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Telecom legislation speeds up
By Chen Zhiming and Li Weitao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-01 01:37

The Ministry of Information Industry (MII) reaffirmed yesterday that it will speed up the creation of a telecom law this year to guarantee the sustained development of the telecom industry.

"The telecom law has already been listed as a priority item for the State Council in 2005 and efforts are being made to enhance the quality of the law," Yi Xueqing, director-general of the MII's Laws and Regulations Department, said yesterday at MII's annual policy-releasing conference in Beijing.

"We will be in collaboration with the State Council to conduct related investigations about the draft to enable the law to be submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) for evaluation as soon as possible," Yi said.

In fact, the draft was submitted to the State Council at the end of July last year and has been reviewed twice by the State Council's Legal Affairs Office.

"After the submission to the National People's Congress, we are continuing to conduct all assessment work," he said.

According to Yi, the ministry is closely following the development of the global telecom industry and researching other country's telecom-related laws.

"We will research some specific telecom subjects to improve the upcoming law," he said yesterday.

He said the ministry will also organize telecom law-related seminars this year to deal with further potential issues before the official unveiling of the telecom law.

A recent remark by Information Industry Minister Wang Xudong was also proof of the government's strenuous efforts to ensure the smooth arrival of the law.

"We will speed up our efforts to hammer out a more open and transparent market environment to ensure the growth of the telecommunications industry this year," Wu told the MII's working conference in January in Beijing.

In fact, there is an urgent need for such a law to ensure a sound policy environment for the industry and help build up a fair, open and efficient market.

"We need a detailed and complete law to better meet the development of the telecom industry due to the explosive growth in the past decade," said Chen Jinqiao, director of the China Academy of Telecommunications Research under the Ministry of Information Industry (MII).

In an exclusive interview, he said the new law is expected to contribute tremendously to phasing out malpractice and ensure the healthy development of the industry.

Currently, there is only a telecommunications regulation to guide the development of the telecom industry.

Chen also suggested besides reviewing existing policies and regulations, the government should also turn to nurture market demand as well as encourage innovation within the industry.

"The sector is becoming more market-oriented and we are seeing increasing new opportunities and huge potential as the market will become further opened in line with China's commitments to the World Trade Organization," he said.

Figures from the MII showed that the telecom industry is expected to earn a revenue of 557 billion yuan (US$67.1 billion) this year, representing a growth of 11.2 per cent from last year.

The country will sign up 103 million new telephone subscribers this year.

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