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How China develops through comprehensively deepening reform over past decade


This year marks the 45th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, also the tenth anniversary of China's decision for comprehensively deepening reform.

In 2013, the overall goals for comprehensively deepening reform were set by the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), aiming to modernize the country's system of and capacity for governance.

Later in the year, the CPC set up the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, which was tasked with steering China's reform endeavors.

By the end of 2020, China had rolled out 2,485 reform plans covering politics, economy, culture, society, rule of law and other areas.

Reform of the economic system is the focus of the overall reform, according to the goals.

Modern market system

Over the past decade, China has stepped up efforts in economic reform by building a modern market system.

In 2018, China introduced the negative list for market access, specifying sectors and businesses that are off-limits or require permission for investors. For industries not on the list, all market players—whether domestic or foreign, state-owned or private—can equally enter the market according to the law.

China has been cutting and revising items on the negative list over the years to offer a more equal and open market environment. Specifically, only 117 items were on the latest 2022 version of the list, 23 percent down from the 2018 version.

During a meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform in 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping said strengthening anti-monopoly regulations and deepening the implementation of fair competition policy are inherent requirements for improving the socialist market economic system.

The National People's Congress Standing Committee, China's top legislature, passed an amendment to the Anti-monopoly Law in 2022, aiming to foster a fair, transparent and predictable business environment.

The revised law formalized the practice of fair competition review—a requirement for local authorities to conduct a prior competitive assessment of any regulations they intend to adopt concerning market activities.

Alexandr Svetlicinii, associate professor of law at the University of Macau, wrote in an opinion piece for CGTN that the amendments are indicative of the important role attributed to market competition in stimulating innovation, development and economic growth.

High-standard open economy

The goals for comprehensively deepening reform also stressed the significance of further opening-up to adapt to economic globalization.

In this regard, China has established various platforms to promote the building of a high-standard open economy, such as the China International Import Expo (CIIE), the China International Consumer Products Expo, and the China International Fair for Trade in Services.

The sixth CIIE held in Shanghai in November attracted representatives across 154 countries, regions, and international organizations, showcasing a diverse array of 442 new products, technologies, and services.

The expo achieved a significant milestone with $78.41 billion in tentative trade agreements, Sun Chenghai, deputy director of the CIIE Bureau, unveiled these figures at a press briefing.

Also, a total of 41,947 new foreign-invested companies were established in China during the first 10 months of this year, a 32.1 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, data from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce showed.

During the period, foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Chinese mainland in actual use came in at 987.01 billion yuan (about $139.4 billion). FDI in manufacturing rose 1.9 percent year on year to 283.44 billion yuan ($40.03 billion), with that in high-tech manufacturing logging an increase of 9.5 percent.

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Graphics: What China's high-standard opening up brings to the world

While presiding over a meeting of the central commission for deepening overall reform in July, President Xi urged further reform of systems and mechanisms in such key areas for international exchange and opening up as investment, trade, finance and innovation, to elevate the country's opening up to a higher level.

(Cover: Luzhou port of China (Sichuan) pilot free trade zone in Luzhou, southwest China's Sichuan Province, June 20, 2023. /CFP)

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