SCIO briefing on comprehensively promoting the high-quality development of central state-owned enterprises
Beijing | 10 a.m. Feb. 23, 2023

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Thursday about thoroughly studying and implementing the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and promoting the high-quality development of central state-owned enterprises.


Zhang Yuzhuo, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC)

Weng Jieming, vice chairman of the SASAC

Zhao Shitang, vice chairman and spokesperson of the SASAC


Chen Wenjun, director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO

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Mr. Zhang Yuzhuo, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council

Mr. Weng Jieming, vice chairman of the SASAC

Mr. Zhao Shitang, vice chairman of the SASAC


Mr. Chen Wenjun, director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


Feb. 23, 2023

Chen Wenjun:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). This is the second briefing in the series "Embarking on the New Journey—A Government Perspective." Today, we have invited Mr. Zhang Yuzhuo, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council, to brief you on thoroughly studying and implementing the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and comprehensively promoting the high-quality development of centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and take your questions. We also have with us two vice chairmen of the SASAC, Mr. Weng Jieming and Mr. Zhao Shitang. 

Now, I will give the floor to Mr. Zhang Yuzhuo.

Zhang Yuzhuo:

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. It is a great pleasure to meet with friends from the press and introduce the situation of state-owned capital and SOEs.

The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core attaches great importance to the management of state-owned capital and SOEs. The 20th CPC National Congress has drawn up a grand blueprint for advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. It has also made significant arrangements for deepening the reforms of state-owned capital and SOEs, in a bid to accelerate the creation of a new development pattern and pursue high-quality development. Recently, General Secretary Xi Jinping published an important article in the Qiushi Journal titled "Several Major Issues in Current Economic Work." The article emphasizes the need to improve the core competitiveness and core functions of SOEs. Additionally, it lays out plans for a new round of actions to deepen SOE reforms, which is also a major deployment made at the Central Economic Work Conference.

SOEs are an important material and political foundation for socialism with Chinese characteristics. The SASAC has a deep understanding of the decisive significance of the establishment of both Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, firmly upholds Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and also upholds the Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership. We are working unswervingly both to consolidate and develop the public sector and to encourage, support and guide development of the non-public sector, and continue to build up the strength, quality and size of state-owned capital and SOEs. In these ways, we aim to contribute to comprehensively building a modern socialist country.

In the past year, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the SASAC and centrally administered SOEs conscientiously implemented the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Despite facing difficulties, we made efforts to achieve generally stable economic growth while making further progress. The operating revenues of China's centrally administered SOEs reached 39.6 trillion yuan in 2022, an increase of 9.1% year on year, while their total profits increased by 6.2% to 2.6 trillion yuan and tax payments rose by 19.3% to 2.8 trillion yuan. Remarkable achievements have been made in the reform and development of state-owned capital and centrally administered SOEs and in Party building, making important contributions to the development of the Party and the country. However, we also recognize that there is still a gap between what we have done and the expectations of General Secretary Xi Jinping, the Party Central Committee, and the people.

This year marks the first year of thoroughly implementing the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress. The SASAC and centrally administered SOEs will adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, thoroughly carry out the deployments of the Central Economic Work Conference and the government work report to be deliberated by the National People's Congress, and focus on Party building, value creation, technological self-improvement, deepening reform, optimizing the layout and keeping the bottom line, to solidly promote various tasks. We will actively promote stable growth, stable employment and stable prices, and play a leading role in promoting the overall improvement of economic operation. We will thus make new and more extraordinary contributions toward building a modern socialist country in all aspects.

Next, my colleagues and I will take your questions. Thank you.


Chen Wenjun:

Thank you, Mr. Zhang. The floor is now open for questions. Please identify the media outlet you represent before asking your questions.


The 20th CPC National Congress drew up an ambitious blueprint for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. What are the new missions and tasks for SOEs, especially centrally administered SOEs, in the process of modernization through a unique Chinese path?

Zhang Yuzhuo:

Promoting high-quality development is an essential requirement of Chinese modernization. The SASAC and central SOEs will make high-quality development their top priority. So, to summarize, we will focus on "one goal" and "two paths."

"One goal" means we will strengthen, expand, and increase returns on state-owned capital and SOEs. This is in response to the important arrangement made by General Secretary Xi Jinping and the CPC Central Committee on SOEs, including central SOEs, and to the expectations of all the Chinese people for the SASAC and central SOEs. Also, we set the goal considering that SOEs hold an important position and play a key role as the material and political foundations of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In addition, they are an important pillar and source of strength for the Party to count on in governance. 

"Two paths" means that, on the one hand, we need to increase our core competitiveness; on the other hand, we need to strengthen essential functions through optimal distribution and structural adjustments. To improve core competitiveness, there are four keywords on which we need to concentrate. First, technology. We will focus our efforts on sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening, establish cradles for original technologies, and improve the capabilities of basic research and application-oriented basic research at a faster pace. We will also tackle problems in core technological research that hinder the country's development, improve the input-output efficiency of research and development (R&D) investment, and constantly make breakthroughs in increasing the efficiency of our innovation system to ensure that enhanced sci-tech capabilities will further strengthen enterprises, industries and the economy. Second, efficiency. We will give better play to the guiding role of assessment based on a target management system of operational indicators, including total profits, debt-to-asset ratio, return on equity, per capita labor productivity, the ratio of R&D spending to revenues, and the ratio of net cash flow to revenues. We will also strengthen lean production management and increase operational efficiency to improve quality effectively and reasonably increase quantity. Third, talent. We will continue cultivating and making good use of talents and actively participate in the country's establishment of highlands and platforms for high-level talent gathering to cultivate greater numbers of master scholars, science strategists, first-class scientists and innovation teams, young scientists, outstanding engineers, master craftsmen, and highly-skilled workers. Fourth, branding. We will strengthen brand management to realize a transformation from "Made in China" to "Created in China," from "Chinese speed" to "Chinese quality," and from "Chinese products" to "Chinese brands."

