President Xi stresses greater courage, wisdom in reforms
2013-07-25 19:00
(Xinhua) WUHAN - China must deepen reforms in major areas with "ever more political courage and wisdom" to surmount the institutional barriers that are restraining growth, President Xi Jinping has stressed.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C), who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, presides over a conference attended by senior officials from Hubei, Shanxi, Heilongjiang, Zhejiang and Hunan provinces and Shanghai, in Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei province, July 23, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

Xi made the remarks on Tuesday, 23 July 2013, at a conference in Central China's Hubei province, attended by senior officials from Hubei, Shanxi, Heilongjiang, Zhejiang and Hunan provinces and Shanghai municipality.

"China must break the barriers from entrenched interest groups to further free up social productivity and invigorate creativity," Xi urged, while hailing reform and opening up as the source of China's progress in recent decades.

"There is no way out if we stay still or head backward," he said.

Noting China's reforms have entered a most difficult phase, Xi urged authorities to carry out comprehensive and in-depth research to explore solutions to the arduous tasks facing the country's development.

Xi's latest emphasis on deepening reforms came as the world's second-largest economy is still in a protracted slowdown. China's economic growth slowed to 7.5 percent in the second quarter, down from 7.7 percent during the first quarter and just in line with the annual 7.5-percent target set for 2013.

Chinese authorities have so far refrained from initiating a massive stimulus program to lift the economy to allow leeway to proceed with structural reforms for long-term good.

The areas Xi pointed to as needing more thorough research include the fostering of a more market-oriented mechanism, enhancing government efficiencies, boosting social harmony and innovation, safeguarding social justice, as well as improving the Communist Party's governance.

Since taking office in March, China's new leaders have repeatedly pledged to upgrade the economy through deeper reforms, including delegating administrative power to lower levels and easing controls in the financial sector.

Last week, China's central bank decided to lift controls on bank lending rates, in a clear signal of the government's determination to push forward market-oriented reforms.