Chinese premier makes plea on reform

Chinese premier makes plea on reform
Premier Li Keqiang and Zheng Bijian, president of the China Institute of Innovation and Development Strategy, attend the opening ceremony for a meeting of the 21st Century Council in Beijing on Friday.

CHINA - Premier Li Keqiang urged local authorities on Friday to follow the central government's lead in reforming government functions - to allow the market to have a bigger say, and provide a better service for the public.

Government reform that began at the start of this year has already achieved better than expected results, Li said at a national video conference with local government officials.

He said that with 334 central-level approval rights either revoked or transferred to local governments, the number of newly registered enterprises has increased by 25 percent so far from the same period last year.

Of all newly registered companies, the number of privately owned ones has increased by 37 percent, fueling a 23 percent rise in the nation's total private investment.

The State Council - China's Cabinet - has made government reform a priority despite the slowdown in domestic growth and the complicated international environment, Li said.

He stressed that further reforms of the local government administrative system will improve relationships between government and the market, government and society, as well as between central and local authorities.

It can also trigger the market's creative power and promote economic transformation and upgrading, the premier said.

In a week's time, the Communist Party of China will hold the Third Plenary Session of its 18th Central Committee, which is expected to unveil a blueprint for reforms on an even broader scale over the medium to long term.

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