Chinese state-owned enterprises defend further growth
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Bosses of Chinese state-owned enterprises argued for continued expansion on Friday, defending themselves against charges that their firms are in urgent need of reform with claims they are vital to national economic security while still struggling with the legacy of the planned economy.
Chinese reformers and Western governments have taken aim at the state sector in recent years, claiming it gets the lion's share of preferential loans and policies. The calls for reform had built up as factions manoeuvred ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
The critics claim that without further reform of the state sector, China's growth will stagnate. They call for equal opportunity for private firms, which provide most of the new jobs in China.
In his address to a Communist Party Congress on Thursday, outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao called for more investment in the state sector while also improving its regulation and diversifying the forms of public ownership.