To strengthen essential functions, we will focus on optimizing distribution and structural adjustments to consolidate the controlling role of the state-owned sector in major industries and key fields vital to national security and comprise the economy's lifeline. We will also intensify efforts to strengthen the development of the innovation capability system and the layout of new strategically emerging industries. We will also increase support for public service systems to give better play to the state-owned sector's leading and strategically supporting role.

Meanwhile, we will uphold the Party's overall leadership and strengthen Party building in enterprises. We will make efforts to advance a new round of SOE reform and strengthen state-owned assets supervision and administration to provide significant political and institutional guarantees for promoting the high-quality development of SOEs and moving faster to help Chinese companies become world-class entities.

Thank you for your question.


A key report delivered at the 20th CPC National Congress further stressed that the modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics should be improved. What achievements has the SASAC made in improving the modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics in recent years? What is the goal of building the modern enterprise system? Thank you. 

Zhang Yuzhuo:

Thank you. Mr. Weng is responsible for reform affairs, so let's invite him to answer your questions. 

Weng Jieming:

Thank you for your questions. Corporate governance is a common concern of enterprises of all countries. We must accelerate the building of relevant systems based on the realities of both China and enterprises. The CPC's leadership in SOEs is a "major political principle," and this principle must be insisted on, General Secretary Xi Jinping noted at a national meeting on building the role of the Party within SOEs held on Oct. 10, 2016. Reform to establish a modern enterprise system within SOEs should be adhered to as well, Xi said.  These two principles have elevated the modern corporate governance of SOEs with Chinese characteristics to a new height. Centrally administered SOEs have resolutely implemented the two principles in recent years. On the one hand, we uphold and strengthen the Party's overall leadership and keep in the right direction of reforms and development of SOEs. Centrally administered SOEs have incorporated Party building into their provisions, and the secretary of Party committees or leading Party members groups simultaneously serves as chairman of the board. All centrally administered SOEs and 12,600 important subsidiaries have worked out a list of major business management matters for preliminary research and discussion by Party committees or leading Party members groups, which ensures the leading role of Party committees or leading Party members groups in terms of system, organization and procedure. 

On the other hand, we continue to improve the modern enterprise system to effectively promote the efficiency and vitality of SOEs. The status of independent market entities has been strengthened, the reform to convert SOEs into standard companies has been completed in all respects, and the task to relieve enterprises of their obligation to operate social programs is about to be completed. The establishment of boards of directors has been facilitated. Working rules for boards of directors and a series of measures and procedures for recruitment management, remuneration and treatment, and performance support of outside directors have been introduced. The board of directors should be fully established, with a majority of external directors. Important breakthroughs have been made through three institutional reforms. Contractual management for managers of centrally administered SOEs has achieved full coverage of signed contracts. More than 60% of corporate executives are selected through competitions, and medium- and long-term incentives have been expanded and improved, covering 368,000 people in total.

Practice has shown that the modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics, which is fundamentally characterized by the two principles, meets the requirements of a socialist market economy, is effective and has overall, fundamental and far-reaching significance for SOEs. 

Next, state-owned capital and central SOEs will take the opportunity of a new round of initiatives to deepen and upgrade the reform of SOEs and implement the two principles to better transform the strength of the modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics into effective governance. First, we will promote the integration of Party leadership into all aspects of corporate governance and classify and dynamically optimize lists of major business management matters for preliminary research and discussion by Party committees or leading Party members groups. Second, we will pay more attention to improving the corporate governance structure. We will strengthen outside director teams by appointing competent board members, ensuring that the board of directors can play a central role in decision-making. We will also implement the mechanism of delegating authority from the board to managers, establish new forms of responsibility systems in operating business, and attract more talent to participate in the governance of SOEs, so that decision-making, governance, and management of enterprises are more in line with the market economy. Third, we will promote entrepreneurship. We will improve training, selection, appointment, assessment and evaluation mechanisms for entrepreneurs of SOEs, and improve material incentives and awards and honors systems. Fourth, we will be more open to strengthening exchanges and mutual learning about corporate governance. We will strengthen exchanges between SOEs and other ownership enterprises regarding equity, operation, governance and human resources to jointly build modern enterprises. 

Thank you. 


21st Century Business Herald:

My question is about restructuring and integration of centrally administered SOEs. In recent years, intense efforts have been made to step up the restructuring and integration of centrally administered SOEs and innovate their forms. Can you introduce the changes of methods in structural adjustments of centrally administered SOEs as well as the features and achievements of the work? Going forward, do you have a preference for reconstructing and rearranging the centrally administered SOEs through professional restructuring or industrial integration? Thank you. 

Zhang Yuzhuo:

Thank you for your interest in restructuring of centrally administered SOEs. I'd like to invite Mr. Weng to answer these questions. 

