The Communist Party of China (CPC) has to acknowledge the market's decisive role in allocating resources as it is proven to be the most effective, said President Xi Jinping when explaining a key document about reforms.
China will deepen its economic reform to ensure that the market will play a "decisive" role in allocating resources, according to a decision on major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms, approved by the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee on Nov. 12.
Entrusted by the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee, Xi, also general secretary of CPC Central Committee, explained the decision at the session. His explanation was published in full on Friday.
Xi considered the definition of the market's role a major theoretical achievement of the decision.
A proper relationship between the market and government remains the core of China's economic reform, Xi said.
To build such a relationship is to settle whether the market or government plays a decisive role, he said, adding that the market is proven to be the most effective.
Over the past some 20 years, China has established a socialist market economy but there are lots of problems, Xi admitted.
The market is not orderly and many seek profits through illegal means. The market for key production factors, such as labor, capital and land, are lagging behind, he said.
Market rules are not unified and there are prevailing departmental and regional protectionism, he warned, adding that a lack of full competition stops the inferior from being eliminated.
China has to follow the basic law of the market economy and work on the problems of an underdeveloped market system, excessive government intervention and weak supervision of the market, he said.
Accepting the market's decisive role will help the Party and society develop a correct idea about market-government relations, help the country transform the economic growth pattern, help the government change its functions and help curb corruption, he said.
However, Xi noted that to let the market decide does not mean to let it decide all.
"The socialist market economy needs both the market and government but they play different roles," he said.
The government will maintain a stable macro-economy, provide public services, safeguard fair competition, supervise the market, keep market order, promote sustainable development and step in when the market fails, he said.
The market had been defined as a "basic" role in allocating resources since the country decided to build a socialist market economy in 1992.
For a long period of time after 1949, the idea of market had been a taboo associated with capitalism.
Even after the reform and opening up in 1978, the country had struggled to define the market and some dogmatists still questioned whether socialism could accommodate the market economy.
It was not until the 14th CPC National Congress held in 1992 that a socialist market economy became a consensus.
At the 15th CPC National Congress in 1997, the Party noted that the market, under state macroeconomic control, should be the basic means of allocating resources.
At the 16th CPC National Congress in 2002, the Party said it should leverage to a greater extent the basic role of the market in allocating resources.
At the 17th CPC National Congress in 2007, the Party decided that it should introduce institutions to give better play to the basic role of market forces in allocating resources.
At the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Party said it should leverage to a greater extent and in a wider scope the basic role of the market in allocating resources.
"Now, the CPC Central Committee believes that the condition is ready to bring up a new theoretical expression of this issue," Xi said.