China Eyes More Free Market Economy

The push for some economic reform arose out of the Communist Party Central Committee's closed-door meeting.

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The Chinese ruling Communist Party said Tuesday that it plans to let markets play a “decisive” role in allocating resources as part of a significant economic overhaul, marking a shift from past statements that described a “basic” role for the markets in the country’s tightly-regulated economy.

The pledge for economic and overall reforms by 2020 was announced in a statement released by state media after a four-day closed-door meeting of the party’s Central Committee, comprising some 200 central and provincial officials.

The announcement is expected to spur state agencies toward reforms that will reduce the role of the government in the world’s second-largest economy, Reuters reports. It’s the first such policy blueprint issued under Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who took office last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The statement was light on specifics — a more fleshed-out document is expected in the coming days — but it identified several areas, including taxes, land markets and social security, in need of reform.