China’s leadership unveiled a blueprint for some of the most comprehensive economic and social reforms in nearly 30 years in November 2013.
Implementation since then has been slow but steady. China has eschewed riskier, game-changing reform but the incremental steps aim to reach enough critical mass to sustain momentum and help the world’s second-largest economy shift down fairly smoothly after decades of investment-fueled growth.
The following are some of the significant steps taken since the Communist Party Central Committee’s Nov 9-12 policy conclave:
Oct 16 – The top economic planner is considering tightening rules for bond issues, according to traders and a leaked document.
Oct 11 – The State Council says it will institute a resource tax on coal while eliminating other taxes to simplify the tax structure.
Oct 9 – China levies tariffs on coal imports in a move to reduce the country’s dependence on the polluting energy source.
Sept 9 – Domestic firms in many areas no longer require government approval to invest overseas but must register their investments with authorities starting Oct 6.
Sept 1 – The budget law is revised to allow local governments to issue bonds directly.
Aug 26 – China cuts on-grid prices of thermal electricity from Sept. 1 to reflect a fall in coal prices.
Aug 20 – The government cuts taxes on high-tech companies, abolishes the need for firms to seek approvals in 68 further areas and additionally allows lower levels of government to approve business projects in 19 other areas.
Aug 15 – China eliminates 21 approval processes for a list of industries and lower levels of government are given the right to approve certain projects in an effort to cut red tape.
Aug 12 – China will raise natural gas prices for bulk buyers and non-residential use from Sept. 1 in an effort to reform pricing.
Aug 4 – Foreign firms in China are allowed to use their registered capital to buy stakes in other Chinese companies.
July 15 – The state-owned enterprise regulator chooses six state firms to test out reforms expanding the role of private capital in China’s state sector.
July 14 – China loosens currency controls to make it easier for domestic companies and individuals to set up special purpose vehicles (SPVs) for investments overseas.
July 2 – Banks are allowed to set their own exchange rates for the yuan against the dollar in over-the-counter deals with clients.
June 27 – Regulators lower the threshold for banks to enter the foreign exchange market and removes a layer of approvals.
June 25 – China gives the greenlight to three banks wholly funded with capital from private firms, to be the country’s first private lenders.
May 21 – The experiment for China’s first municipal bond market is launched.
May 21 – Private firms are invited to invest in 80 major projects in the energy, information and infrastructure sectors.
May 16 – Financial regulators tighten oversight of interbank loans.
May 16 – China sets up international energy trading center where crude oil futures will be traded for the first time.
May 15 – Securities firms get the go-ahead to expand into new businesses such as the online financial services market.
May 6 – State-owned enterprises to increase dividend payouts by 5 percentage points to up to 25 percent of their profits.
April 23 – Premier Li Keqiang says China will allow private investment in 80 projects in energy, information and infrastructure.
April 22 – Changes to the environmental law seeking stiffer penalties for polluters submitted to parliament.
April 11 – Chinese firms can invest up to $1 billion overseas without seeking approval, China’s top planner says.
April 10 – China allows cross-border stock investment between Shanghai and Hong Kong.
April 9 – The government relaxes price controls over non-public hospital services.
April 2 – The government says will fast-track some spending and cut taxes for small firms, as a way of supporting the weakening economy.
March 31 – Britain and China sign an agreement to set up a clearing service for offshore yuan trading in London. That follows a similar agreement with Germany.
March 24 – China simplifies review procedures for mergers and acquisitions.
March 21 – The securities regulator issues rules for a pilot program allowing listed companies to issue preferred shares.
March 20 – The foreign exchange regulator relaxes curbs on foreign investment in China’s stock market.
March 20 – PetroChina, China’s biggest oil and gas producer, is welcoming private investment into oil and gas pipelines in China, according to chairman Zhou Jiping.
March 20 – China lifts ban on equity financing for listed property developers after four years.
March 16 – China sets 2020 targets for urban population growth and registered urban residents.
March 15 – The central bank doubles the yuan currency’s daily trading band against the dollar.
March 11 – Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan says China’s deposit rates should be liberalized in one to two years.
March 11 – Development of 3-5 privately-owned banks to be tested in Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Guangdong, bank regulator says.
March 11 – The cabinet outlines its healthcare reform plan.
March 7 – Loss-making solar equipment maker misses interest payment in China’s first domestic bond default.
March 5 – Premier Li Keqiang promises to wage a “war” on pollution and reduce the pace of investment to a decade-low.
March 1 -Simplified corporate capital registration comes into force. Government data later show 309,500 new firms were registered in March, up 46 percent from a year earlier.
Feb 26 – Beijing details pension reform that seeks to decrease urban-rural economic divisions before 2020.
Feb 21 – The central bank gives operational details for cross-border yuan deals made through Shanghai free trade zone.
Feb 20 – Sinopec Corp, Asia’s largest oil refiner, says it will sell up to 30 percent of its retail business to private investors in a multi-billion dollar revamp.
Jan 29 – The cabinet sets up a cross-ministry group to boost development of three service zones in Guangdong province.
Jan 22 – Six teams to supervise economic reforms are set up, with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in charge.
Jan 17 – China’s wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang became the first to implement changes to the one-child policy.
Jan 6 – The cabinet publishes guidelines strengthening regulation of off-balance lending.
Dec 11 – Beijing strips 82 powers away from central government ministries. Over 200 administrative approvals are set to be abolished or delegated to local authorities in 2014.
Dec 10 – New standards on performance ratings of officials break the obsession with growth and include such criteria as work safety, innovation, environmental and resource costs.
Dec 8 – The central bank sets guidelines for issuing of interbank certificates of deposit, a step towards allowing markets to determine interest rates.
Dec 4 – The government expands its value-added tax trial to rail transport and the postal service.
Dec 4 – The central bank announces details of financial reform test runs in the Shanghai free trade zone.
Nov 30 – The stock market regulator announces IPO reforms.
Nov 12 – Anhui province, which spearheaded land reform in 1978 announces pilot land reforms, including accelerating the development of large-scale farming, completing land use rights registration before end-2015 and simplifying land transactions.