Weng Jieming:

Thank you for your questions. Market-based strategic restructuring and professional integration is an effective approach to improve the layout and structure of the state-owned sector. Let me give you some data. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, 27 groups of 49 centrally administered SOEs have undergone strategic restructuring and professional integration. A total of 13 centrally administered SOEs have been established by or included under the regulation of the SASAC of the State Council. The number of centrally administered SOEs being monitored was reduced from 116 to 98, which substantially increased the competitiveness, innovative ability, control power, influence and anti-risk capacities of the state-owned economy. 

First, the ability to provide essential energy and resources has been enhanced. For instance, the establishment of enterprises such as China Mineral Resources Group Co. Ltd. and China Rare Earth Group Co. Ltd. has ensured the security of important energy and resources. The reconstruction of Sinochem Group Co. Ltd. and China National Chemical Co. Ltd. as well as the equity cooperation between China Grain Reserves Group Ltd. and COFCO Corporation has guaranteed the national grain supply and the seed industry. 

Second, the efficiency in allocating state-owned assets and resources has been improved. For example, after the inception of China Oil & Gas Piping Network Corporation (PipeChina) , a total of 89,000 kilometers of oil and gas pipelines formerly owned by three major oil and gas enterprises were reorganized, which promoted the social equality of oil and gas piping network infrastructure. Since the establishment of China Tower, the proportion of shared newly built base stations has increased from 14% to over 80%, saving 55,000 mu (3,667 hectares) of land and 176 billion yuan ($25.57 billion) of investment. 

Third, industrial competitiveness has increased. For example, China COSCO Shipping Co. Ltd . integrated from COSCO Group and China Shipping Group topped the world in many aspects including comprehensive shipping capacity and container port throughput. It was also one of the founders of Ocean Alliance , which has extensive influence. The cooperation between Ansteel and Bensteel as well as China Baowu Steel Group 's mergers and acquisitions of Magang (Group) Holding Co., Ltd. , Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Group) , Chongqing Iron & Steel (Group) and Xinyu Iron & Steel (Group) increased the concentration and competitiveness of the industry. Genertec integrated many companies in the machine tool industry and overcame bottlenecks in high-end machine tooling. The integration of resources in sectors like medical care and examination and testing was accelerated. In this way, professional enterprises take charge of specialized businesses, thus enhancing the competitive edge of enterprises. 

Fourth, the layout of emerging industries has been advanced. For example, we established the China Satellite Network Group to enhance development of new telecommunication technologies. The newly founded China Logistics promoted the construction of modern logistics systems. 

Going forward, the SASAC and the centrally administered SOEs will continue focusing on restructuring and integration, and speed up the optimization of layouts and structural adjustment of state-owned assets. We will advance our work by following market-based principles and according to functions and positions of the SOEs. We will focus on building a modernized industrial system as well as the efficient allocation of resources. 

As for your question about the preference for professional integration or industrial integration in our future work, in my view, the two methods are interconnected and reinforce each other, and cannot be separated completely. We will work with both methods so that they can promote each other. On the one hand, we will push forward professional integration of centrally administered SOEs and regional SOEs. By integrating lateral and relevant industries, one enterprise concentrates on one business and each business is run by one enterprise. In doing so, enterprises are more concentrated and we can enhance our intensive management. On the other hand, we will also press ahead with industrial integration. We will promote the development of strategic emerging industries and integrate not only centrally administered SOEs and other SOEs but also enterprises in other fields and under all forms of ownership with market-based equity cooperation. Thus, we will advance the modernization of national industries. Thank you. 


Since the 18th CPC National Congress, historic achievements have been made and historic changes have occurred in the cause of the Party and the country. What important contributions have been made by central SOEs? And what roles have they played? Thank you.

Zhang Yuzhuo:

Centrally administered SOEs are the witnesses, participants and contributors to the great changes that have been made in the cause of our Party and country in the new era. The contributions made by centrally administered SOEs can be summarized in the following five aspects:

First, important contributions have been made to the steady growth of our economy. As market and economic entities, SOEs must first shoulder their economic responsibilities and make economic contributions. Over the past 10 years, centrally administered SOEs have followed the approach of high-quality development, vigorously transformed the growth model, and significantly improved the quality and efficiency of development. The benefits brought by economy of scale have reached new heights. Central SOEs' asset value increased from 31.4 trillion yuan in 2012 to 81 trillion yuan by the end of last year. Their operating revenue increased from 22.3 trillion yuan to 39.6 trillion yuan, and their total profits increased from 1.3 trillion yuan to 2.6 trillion yuan. The efficiency of centrally administered SOEs has improved significantly. Their overall labor productivity increased from 382,000 yuan per person to 763,000 yuan per person. The contributions in tax revenue of central SOEs are also prominent. Their cumulative taxes and fees accounted for around one-seventh of the country's tax revenue, and they have transferred 1.21 trillion yuan of state capital to social security funds.

