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Effectively tackling resistance to reform will represent a major test of the Chinese Government's wisdom and resolve
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UPDATED: March 17, 2014 NO. 12 MARCH 20, 2014
Comprehensive Reform Begins

2014 marks the first year since the Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Some Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening the Reform was released last November. The new round of reform comes with high expectations, as well as uncertainty.

Reform is certainly the main focus of the Central Government this year. On March 5, Premier Li Keqiang repeatedly stressed his vision of reform in his government work report, demonstrating the Central Government's strong resolution to deepen reform. Li's report also indicates a clear roadmap for the way forward. As the National People's Congress passed the government work report, China has signaled the launch of a comprehensive reform this year.

After 30 years of implementing the reform and opening-up policy, China is now entering another stage in which the country must adjust its economic growth and structure as well as the economic incentive policy. Faced with downward pressure, there is no time to delay China's economic restructure. Furthermore, China has to resolve a series of problems such as excess manufacturing capacity, environmental deterioration and social inequality. All these social and economic problems have spurred the country to deepen reform in many sectors.

A public opinion poll carried out before the annual sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) showed that comprehensively deepening reform is the biggest concern among Chinese citizens. The Central Government is expected to enact reform measures aimed at breaking through barriers of interests and unleashing economic vitality while improving people's livelihood.

The Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the CPC mapped out the plan of deepening reform by issuing 330 measures in 15 sectors. The 2014 annual sessions of the NPC and CPPCC discuss how to implement these schemes and achieve objectives. It is believed that all these reform measures will profoundly alter China's economic, political, cultural, social and environmental landscape.

Local governments will work to implement deepening reform following the conclusion of the two sessions. This year, reform will take effect in the following major sectors: For administrative reform, over 200 items of administrative examination and approval will be cancelled or delegated to local governments. China will continue to reform the financial sector by promoting market-oriented interest rates, establishing a deposit insurance system and fostering the healthy development of Internet-based financial services. China will carry out a more transparent fiscal and tax system and strengthen the protection of property rights.

Reform will also be pushed forward in many other sectors, such as circulation, investment, rural affairs, household registration, education, medical care, income distribution, social relief and aid, as well as reducing official vehicles. All of these show that the reform is already underway.

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