also stressed that government officials and private businesspeople should maintain a close-but-clean relationship free of power-for-money collusion.

Xi's meeting with the business circle aims to send a strong signal and correct erroneous notions concerning the private sector, said Zhu Lijia, a professor of public administration at the Chinese Academy of Governance.

Xi acknowledged the contributions made by private enterprises, as they have played a key role in employment, economic growth and social stability, said Zhu.

China's private sector created more than 62 million jobs in the past two years.

Nan Cunhui, a political adviser and board chairman of Zhejiang-based Chint Group, said Xi's remarks "will help us have more confidence ... and better understand the current situation and government policies".

"Xi asked for more policies to support the private sector, and that is very encouraging," Nan said.

Contact the writers at wujiao@chinadaily.com.cn