China will target institutional barriers and deeply embedded interests in reform this year, said a statement from a Communist Party of China (CPC) reform leading group on January 23.
Priority should be given to reforms in key areas including state-owned enterprises and state-owned assets, monopoly sectors, finance and taxation, property rights protection, rural revitalization, social security, opening up, and ecological conservation, according to the statement issued after the second meeting of the Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform of the 19th CPC Central Committee.
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, chairman of the Central Military Commission and head of the group, presided over the meeting and delivered a speech.
Xi highlighted the importance of reform in 2018 and called for new breakthrough with strengthened innovation and concrete efforts.
Reform should be more systematic, holistic and coordinated to seek material progress in fundamental areas, the statement said.
It called for innovation at grassroots level and concrete measures against formalities.
Leading officials should lead by example in reform and more efforts are required in research and supervision of reforms, according to the document.
At the meeting, a plan on the group's work for this year and guidelines for a series of reform measures were approved.
Better treatment of skilled workers
A guideline on improving treatment of skilled workers was adopted at the meeting in an effort to motivate their proactivity and creativity.
Participants at the meeting stressed adherence to the principle of "wholeheartedly relying on the working class," calling for concerted efforts of the government, enterprises and society to improve treatment of skilled workers.
Senior leaders agreed to give more pay for more work and to those who are more skilled, according to the statement.
Trade dispute mechanism for Belt & Road
Chinese leaders also approved a guideline on establishing a mechanism to appropriately solve trade and investment disputes among the Belt and Road countries according to law.
A dispute settlement mechanism which connects litigation, mediation and arbitration will be created on the basis of China's current judiciary, arbitration and mediation agencies, and by absorbing and integrating legal service resources home and abroad, according to the statement.
Members of the group called for equal protection for both Chinese and foreign parties' rights to create a stable, fair and transparent law-based business environment.
Tightened examination of IPR trasfer aborad
China will tighten the examination of transferring intellectual property rights (IPR) to foreigners, particularly those concerning state security, according to a regulation adopted at the meeting.
Chinese individuals and organizations, who would like to sell their IPR to foreign counterparts, will be subject to strict review and cases concerning state security will be under stricter supervision.
The scope, content and mechanism of such reviews will be tightened, according to the statement.
Work place safety
China asked local officials to take prime responsibility of safety incidents in work places, according to a regulation adopted at the meeting.
Local officials must understand that development cannot be attained at the cost of work place safety, said the statement.
Local officials are required to improve inspection and supervision, examination and investigation on work place safety, and perfect the incentive and punishment system on the issue.
Other measures outlined at the meeting include reform of Confucius institutes, basic pension schemes, management of important scientific data, and supply of generic drugs.
Senior officials Li Keqiang, Zhang Gaoli, Wang Yang and Wang Huning attended the meeting.