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China's reform linked to entire world

Updated: 2013-09-13 09:56

BEIJING - New catch phrase about China's economy such as "three major economic support zones" has become the talk of the town in the past week, as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's attendance of the summer Davos Forum unveils a clearer roadmap of a new round of economic reform in the country.

"Reform remains the driving force" and "Opening up at a faster pace gives impetus to development," Premier Li said in an article published by the British Financial Times prior to the annual Summer Davos Forum, which opened in northeast China on Wednesday.

"The trend of China's economy depends on the ability of the Chinese government to sustain its reform drive, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun commented on the same day.

China's reform and opening-up is undergoing a historic process of transformation and upgrading.

Australian economist Guo Shengxiang said the strategic decisions released one after another by the Chinese government recently can be comparable to late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's Reform and Opening-up policy more than 30 years ago, as measured either by the extent and scale of the reform, or by its strategic layout and international impact.

The new initiatives, on the one hand, include industrial adjustment and upgrading, supporting private investment, streamlining administration, delegating power, and other structural and institutional changes.

On the other hand, they also covers the efforts to build the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, to establish economic support zones in northeast China, the central and west part of China, and the inland areas of southwest and central-southern part of China, as well as to promote the urbanization drive.

It is a key move that the central government has proposed to give private capital greater access to some vital sectors such as financial, petroleum and railway industries, U.S. Purdue University economics professor Wang Hong said, adding that this means China's top leaders have paid more attention to the non-public sector and will spare more room for its development.

A senior expert of the US Heritage Foundation said the Chinese government is trying to have the market force play a greater role, and the effects of relevant policies could be examined and reviewed in the new round of development in the inland areas of the country.

People will see qualitative and quantitative changes occurring simultaneously in the coastal and inland regions due to the new round reform and opening-up, where commercial opportunities for investors are expected to come out, president and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce Thomas J. Donohue said.

Changes like economic restructuring, the market-based reform and strengthening endogenous growth would hopefully create a round of more balanced, environment-friendly and sound opening up and development, which will bolster sustainable growth of the economy.

Looking ahead, there are bright prospects for China's development.

However, the new round of reform will be carried out against a more complicated background, which will generate more difficulties, for the long-standing mode of extensive economic growth in the past has produced huge problems featuring unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development, while China's economic and social structures have undergone profound changes rarely seen in the early stage of the reform and opening-up more than three decades ago.

China should be vigilant against risks of superficiality, and pay attention to the reform's efficiency in the process of opening up the financial, oil and electricity sectors to non-public capital, Joseph Ford, New York University associate professor warned.

Though advancing reform has to "shake up vested interests," which may be more difficult than "touching the soul," Li said at the Davos Forum.

"The important thing is to take action," he said, "Talking the talk is not as good as walking the walk."