China will relax market access for foreign investment, expand access to its services sector and deepen market-oriented reform of its exchange rate and financial system, while at the same time strengthening state firms, said China's Communist Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping yesterday at the opening of the important Communist Party Congress which convenes every five years.
Addressing more than 2,000 delegates in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, he laid out a vision for an increasingly prosperous China and its place in the world, stressing also the importance of wiping out corruption.
He envisioned China developing into a basically modernised socialist country by 2035, becoming one of the world's most innovative countries with the income gap between urban and rural residents significantly reduced, and its environmental woes fundamentally eliminated. By 2050, he said, China would become a modern socialist "strong power" with leading influence on the world stage.
He said: “We will improve the framework of regulation underpinned by monetary policy and macro-prudential policy, and see that interest rates and exchange rates become more market-based.”
Mr Xi also stressed the importance of improving the financial regulatory system to "forestall systemic financial risks", reported the Xinhua News Agency. He called for efforts to deepen institutional reform in the financial sector, make it better serve the real economy, increase direct financing, and promote the healthy development of a multilevel capital market.
He said: “China upholds the basic national policy of opening to the outside world.” China ranks 59th out of the 62 countries evaluated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of openness to foreign direct investment.
Mr Xi’s anti-corruption campaign has nabbed hundreds of thousands of officials since 2012, including Xiang Junbo who was removed from his post as Chairman of the CIRC in April and will be prosecuted for “severe violations”. He is the most senior financial regulator to date to be nabbed by the Chinese government's fight against graft.
Last month, CIRC's Vice Chairman Chen Wenhui pledged to further open the Chinese insurance market to foreign capital. He said that the CIRC encourages overseas multinational insurers to enter health, disaster and pension insurance businesses.The regulator will improve market entry policies for foreign insurers that have yet to enter the China market, he added.