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Week of October 15, 2002

Week of November 15, 2002

The U.S. and China This Week

DOMESTIC: Reforms to benefit private firms

Speaking at a news conference during the 16th National Party Congress, Chinese economic officials announced several new measures designed to level the playing field between private and public firms. The officials, Zeng Peiyan, head of the State Development Planning Commission, and Li Rongrong, chief of the State Economic and Trade Commission, outlined the pro-business reforms. Under the new reforms, private businesses will be granted equal access to bank credit and may be able to issue bonds, they said. Furthermore, foreign firms will be able to buy portions of state-owned firms listed on China's stock exchange. The officials also said that, as part of the new reforms, China has begun an experiment in which farmers have been allowed to amass larger tracts of land.

At the news conference, Zeng also provided statistics on China's economy for this year. China's economy, Zeng said, would grow by 8 percent this year, up from 7.3 percent last year. Its gross domestic product will reach $1.2 trillion and its total trade will amount to $600 billion. Foreign direct investment in China will be above $50 billion, he said.

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DOMESTIC: Jiang steps down, transferring power to 4th generation

The United States and China have agreed to set up a legal attaché office for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Beijing. The agreement is being hailed as a breakthrough in bilateral cooperation against transnational crimes and terrorism, and will likely improve the atmosphere of the Bush-Jiang summit. U.S. Attorney General Richard Aschcroft announced the decision during a diplomatic visit to China this week. The office is charged with seeking Chinese help to combat terrorism. "That's our highest priority in American law enforcement, and I am pleased to say that I've found a very, very strong note of agreement about the importance of curtailing terrorist activity here among the leaders with whom I have meetings," Ashcroft said. Tony Lau, a twenty-year FBI veteran and Chinese-American, will head the office.

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The U.S. and China This Week
The U.S. and China This Week

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