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Premier-in-Waiting Li Keqiang: Reform is China's Biggest Dividend

11-23 11:59 Caijing
He said he couldn't totally agree that China's demographic dividends are running out

China's development is all about the power of reforms, said Li Keqiang, the man slated to become China's next premier.

He made the comment at a Wednesday's meeting which gathered local officials from 11 pilot provinces for reforms. This was the first meeting the premier-in-waiting hosted since he was reelected as a member of the most powerful politburo committee five days ago in a sign of change.

"Reforms remain the biggest dividend" for China, said the vice premier. Chinese leaders have targeted at building a "well-off community" in all aspects by the year of 2020 in the party's 18th congress report, which signals that "we are already at a decisive stage now", Mr. Li said, adding that reforms are the power that could help China to accomplish the goal.

If Li's speech could be summed up in two words, it would be "reform, reform"; and if in three words, "reform, reform, reform", the People's Daily, the mouthpiece newspaper for the ruling party, said Thursday in a glowing review.

Li was talking about demographic dividend-which has been regarded as a key factor driving China's economy in the past decades-when he raised the subject of reforms. He said he couldn't totally agree that China's demographic dividends are running out while he brought the issue further by listing reform as the biggest dividend China could leverage.

Li was believed by many to carry hopes for reformists due to his early experience at college and his ties with known reformists.

His gesture as a reformist is also reflected in his style in meetings, which was highly praised by official media outlets. "Scripted officials may find it hard to do well," said the People's Daily, citing a staff having worked for a long time in the Zhong Nanhai coumpound. Officials who are used to reciting talking points at meetings within the country's rigid political system were uneasy to find themselves being doubted by the vice premier, with profound and more-to-the-point questions, it said.


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