Second, important contributions have been made in industrial structural optimization and upgrading. Most of the centrally administered SOEs are in major industries that are important to the economy and people's livelihoods, and many are industry leaders. Over the past 10 years, centrally administered SOEs have focused on supply-side structural reform, adjusted stock assets, improved the allocation of incremental capital, and optimized the layout and structure, which strongly promoted the upgrading and development of the industrial system. Primary responsibilities and core businesses were highlighted. As Mr. Weng Jieming just mentioned, 49 enterprises in 27 groups were reorganized or merged through market-based approaches, and 13 enterprises were newly established or accepted as central SOEs. At the meantime, 93% of sub-enterprises were engaged in core business, and the proportion of being involved in the fields related to national security, national economy and people's livelihoods surpassed 70%.The influence in key areas of strategic importance was further increased. Meanwhile, the task of reducing backward production capacity was accelerated, and the task of resolving overcapacity in steel and other sectors was completed first. We disposed of 2,041 “zombie enterprises” and solved problems for enterprises in particular difficulty, effectively revitalizing stock assets. The deployment of emerging industries was accelerated. In the past five years, investment in emerging industries of strategic importance has grown at an average annual rate of more than 20%. The development of green and low-carbon industries was vigorously promoted. From 2012 to 2021, comprehensive energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of output value in central SOEs dropped by around 33%, and emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants all fell by more than 50%.

Third, important contributions have been made in building China into a country of innovators. Scientific and technological innovation is important to the destiny of a country. Over the past 10 years, central SOEs have always given top priority to scientific and technological innovation, strengthened policy support for assessment and capital investment, and accelerated efforts to build up China's strategic capacity in science and technology. Investment in research and development was increased. Centrally administered SOEs have invested 6.2 trillion yuan in research and development, which accounted for more than one-third of the nation's total. Last year, the investment in R&D exceeded 1 trillion yuan for the first time. The building of innovation platforms was accelerated. 764 national R&D platforms and 91 national key laboratories were set up. The number of highly skilled personnel continued to increase. Centrally administered SOEs have 1.045 million scientific and technological personnel or full-time equivalent of R&D personnel, accounting for one-fifth of the nation's total, and 231 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, accounting for one-seventh of the nation's total. Fruitful outcomes were achieved in innovation. Breakthroughs in core technologies were made in key areas, such as power grids, communications and energy. A series of major achievements listed in the 20th CPC National Congress report, such as manned spaceflight, lunar and Mars exploration, deep-sea and deep-earth exploration, satellite navigation, nuclear power technology, new energy technology, and large aircraft manufacturing, were all led or participated in by centrally administered SOEs.

Fourth, making important contributions to deepening reform across the board. On the one hand, the reform of state capital and SOEs has been constantly deepened. To develop the socialist market economy, the three-year action plan for the reform of SOEs has been further implemented, the modern enterprise system with distinctive Chinese characteristics has been established and improved, and the reform to convert SOEs into standard companies, relieve them of their obligations to operate social programs and resolve their other longstanding issues has been comprehensively completed. Significant breakthroughs have been made in the reform to develop market-oriented operation mechanisms, so SOEs and the market economy have been better integrated and a group of modern new SOEs have been created. On the other hand, international cooperation has been continually strengthened. Focusing on the high-quality building of the Belt and Road Initiative, international business operations have been expanded. Overseas assets involved have reached 8 trillion yuan, with over 8,000 projects distributed in over 180 countries and regions worldwide.

Fifth, making important contributions to supplying products essential to people's livelihoods and guaranteeing major events. The enterprises practiced the development philosophy of putting people at the center and actively fulfilled social responsibilities. They resolutely implemented poverty alleviation tasks, with investment and introduction of aid funds totaling nearly 100 billion yuan, and helped lifted 248 key counties included in the national plan for poverty alleviation out of poverty, accounting for 42% of the total number of targeted counties assisted by central departments and organizations. They fully participated in disaster relief, playing an important role in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic and relieving earthquakes, floods and other major disasters. They provided high-standard services to ensure and support major events, such as the 20th CPC National Congress, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, and the Beijing Winter Olympics, fully demonstrating the grandeur of the Party and the country.

Moving along a new journey, we will bear in mind the country's most fundamental interests, adhere to and strengthen the Party's comprehensive leadership over SOEs, and resolutely strive to make state capital and SOEs stronger, better and bigger, making greater contributions to the building of a modern socialist country in all respects .

Thank you.


Phoenix TV:

We have noticed that the report to the 20th CPC National Congress emphasized enhancing people's well-being and raising their quality of life. This puts forward new requirements for the social responsibilities of SOEs, especially central SOEs, in the new era. Can you please tell us what kind of social responsibility work central SOEs have done in recent years and how the SASAC will guide central SOEs to better shoulder these social responsibilities in the future? Thank you.

Zhang Yuzhuo:

Thank you. Mr. Zhao Shitang oversees issues related to social responsibilities. Let's invite him to answer the questions.

Zhao Shitang:

Thank you for your questions. SOEs are enterprises of all the people, and the SASAC and central SOEs are committed to meeting the needs of the people for a better life and seeking benefits for the people. In recent years, SOEs have actively fulfilled their social responsibilities to a high standard, helping to ensure and improve people's livelihoods, which has achieved positive results.

