China to ensure SOEs freed from performing social functions

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BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) — China will continue its efforts to free up state-owned enterprises (SOEs) from performing social functions to make them more competitive. So announced a teleconference held Thursday.

Historically, an SOE in China was a social unit, providing not only life-long employment to employees but also nearly all necessary social services to its workers and their families. These included housing, health care, child care, education, and grocery provision.

Transforming SOEs into market-oriented firms entails taking these burdens off their shoulders.

Premier Li Keqiang, in an instruction issued to the teleconference, said China made decisive achievements in freeing SOEs from performing social functions. He called for efforts to consolidate gains, make SOEs more competitive, and perfect social security systems and public services.

He said solving the issues left over by history while pressing ahead with SOE reforms requires adopting measures suiting local conditions and designs according to enterprises’ needs.

State Councilor Wang Yong, while attending the teleconference, stressed the role of oversight and inspections to make sure that reform goals are met. Enditem

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