January 27, 2010 / 9:58 AM / 7 years ago

China top energy office launched to coordinate policy

3 Min Read

BEIJING, Jan 27 (Reuters) - China has centralized its energy strategy within a new government agency launched on Wednesday, aiming to coordinate policy-making that previously was shaped by a tangle of agencies.

Premier Wen Jiabao will be the head of agency and Vice Premier Li Keqiang will be the deputy, according a central government notice.

"The National Energy Committee (NEC) is established to step up energy strategic decision-making, overall planning and coordination," the central government said in a notice published on its website (www.gov.cn)

It is responsible for working out national energy development strategy, reviewing energy security and major energy issues as well as planning domestic energy development and international cooperation, it added.

China's plan to create a "super ministry" to steer the energy sector was put on hold in 2008 due to the difficulty of reaching a consensus between big energy firms and existing energy agencies.

Instead, the national parliament approved the establishment of the National Energy Administration (NEA) and the NEC in early 2008.

The NEA was officially launched in July 2008, but still lacks real power to carry out many of its assigned tasks as responsibility for the energy sector is currently dispersed among a number of departments.

The NEC committee has 21 members, consisting mainly of ministers from a wide range of ministries such as the Finance Ministry, the Commerce Ministry and the central bank.

Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, will work as the head of NEC's general affairs office while Zhang Guobao, head of NEA, will act as Zhang Ping's deputy in NEC.

The NEA will also be responsible for handling specific works of NEC, according to the notice.

Analysts said that the launch of the committee is aimed at creating an authoritative body to better organize the scattering power distributed between different ministries. (Reporting by Eadie Chen, Editing by Ken Wills) (eadie.chen@reuters.com; +8610 6627 1268; Reuters Messaging: eadie.chen.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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