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Exam-Approval System Must Meet WTO Commitments: Vice-Premier

Chinese Vice-Premier Li Lanqing Friday urged the acceleration of reform of the administrative examination and approval system, deeming it a breakthrough for governmental reform to meet its WTO commitments.

The reform is also essential for carrying out the current anti-corruption campaign, said Li at a meeting of the Leading Group for the Reform of the Administrative Examination and Approval System under the State Council. Li is the head of the leading group.

The vice-premier expressed satisfaction with the smooth course of the work following a teleconference last year, and stressed that more effective measures should be taken.

Given that the purpose of the reform is to adapt the system to the socialist market economy, Li asked local governments to reduce unnecessary projects for examination.

"Any administrative exam that contradicts the principle of separating the functions of the government from those of enterprises, hinders the opening of the market and fair competition, and in fact fails to play an effective role should be abolished," said Li.

It is necessary to bring the market mechanism into play and use it to replace administrative examination and approval.

For projects that need to undergo administrative exam, the procedures should be regulated, simplified and made more transparent, while strict supervision should be imposed, said Li.

He called on departments affiliated to the State Council to set examples for local governments in this respect.

The vice-premier said the reform is both an urgent task and a long-term job which concerns the establishment of a scientific andreasonable management mechanism and the building of a clean, honest, diligent, practical and highly efficient government.

(Xinhua News Agency February 22, 2002)

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