Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that the northeastern province of Liaoning must depend on the real economy to realize rejuvenation, stressing the leading role of state-owned companies.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during a panel discussion with national lawmakers from Liaoning at the ongoing annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC).
No matter what stage China’s development is in, the real economy will always be the foundation for growth and for gaining the upper hand in global economic competition, Xi said.
Supply-side structural reform is inevitable for the revitalization of Liaoning, Xi said, urging the province to make progress in the reform and to rejuvenate the industrial sector.
The province should focus on industrial upgrades and set up an industrial system with long-lasting competitiveness, he said.
Liaoning should promote the creation of a new economic structure featuring joint development of new strategic sectors and traditional manufacturing, complementary development of modern and traditional services, integration of informatization and industrialization, as well as military and civilian integration, he said.
The province should also take firm steps to develop and strengthen state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which can lead Liaoning’s revitalization, and cultivate core competitiveness, Xi said.
SOEs should be the pioneers of innovation-driven development, he said.
Liaoning must optimize the distribution of state-owned capital, fulfill its responsibility to maintain and increase the value of state-owned assets, and avoid state asset losses and other major risks, Xi said.
The northeast, which consists of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, was among the first regions in China to become industrialized. Its traditional industries include steel, automobile, shipbuilding and petroleum refining.
China has pledged to rejuvenate the northeast rustbelt through reform and economic restructuring.
In 2016, regional GDP of Liaoning dropped 2.5 percent, compared with a 6.7-percent expansion of the national economy.
Xi also stressed the importance of a clean political ecology, saying that a “tainted” system will give rise to many problems, including greed for power, double dealing and cliques.