China will step up reform to support innovation by removing barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation.
The decision was made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
The meeting decided that the government will roll out a host of reform measures that have been tested in eight areas, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Shanghai and the Pearl River Delta, since June 2016.
Among them: Eligible foreign students with academic backgrounds equal to or above the master’s degree level would be able to apply for a work permit or a work-related residence permit. The one-stop application and issuance of work permits for foreign experts will also be made available nationwide.
The meeting also decided to test a program in the aforementioned eight areas that allows foreigners to apply for permanent residence if their income, tax payments and duration of work in China meet a certain standard.
Chinese leaders have stressed the importance of the innovation-driven development strategy on multiple occasions.
President Xi Jinping said systematic, comprehensive and coordinated reform should be tested with innovation-driven development as the target, innovation in science and technology at the core and the removal of systematic and institutional barriers as the main focus of the efforts.
Li called for major progress in systematic and institutional innovation, with focus on breaking the fragmentation in the allocation of innovation resources.
"We must give full play to the role of innovation in spurring entrepreneurship and employment, and speed up the transformation of innovation into real productivity," he said.
The meeting on Wednesday decided to enhance the support to the innovation of SMEs and micro enterprises with more targeted measures. One-stop investment and financing information service for small and medium-sized enterprises would be made available nationwide. That would include a pledge for patent rights associated with loans, insurance and risk compensation.
The protection of intellectual property rights will be taken to further heights, and measures will be promoted nationwide to better safeguard the legitimate rights of innovators and their legitimate earnings.
Such measures include one-stop service for patent examination, rights protection and verification. They also include innovation-oriented evaluation and incentive plans within State-owned enterprises, and flexible remuneration in colleges and research institutes to attract high-caliber and urgently needed talent.
"We need to create a good environment for innovation, which can also provide lasting support to the buoyant momentum of the economy. Innovation-driven development relies on adjustment in industry and product structure and the transformation of the development model," Li said.
Meeting participants also called for local offices of the State Administration of Taxation and local taxation bureaus to further integrate their resources and provide one-stop services.