China vows 'decisive' role for markets, results by 2020

China vows 'decisive' role for markets, results by 2020

BEIJING - China's ruling party pledged to let markets play a "decisive" role in allocating resources as it unveiled a reform agenda for the next decade on Tuesday, looking to overhaul the world's second-largest economy to drive future growth.

China aims to achieve "decisive results" in its reform push by 2020, with economic changes a central focus of overall reforms, the ruling Communist Party said in a communiqué released by state media at the end of a four-day closed-door meeting of the party's 205-member Central Committee.

"The core issue is to straighten out the relationship between government and the market, allowing the market to play a decisive role in allocating resources and improving the government's role," the party said in its statement.

It added that it would set up a central leading team for "comprehensively deepening reform," responsible for "designing reform on an overall basis, arranging and co-ordinating reform, pushing forward reform as a whole, and supervising the implementation of reform plans".

In previous policy statements, the Communist Party had often described markets as playing a "basic" role in allocating resources, Xinhua news agency said, meaning the new language amounts to an upgrading of its role in the party philosophy.

"They are looking to break away from government control, allowing the markets to take the lead. In the past, prices and investment decisions were predominantly made by the government," said Dong Tao, Asia ex-Japan chief regional economist with Credit Suisse in Hong Kong.

"This is a revolutionary philosophy, by Chinese standards."

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