News Summary: China mulls streamlining bureaucracy

News Summary: China's new leaders consider overhaul to streamline sprawling government

Associated Press

NATION BUILDING: China's new Communist leaders are considering another shake-up of a sprawling bureaucracy that has added market regulators and shed agencies that once set prices and told companies what to produce.

FIVE-YEAR PLAN: Such change would take years and be politically fraught because it threatens top jobs and influence, the lifeblood of party factions. But reformers say it is urgently needed to keep the world's second-largest economy growing strongly.

FULL SPEED AHEAD: A likely priority would be modernizing the Ministry of Railways — a Soviet-style behemoth with 2.1 million employees, 1.7 billion passengers, and its own courts and police — by making it part of a transportation "super ministry."

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