China aims to build a united and open market system with orderly competition, which will enable the market to play a "decisive" role in allocating resources, the Communist Party of China (CPC) said in a policy document released on Friday.
The document -- officially named "decision on major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms" -- was approved by the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, a four-day meeting which ended on Nov. 12.
Under a modern market system, businesses should be allowed to operate independently and compete fairly while consumers should be free to choose and spend. Also, merchandise can be traded freely and equally, the document said.
Emphasis should be on clearing market barriers, as well as improving efficiency and fairness in the allocation of resources, it said.
China should formulate fair, open and transparent market rules. The market access system should be standardized. Various market players should be allowed to do business in all sectors unless listed as prohibited or restricted on a "negative list."
China will clear up any regulations and behaviors across the country which impede the establishment of a united national market, it said.
The document called for efforts to improve the mechanism in which prices are mainly decided by the market.
"The market should be left to decide the price on anything whose price can be decided by the market, and the government should not make any improper intervention," according to the document.
China will push forward with pricing reforms on sectors such as water, oil, gas, electricity, transportation and telecommunications. There will be improvements to the pricing mechanism for agricultural products.
A unified market for both urban and rural construction land will be set up. The government will conditionally allow rural construction land of collective ownership to be sold and leased, and allow the owner to become a shareholder in a company.
Rural collective land and the state-owned land should be allowed to enter the market on an equal footing. Rural collective land should enjoy the same rights and prices as state-owned land.
Land expropriation should be scaled down and the procedure should be standardized, and efforts should be made to improve the compensation mechanism for farmers.
The financial market system should also be improved. China will open up the banking sector wider, on condition of strengthened regulation, by allowing qualified private capital to set up small- and medium-sized banks and other financial institutions in accordance with laws, said the document.
Policy banks will be reformed. The multi-level capital market system will be improved, as will reform of the registration system for stock offering.
China will improve the market-oriented exchange rate formation mechanism for the Chinese currency yuan (Renminbi), and speed up market-oriented reform of interest rates.