China's Xi says reform faces new problems, external uncertainty rising

FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing, China May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Wednesday adopted a series of guidance measures, from improving macro-economic policies and ensuring food security to lowering medical costs, as President Xi Jinping warned that reform faces new problems with external uncertainties rising.

“At present, China’s reform and development situation is undergoing profound changes,” Xi said as he chaired a meeting on deepening reforms with senior officials in Beijing, state television reported.

Despite the challenges, China would stick to supply-side structural reforms and keep economic operations within a reasonable range, he said, according to CCTV.

The meeting concluded that macro-economic policies would better address the relationship between the government and the market, without giving specifics.

The government has been stepping up support for a weakening economy amid a deepening trade war with the United States.

Tension between the two countries escalated sharply this month, as the United States imposed additional tariffs and broadened the scope of the conflict to the tech front by effectively curbing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from accessing the U.S. market.

Other reform guidance passed at the meeting included improving the transfer, rental and mortgage of construction land usage rights.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Yawen Chen; Writing by Yawen Chen; Editing by Robert Birsel