更为重要的是，国务院批转了国家改革和发展委员会（National Development and Reform Commission，简称：发改委）起草的《关于2013年深化经济体制改革重点工作的意见》（简称：《意见》）。发改委是国务院下属的经济发展规划机构。
Those who have been waiting for China's new leadership to unveil their economic reform program finally got some good news last week. The new premier, Li Keqiang, vowed to reduce the government's influence on China's economy in a speech to senior Communist Party officials.
More importantly, the State Council, the country's cabinet, endorsed a set of reform objectives drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the economic super-agency in charge of planning and regulation.
Judging by the NDRC's reform objectives for 2013, it is easy to get the impression that China's new leaders have a bold and ambitious agenda. The document covers a wide range of initiatives. The most important are deregulation through a significant reduction of the government's power to approve investments; fiscal reform, with a focus on changing a current turnover tax into a value-added tax and expanding the experiment of levying a property tax; financial reform through liberalization of interest and exchange rates and gradual progress toward capital account convertibility; promotion of private investment in financial, energy, telecom, and rail transportation sectors, all of which have remained monopolies of the state; reform of the prices of electricity, natural gas, and water in order to promote efficiency and conservation; strengthening social safety nets and improving food safety; gradual reform of the urban household registration system to permit more migrants to settle in cities.
The breadth of the agenda has led some observers of China to call it radical. However, it would be premature to celebrate the revival of Chinese economic reform.
Although the proposed reforms in the NDRC document seem bold, they are not new. The individual pieces of the reform have been put forward by various Chinese bureaucracies and leaders before. Obviously, it does make a considerable difference if an important agency like NDRC groups all of them in one eye-catching document. Another reason to be cautious is that the NDRC document contains vague and general announcements of principles and aspirations but lacks specifics. On its own, it tells us little about how these reforms are going to be carried out. The business community should wait for more detailed policies.
The most glaring omission in the NDRC directive is the curtailment of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs). It does not contain any measures that will lead to the privatization, break-up, or the loss of monopoly protection and subsidies of Chinese state-controlled businesses. This raises a giant red flag. Many of the proposed reforms (such as financial reform and promotion of private investment in sectors currently dominated by SOEs) will hurt powerful SOEs. If the government does not reduce the power and privileges of SOEs, they will easily use them to thwart any reforms that will increase competition and hurt monopoly profits.