16.1 percent of all land is polluted, announced Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) and Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in 2014. To address this, State Council issued the ‘Soil pollution prevention and control action plan’ (‘the plan’) on 31 May 2016. It complements action plans for air and water, issued in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
- IPO backlog grows to 895 firms
- Civil Code 2020 timeline called into question
- pushing innovation in batteries
- shifting hospital business models
- South China Sea arbitration reverberations
Debt-for-equity swaps between banks and struggling SOEs have been shelved, following strong resistance. Government will seek to address spiralling corporate debt with other measures, with a swap conducted between two local SOEs in Gansu a promising example.
Li Keqiang 李克强 finally moved into politically tricky SOE reform, calling for slimmer and healthier firms as Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) censured SASAC for its failings. SASAC responded, announcing a new policy placing Party officials above boards of directors.
- robot industrial chains
- low safety standards put children in harm’s way
- fair competition, or is it?
- agriculture going global now state priority
- Xi and Putin eye Brexit
- corporate sector debt skyrockets
State Council issued opinions in early June 2016 to expand housing rental markets and make renting more attractive than buying. Calling for a ‘well-regulated, sustainable and fair’ market by 2020, these are the latest in a series of measures released over the last two years.
An ambitious remodelling of the bankruptcy system is underway. Agreeing in principle that insolvent SOEs can no longer expect taxpayer bailouts, central agencies are exploring ways to both respect market forces and to ‘maximise M&As, minimise liquidations’.
Since 2013, Li Keqiang’s key initiatives, including devolution and innovation, have avoided politically tricky SOE reform. Amid growing political pressure, and with economic troubles continuing, Li is now interceding.
- social support going beyond the state
- water regulations focus on conservation
- SOE reform changing directions
- CCDI moving from fighting graft to implementing policy
- developing precision medicine
- overseas voices given domestic coverage
A page one People’s Daily interview with an ‘authoritative person’ on 9 May set the tone for the month, reaffirming the decisive role of markets, and reiterating the priority of supply-side structural reform. Reassuring those fearing economic reform had gone off the rails, talk of an L-shaped growth curve set out to modify expectations of a rapid recovery. Instead, it led to widespread speculation of a growing divide at the top.
Ageing pressure has increased the urgency of pension reform. Growing urgency has sparked fundamental debates among leading scholars and policymakers about how to make the pension system fairer, stronger and more sustainable.
Publicly accessible social credit platforms compile information on firms and individuals and rate their trustworthiness. Designed to increase transparency and curb dishonest behaviour, they address the so-called social trust deficit.