First, we have made every effort to ensure the stable supply and pricing of basic products. Currently, central SOEs account for more than 90% of the national oil and gas supply, more than 60% of the power supply, and more than 25% of the coal supply. They have built a large power grid and telecommunications network covering the whole country. In recent years, faced with the tight supply of energy and electricity, central SOEs have made every effort to allocate resources, ensure supply and stabilize prices, and maintained the security of people's electricity, gas and heating supply. Last year, under the conditions of coal-electricity price inversion and enterprise losses, central SOEs responsible for supplying electricity generated electricity at full capacity, with a cumulative power generation of 5.1 trillion kilowatt-hours, supplying 63.1% of national electricity with 54.7% unit capacity of the total. The average daily output of central SOEs in the coal sector was close to 3 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 7.6%. They made profit concessions of over 190 billion yuan in accordance with medium- and long-term agreements. The central SOEs overseeing the power grid have increased their effort to address the power shortfall of a place by utilizing surplus energy of another place, with a total of more than 2,300 cross-regional and cross-provincial support efforts organized, transferring nearly 45 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to fill the shortfalls and ensure power supply to the maximum. Petroleum and petrochemical central SOEs, on the one hand, have vigorously promoted domestic shale gas exploration and development and offshore gas field construction, producing more than 206 billion cubic meters of natural gas, a year-on-year increase of 6%. On the other hand, under the situation of large increases in import costs, they have strictly implemented relevant national policy requirements to maintain overall price stability. As we all know, last year, the CPI increase rate in China was controlled at 2%, and the PPI increase rate was 4.1%. The relatively stable prices of basic energies such as electricity, oil, and gas played an important role in it. Central SOEs have made necessary and important contributions in this regard.

Second, we have taken the initiative to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) solve their difficulties. Last year, SASAC actively implemented the policy package for stabilizing the economy. In May, we introduced 27 measures to help SMEs overcome difficulties and promote coordinated development to benefit the market. We have achieved the goal of "rent exemption as much as possible, rent exemption as soon as possible." Centrally administered SOEs reduced rents by 19.12 billion yuan in 2022, benefiting more than 220,000 tenants. In particular, the four enterprises --China Resources, China Rongtong Asset Management Group, COFCO Group and China Merchants Group-- each reduced rents by more than 1 billion yuan. We have improved service quality while reducing cost, and offered online services and cloud solutions. During the epidemic, power grid enterprises implemented the policy of "non-stop supply in face of arrearages," optimizing services to reduce costs. A total of 17.5 billion yuan was slashed from the price of purchasing electricity through agents. Telecom enterprises have reduced SMEs' network fees, broadband and special line fees by more than 10% since the end of 2021, saving more than 2.2 billion yuan for their clients. We have achieved "loan deferment and interest waiver, and credit data sharing in the financing sector." At the earliest time possible, we formulated and implemented a policy to postpone the principal and interest payment of consumer loans for commercial trucks for six months. Loan repayments of a total of 57 billion yuan were postponed. The State Grid Corporation's financial services app has helped 27,000 SMEs attain low-cost financing of over 90 billion yuan.

Third, we have actively supported poverty alleviation and rural revitalization. We have actively assisted in industries, employment, consumption and intellectual support. Since the 19th CPC National Congress, centrally administered SOEs have offered more than 27 billion yuan in assistance funds for free, dispatched more than 20,000 officials to help, purchased and helped sell more than 36 billion yuan of agricultural products, directly recruited more than 60,000 people, and helped more than 250,000 poor workers find new jobs. As Mr. Zhang Yuzhuo said just now, all 248 counties designated for receiving assistance have been lifted out of poverty, making an important contribution to winning the battle against poverty, promoting all-round rural revitalization and achieving common prosperity.

Fourth, we have taken the lead in promoting green transformation. We have strengthened energy conservation and emissions reduction and actively built a clean, low-carbon new energy system. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, central coal power enterprises' coal consumption has dropped from 319 grams of standard coal per kWh to 298 grams of standard coal. The proportion of clean energy installed capacity to the total has increased from 28% to 45%, and the utilization rate of new energy in power grid enterprises has exceeded 95%. We have actively participated in ecological governance. China Three Gorges Corporation has actively undertaken the task of protecting the Yangtze River. It has invested over 130 billion yuan along the river and has a daily sewage treatment capacity of 10 million tons, benefiting more than 23 million people.

Fifth, we have devoted ourselves to completing urgent, difficult and dangerous tasks. As long as the country has needs and the people have difficulties, centrally administered SOEs will be unswerving and duty-bound. In the fight against COVID-19, centrally administered SOEs in the construction, pharmaceutical, and other industries rushed to help local governments fight the epidemic and made every effort to ensure a stable supply of medicines, vaccines, and other materials. In disaster relief, centrally administered SOEs gave full play to their professional advantages and offered relief during earthquakes and floods immediately. After the Luding earthquake in Sichuan in September last year, centrally administered SOEs provided more than 6,900 rescue personnel, supplied more than 4,000 vehicles, and donated 1.29 billion yuan.

As we have embarked on a new journey in the new era, the SASAC will continuously require SOEs to adhere to the development concept that puts people first, promote the Chinese path to modernization, and accelerate the process that all share the fruits of development. First, we will further ensure supply and stabilize key energy and resource product prices. Second, we will actively accelerate rural revitalization to ensure people's livelihoods. Third, we will encourage the mutual development of industrial chains and ecosystems. Fourth, we will vigorously promote green development and low-carbon development. Thank you.

Zhang Yuzhuo:

I would like to add something to Mr. Zhao's answer to the question raised by the journalist from Phoenix TV. As you have noticed, international energy prices rocketed last year, with natural gas prices in Europe soaring more than 10-fold. I have also worked in the petroleum and gas industry. The amount of natural gas we produce ourselves is limited, around 200 billion cubic meters. Therefore, liquefied natural gas (LNG) needs to be imported in large amounts. And centrally administered SOEs shouldn't sell the imported LNG at higher prices, instead, they should sell it at rather low prices to stabilize energy prices, and that is how we kept prices at a relatively low level last year with the price inflation rate standing 2% for the 10-year period. It's fair to say that centrally administered SOEs have shouldered their social responsibilities. Thank you. 


