The second plenary meeting of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) is held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 7, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
BEIJING – China's State Council, the cabinet, on Tuesday submitted a plan on the reform of its institutions to the first session of the 14th National People's Congress for deliberation.
China plans to restructure its Ministry of Science and Technology to better allocate resources to overcome challenges in key and core technologies, and move faster toward greater self-reliance in science and technology.
Ministry of Science and Technology
The restructured ministry will play a bigger role in improving a new system for mobilizing the nation to make technological breakthroughs, optimizing sci-tech innovation, facilitating application of sci-tech advances, and coordinating science and technology with economic and social development, according to the reform plan of the State Council institutions submitted to China's national legislature.
China will set up a national financial regulatory administration, according to the State Council plan. Directly under the State Council, the proposed administration will be in charge of regulating the financial industry except the securities sector
Its macro management functions in science and technology-related strategic planning, institutional reforms, allocation of resources, comprehensive coordination, formulating policies and regulations, and supervision and inspection will also be strengthened, according to the plan.
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Explaining the reform plan to national lawmakers, State Councilor Xiao Jie said that facing international sci-tech competition and external containment and suppression, China needs to further smooth its leadership and management system for science and technology-related work.
To that end, a central science and technology commission will be established as part of the latest reform of the Communist Party of China and state institutions, to beef up the Party Central Committee's centralized and unified leadership over science and technology-related work.
The restructured ministry will assume responsibilities as the working body of the new commission, Xiao said.
National financial regulator
China will set up a national financial regulatory administration, according to the State Council plan. Directly under the State Council, the proposed administration will be in charge of regulating the financial industry except the securities sector.
It will be established on the basis of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, which will not be retained, according to the plan, adding that certain functions of the People's Bank of China and the China Securities Regulatory Commission will be transferred to the new administration.
China will deepen the reform of its local financial regulatory mechanism, the State Council said.
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To do that, China will develop a local financial regulatory mechanism with agencies dispatched by central financial regulators as the mainstay, according to the reform plan.
The institutional structure and resources of these dispatched agencies will be optimized in a coordinated manner.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission will become a government agency, rather than a public institution, directly under the State Council, according to the State Council plan.
Delegates listen carefully during the second plenary session of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 7, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
It added that China and will advance reform of the branches of the People's Bank of China, improve the regulatory mechanism on state-owned financial capital, and unify and standardize the management of the staff of financial regulators.
National data bureau
According to the reform plan, China will also establish a national data bureau to be administered by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The bureau will be responsible for advancing the development of data-related fundamental institutions, coordinating the integration, sharing, development and application of data resources, and pushing forward the planning and building of a Digital China, the digital economy and a digital society, among others.
Certain functions of the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission and the NDRC will be transferred to the new bureau, according to the State Council.
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Under the reform plan, China will improve the functions of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. It will also enhance the nation’s elderly-care work mechanism to implement the proactive national strategy in response to population aging and to expand the basic elderly-care services to cover all senior citizens.
IPR management mechanism
China will improve the management mechanism for intellectual property rights (IPR) to upgrade IPR creation, application, protection and management.
The China National Intellectual Property Administration, currently administered by the State Administration for Market Regulation, will be adjusted into an institution directly under the State Council to adapt to the demand of building a country of innovation, according to the plan.
The National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration will also become an institution directly under the State Council from one under the general office of the State Council to strengthen and improve the handling of public petitions and better safeguard the interests of the people.
Also under the reform plan, China's state institutions at the central level will downsize their staff by 5 percent.
The State Council will still consist of 26 departments besides its general office after the reform plan is implemented, according to the plan.