China policymakers stress reforms

Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM
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BEIJING, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- China will show "greater courage and intelligence" in promoting market reforms, policymakers told a conference led by the country's new leader, Xi Jinping.

The important weekend Central Economic Work Conference in Beijing was called to discuss economic policies in the coming year as China faces major economic challenges due to the global economic crisis and its own declining growth rates from earlier years' double-digit numbers.

Reform-minded Xi, who along with the other six members of the Politburo Standing Committee will be tackling the economic challenges, was made general secretary of the Communist Party and head of the central military commission at the party congress last month. He is also expected to become China's president in March, succeeding Hu Jintao.

The policymakers told the conference cutting taxes and helping more rural workers settle in cities so they can help boost domestic demand and reduce dependence on exports will be among the reforms pursued through steady economic growth.

Mustering up "greater political courage and wisdom" and "pushing forward" are vital to achieving reform, they said while supporting measures such as raising bank lending to promote urbanization, China Daily reported.

The conference participants pledged to enlarge capital supply for development, including raising bank loans while keeping the currency stable. However, they said the economy must grow at a pace that ensures quality, efficiency and sustainability.

To boost domestic demand, they said both public and private investment would be encouraged.

China in 2013 is expected maintain this year's growth level of 7.5 percent.

The conference was told China will show "greater courage and intelligence" in promoting market reforms, China Daily said. It was observed the country can no longer rely on massive labor supply for economic growth, and that the country hereon must promote further reform and technological upgrading to unleash productivity.

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