Economic Information Daily:

As you mentioned, the three-year reform campaign for SOEs has been completed. Could you please elaborate on the milestone achievements accomplished? Did you gain any beneficial experiences and what effective measures did you adopt in the process? What are the consideration and arrangements of the SASAC for the next round of reforms? Thank you. 

Weng Jieming:

Thank you for your questions. The three-year reform campaign for SOEs from 2020 to 2022 is a major project personally planned and deployed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, generating profound significance in the reform history of SOEs. Thanks to the joint efforts of all parties, including the strong support of friends from the media, the main goals of the three-year SOEs' reform campaign have been accomplished and three notable achievements have been made.

First, the modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics and the state-owned assets supervision system has become more established and achieved notable results. We have firmly adhered to two principles. We have strengthened the Party's leadership in improving corporate governance and completed restructuring SOEs into corporate systems. We have fully established boards of directors in 38,000 SOEs and accelerated building a governance mechanism featuring statutory powers and responsibilities, transparency, coordinated operation, and effective checks and balances. We have adhered to and improved the regulatory system for state assets that focuses on managing capital, giving full play to the advantages of the professional, systematic and law-based supervision system. We have also enhanced centralized and unified supervision and guidance over state assets that are locally operated. The proportion of state assets under unified supervision by provincial and prefecture-level departments of the SASAC reached 98% and 99%, respectively.

Second, we have made noticeable progress in the layout optimization and restructuring of the state owned sector. Over the past three years, seven centrally administered SOEs in four groups and 347 provincial SOEs in 116 groups have carried out strategic restructuring in a market-oriented manner. We added eight new centrally administered SOEs, including China Star Network and China Rare Earth Group, with them being either newly established or newly accepted as central SOEs. We have further promoted professional integration, and state-owned capital has been further concentrated in important industries, dominant enterprises and their main businesses. We have vigorously eliminated backward production capacity and disposed of non-main and non-dominant businesses and inefficient and ineffective assets. With the disposal task fully completed, a total of 306.7 billion yuan of existing assets were put to market-oriented use and the value added reached 23.4 billion yuan. We have removed social functions from SOEs and resolved issues inherited from the past. We have also stepped up efforts to optimize the layout of strategic emerging industries. As Mr. Zhang mentioned, over the past three years, centrally administered SOEs' investment in strategic emerging sectors has grown at an average annual rate of more than 20%, with the operating revenue accounting for more than 35% of the total, realizing the replacement of the old by the new and accelerating the transformation of growth drivers.

Third, improving the vitality and efficiency of SOEs has achieved remarkable results. The three systemic reforms of SOEs, marked by "the promotion and demotion of management personnel, hiring and firing of employees, and salary increase and decrease," have made a breakthrough on a large scale at multiple levels. The proportion of centrally administered SOEs and their local subsidiaries at various levels that carry out a tenure system and contract management has increased from 23.5% and 23.2%, respectively, at the end of 2020 to more than 99% at present. By the end of 2022, 38,000 management personnel of centrally administered SOEs and their subsidiaries at all levels were either reassigned or resigned due to incompetence, accounting for approximately 6.9%. There are 5,750 subsidiaries of centrally administered SOEs that have launched medium- and long-term incentives, accounting for about 94.8% of qualified subsidiaries.

General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that if we want SOEs to do well, we must reform them and transform them into modern enterprises . After three years of reform, the group of old SOEs has taken on a new look and unleashed fresh vitality. A group of modern new SOEs have mushroomed, thrived and embarked on a new journey of speeding up the construction of world-class enterprises. Guided by General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions on the reform and development of SOEs, we are more confident and determined to further deepen SOE reform and improve SOEs.

There is no end to development, and reform should not stop. The 20th CPC National Congress made specific plan on deepening state-owned capital and SOE reform. General Secretary Xi Jinping personally planned a new round of actions to deepen and upgrade SOE reform. We will firmly implement, adhere to and strengthen Party leadership in all of our work, insist on consolidating the basic socialist economic system, continue reforms to develop the socialist market economy, focus on improving the core competitiveness of SOEs and enhance their core functions, and take advantage of the momentum to carry out the new round of actions to deepen and upgrade SOE reform, which mainly includes the following three aspects.

First, we will move faster to improve the layout and structure of the state-owned sector and enhance its function of serving the national strategy. SOEs, especially centrally administered SOEs, should play a strategic supporting role and their due role in serving the country's overall interests and building a new development pattern. We will promote strategic reorganization and professional integration in a market-oriented manner, make greater efforts to deploy forward-looking strategic emerging industries, promote the digital, intelligent, green transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, improve the resilience and security level of industrial and supply chains, and promote the new type of industrialization and modernize the industrial system.

Second, we will accelerate the improvement of modern corporate governance of SOEs with Chinese characteristics and truly operate according to a market-oriented mechanism. We will consolidate the achievements of the SOE reform over the past three years and dynamically optimize the list of the pre-research items of different types at different levels concerning major business management for the Party Committee or CPC leadership group of SOEs. We will improve the quality and performance of external directors and the modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics. We will continue to deepen the three systemic reforms and improve the level of modern management. Therefore, we are taking relevant actions to build world-class SOEs in an all-round way.

