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China unveils 'revolutionary' plan to give Communist Party even more power

The emphasis on party control represents China's most decisive shift yet from 1980s reforms spearheaded by Deng Xiaoping aimed at professionalizing the government

Bloomberg  |  Beijing 

China, Xi Jinping
Illustration by Binay Sinha

unveiled a “revolutionary” government restructuring plan that consolidates Communist Party authority, giving President more direct control over the levers of money and power. The plan put before China’s rubber-stamp parliament Tuesday —some of which had been reported by Bloomberg — calls for giving the People’s Bank of greater oversight in the $43 trillion banking and insurance industry and merging regulators that oversee the sector.

The plan’s goal was “strengthening the Communist Party’s overall leadership” of the state, the document said. The moves would further centralize power in the nation of 1.4 billion people. The emphasis on represents China’s most decisive shift yet from 1980s reforms spearheaded by aimed at professionalizing the government after Mao Zedong’s disruptive party-led political movements caused famine and bloodshed. Liu He, a key economic advisor to Xi and a member of the party’s 25-member Politburo, called the reform “revolutionary” Tuesday in an article published by the party’s People’s Daily newspaper. “Strengthening the party’s leadership in all areas of work is the primary task of deepening the reform of the party and state institutions,” he said.

The changes include

  • Merging the Insurance Regulatory Commission with the Banking Regulatory Commission
  • Overhauling tax department
  • Expands environmental ministry, absorbing some roles now held by the National Development and Reform Commission
  • Creates new office to oversee Xi's Belt and Road trade-and-infrastructure initiative
  • Expands agricultural ministry to include some functions of NDRC and Ministry of Finance
  • Combines some roles of the ministries of Commerce and Foreign Affairs
  • Merges anti-monopoly roles of NDRC and the Ministry of Commerce
  • Sets up an immigration management bureau
  • Give some quality control responsibilities to bureau overseeing intellectual property rights

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 20:49 IST