China vows to ensure normal operations during institutional reforms

Reuters

Published Mar 14, 2023 08:15AM ET

Updated Mar 14, 2023 09:20AM ET

(Refiles to fix typo in headline, 'China' not 'Chinese')

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will carefully implement state institutional reforms and ensure orderly operations, state media reported, citing the first cabinet meeting chaired by the new premier Li Qiang on Tuesday.

Li, the former Communist Party chief of Shanghai, was installed as premier on Saturday during the annual session of China's parliament and is tasked with reviving the world's second-largest economy after three years of COVID-19 curbs.

The institutional reforms remain "a major political task at present" and China will make sure that all the work is carried out normally, state media reported, citing comments from the meeting.

"The institutional reforms should be taken as an opportunity to adapt to the needs of building a new development pattern and promoting high-quality development."

Last week, China's parliament approved a plan for a sweeping reform of central government institutions, including the formation of a financial regulatory body and national data bureau and a revamp of its science and technology ministry.

Analysts and investors said the new financial watchdog, the National Financial Regulatory Administration, will help bridge regulatory gaps, but it may also consolidate power at the top and could introduce more state and party intervention.

The new cabinet chaired by Li faces the challenge of getting the economy back on track after COVID-19 restrictions, weak consumer and business sentiment, slow global growth and geopolitical uncertainties.