Third, we will speed up the improvement of systems and mechanisms that are conducive to the scientific and technological innovation of SOEs and accelerate the creation of innovative SOEs. Efforts should be made to solve prominent problems such as mechanisms, investment, talents, and application that restrict corporate scientific and technological innovation, improve the incentive and restraint mechanism and the talent training system, further reinforce the principal position of enterprises in innovation, and jointly build a good innovation ecology, so as to truly fulfill the role of the national team of scientific and technological innovation.

Thank you.


Hong Kong Economic Herald:

My question is about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The report to the 20th CPC National Congress spoke highly of the joint construction of the BRI over the past 10 years. BRI cooperation has become a popular platform for international cooperation. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI. What achievements have central government enterprises made in the Belt and Road cooperation? Regarding implementing the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, what measures and actions will be taken to promote the Belt and Road cooperation in the next stage? Thank you.

Zhao Shitang:

Thank you for your questions. As you mentioned in your questions, centrally-administered SOEs have proactively integrated themselves into China's all-round opening up over the decade since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative. They have made great efforts to overcome risks and challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, profound changes unseen in a century, and downward pressure on the economy. They have achieved positive outcomes in promoting the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, which can mainly be demonstrated in the following three aspects.

First, centrally-administered SOEs have focused on constructing infrastructure and industrial parks and have integrated themselves into and promoted the development of the local economy. Over the past decade, centrally-administered SOEs have undertaken over 200 major infrastructure projects abroad, including ports, railways and airports. In the field of transportation, General Secretary Xi Jinping witnessed the successful trial operation of the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway during the G20 summit. The China-Laos Railway has assisted Laos in transforming itself from a landlocked to a land-linked hub. The Piraeus port in Greece has become a gateway to the land-sea transport route in the Mediterranean region. In the field of communications, three major telecommunication operators have provided overseas service networks to over 40 countries. In energy, centrally-administered SOEs have undertaken about 300 projects, including hydropower, wind power, and photovoltaic projects. They have completed signature projects such as the Karot Hydropower Plant in Pakistan and the Belo Monte ultra-high voltage power transmission project in Brazil, advancing the green transition of energy and low-carbon development in host countries. They have constructed and operate over 20 industrial parks abroad, such as the China-Belarus Industrial Park, helping these countries to build a platform for international industrial-capacity cooperation. At present, the China-Belarus Industrial Park hosts more than 100 enterprises. 

Second, centrally-administered SOEs have fulfilled their social responsibilities and taken proactive steps to improve local people's lives. The overseas agencies of centrally-administered SOEs have directly created nearly a million jobs for local people and several times more indirect jobs. When implementing the Djibouti Port and Hambantota Port projects, they carried out the "Blue Ocean" training program, cultivating many port management professionals. The Cabinda water supply system project in Angola enabled 600,000 local people to access clean tap water. The China-assisted project of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters has been put into use, effectively improving disease prevention, control, and monitoring and epidemic response and emergency speed. 

Third, centrally-administered SOEs have followed international rules and standards and provided high-quality products and services to benefit the world. They have actively formulated international standards in areas such as ultra-high voltage and 5G communications. Meanwhile, they have taken the lead in establishing over 100 international standards for electricity. High-speed railways, ultra-high voltage power transmission technology, the new generation of mobile communications and Hualong One nuclear power technology, have gone overseas, enabling people along the Belt and Road to enjoy high-quality products and services. 

Next, centrally-administered SOEs will keep acting on market-oriented, law-based and international principles. They will build and operate a batch of major projects focusing on green, healthy and digital development areas to a high standard, such as the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway, and develop a series of "small and beautiful" projects with sound economic and social benefits. With all these efforts, they will promote Belt and Road cooperation to deliver more solid outcomes. Thank you.


According to the report to the 20th CPC National Congress, we should speed up efforts to achieve greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology. In this regard, what achievements have been made by SOEs as the major force in scientific and technological innovation? What will be done next to further reinforce the principal role of enterprises in innovation to assist China in achieving greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology? Thank you.

Zhang Yuzhuo:

Thank you for your questions. Regarding the scientific and technological innovation of centrally-administered SOEs, I believe the past work can be generalized into two aspects. One is that glorious achievements have been made. And the other is that much remains to be done.

In terms of glorious achievements, major scientific and technological advances have been made over previous years in the following aspects. First, SOEs have made original innovations in basic and frontier sectors, including manned spaceflight, thermonuclear, the Beidou Navigation System, deep-water exploration, and the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), which are all world-class original innovations. Second, a scientific and technological growth driver has been injected into building a modernized economy. A chain of innovation has been shaped to match the overall industrial chain. Core technologies in key fields have been adopted to steer manufacturing toward the medium- and high-end. China has taken the lead in applying 5G technology on a larger scale. One of the major advances last year was that the high-speed maglev train, with a designed top speed of 600 km per hour, rolled off the production line. In terms of high-end materials, a 10,000-ton-level 48K large-tow carbon fiber was put into production. The large passenger aircraft C919 was delivered. They also released a batch of other high-performance equipment. All these developments have advanced the transition from "made in China" to "created by China." Third, strong support has been provided for safeguarding science and technology security and energy security. Focusing on priority areas of strategic importance, SOEs have promoted the development of technologies in urgent need and those hindering the country's development. They have filled up a batch of gaps in science and technology. Major achievements have been made in high-temperature gas-cooled reactor demonstration projects, the Deep Sea No.1 oil production and storage facility, and the F-class 50 MW heavy-duty gas turbine. Fourth, a solid basis gives guarantee for people to enjoy the latest scientific and technological advances. Efforts have been sped up to promote breakthroughs in the fields of the seed industry and high-end medical equipment. In the fight against COVID-19, starting from scratch, SOEs developed mask machines, plodder machines and other equipment in urgent need and made an all-out effort to develop and supply testing kits and vaccines. These are all glorious achievements that have been made.

