Chinese think tank calls for refocus of auto industry development

11:02, October 24, 2010      

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An official of one of China's top government think tanks called on Saturday for the readjustment of the nation's breakneck expansion of the auto industry as an explosion of new cars on China's roads aggravates problems with pollution and congestion.

Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, told a forum that the government should shift its guidance to automakers from mere pursuit of output capacity to environment-friendly and energy-saving targets.

Also, auto manufacturers should strengthen their safety and quality control standards, he said.

Sales of domestically-manufactured autos rose 36 percent year on year to reach 13.14 million units in the months through September, as lower-priced automobiles have become more affordable for better-off Chinese people, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on Oct. 12.

In fact, annual sales and production could exceed 17 million, CAAM said.

Although the expansion has brought an industrial boom to the country and boosted domestic demand, it has also triggered widespread concerns over the country's energy capacity, pollution levels and notorious traffic jams.

In Beijing, the increasing number of private cars, along with heavy rainfall and a spurt in holiday travel, caused a record 140 traffic jams on a single Friday evening last month. In some parts of the city on that day people spent nearly two hours on what would normally have been a 15-minute commute.

Further, Liu said increasing social problems arising from the country's industrial boom has made its future development unsustainable, which is a test for the government.

He also suggested government allow market forces to play a larger role in allocating resources, and also permit uncompetitive producers to be phased out.

Source: Xinhua


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