On the other hand, there is still a long way to go. Regarding science and technology, there is still a noticeable gap between China and other countries with advanced scientific and technological strengths. Central SOEs continue to have significant potential for solving core technical difficulties. Technology determines the future of businesses, and the businesses of the future. Looking ahead, we will accurately grasp the strategic position of central SOEs in China's overall sci-tech innovation, strengthen advantages, shore up weak links, keep up with the frontiers, enhance enterprises' dominant position in sci-tech innovation, and strive to create innovative SOEs.

We will focus on three areas. First, we will continue to make new breakthroughs in core technologies. We will develop a source of original technologies and promote high-quality breakthroughs in core technologies. We will increase technical investment in traditional manufacturing upgrading and strategic emerging industries, as well as in key areas such as integrated circuits and industrial machine tools, and improve our capacity for basic research and applied basic research. Second, we will secure new breakthroughs in improving the input-output efficiency of sci-tech research and development. We will further optimize the input structure and prioritize sci-tech output, achievements, applications, and the industry. We will establish a results-oriented sci-tech innovation work system, improve the mechanism for the commercialization and application of sci-tech advances, accelerate technological iteration and upgrading, and develop a more effective mechanism for sharing the benefits of sci-tech achievements so that sci-tech advances can be applied and researchers can be rewarded. Third, we will continuously make new breakthroughs in enhancing the efficacy of the innovation system. We will participate in national decision-making on sci-tech innovation in a broader and deeper manner, strengthen the driving force of major projects, make good use of platforms such as national laboratories and innovation consortiums, support qualified enterprises in integrating and transforming into research institutes and application-oriented research institutes, establish industrial research institutes, and lead the deep integration of industry, academia and research.

Thank you.


Chen Wenjun:

Due to the time limit, this will be the last question.

People's Daily:

As we know, since the national meeting on building the role of the Party within SOEs was held, the Party's leadership in central SOEs has been continuously consolidated, and Party building has also been strengthened. What major progress has been made in this regard, and what are the main plans for the work going forward? Thank you.

Zhang Yuzhuo:

Thank you. On Oct. 10, 2016, General Secretary Xi Jinping attended the national meeting on Party building in SOEs and delivered an important speech. Over the past seven years, guided by the principles of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech, the SASAC and central SOEs have comprehensively strengthened Party building in SOEs, sincerely fulfilled their responsibilities to exercise full and rigorous governance over the Party at various levels, and fundamentally improved the political ecology of enterprises. The SASAC and central SOEs have undergone transformative changes related to function orientation, development philosophy, development mode, and work focus. Everyone has attached more importance to the Party's leadership in SOEs, as Party leadership in SOEs can be traced back to China's Constitution. Article 1 of the General Principles of the Constitution stipulates that the leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics, so it is necessary to strengthen the Party's leadership in SOEs. Specifically, achievements have been made in six respects. First, more firm and conscious efforts have been made to uphold Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, as well as uphold the Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership. Second, the Party's overall leadership over SOEs has been organized, institutionalized and concretized. Third, a group of politically strong and highly competent enterprise leaders has been cultivated. Fourth, the foundation for Party building at the grassroots level has been thoroughly consolidated. Fifth, the publicity and ideological work under a new situation have been strengthened. Sixth, further efforts have been made to exercise full and rigorous governance over the Party.

The practice has proved that upholding the Party's leadership and strengthening Party building is a proud tradition, the "root" and "soul," and a unique strength of SOEs. The 20th CPC National Congress made major arrangements to advance full and rigorous Party self-governance unswervingly. SOEs should highlight one theme and focus on five key points. The one theme is to let high-quality Party building lead and guarantee the high-quality development of central SOEs, and strive to establish a Party building pattern in the SASAC and central SOEs that matches the system of exercising full and rigorous Party self-governance, coordinates with the modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics, and accords with the central reform and development tasks of enterprises, so as to provide a political guarantee for developing world-class enterprises at a faster pace. The five key points are to strengthen organization, team building, the exercise of full and rigorous Party self-governance, responsibility, and the publicity and ideological work. Thank you.

Chen Wenjun:

Thanks to Mr. Zhang, Mr. Weng and Mr. Zhao, as well as friends from the media. Today's briefing is hereby concluded. Goodbye. 

Translated and edited by Wang Yiming, Wang Wei, Li Xiao, Wang Qian, Yang Xi, Zhou Jing, Liu Jianing, Dong Qingpei, Liu Sitong, Zhang Rui, Yuan Fang, Xiang Bin, Zhang Junmian, Qin Qi, Yan Bin, Huang Shan, Xu Kailin, Wang Yanfang, Xu Xiaoxuan, Li Huiru, David Ball, Tom Arnsten, and Jay Birbeck. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

/5    Chen Wenjun

/5    Zhang Yuzhuo

/5    Weng Jieming

/5    Zhao Shitang

/5    Group photo