In March, Premier Li Keqiang said China would cut taxes and corporate fees by 1 trillion yuan this year.

Xiao said China’s switch to a VAT system in 2013 had saved companies about 1.6 trillion yuan in costs through the end of August, the SCMP said.

“It’s part of China’s supply-side reform to cut the tax burden on businesses and to help companies reduce costs,” Xiao said, according to the newspaper.

“We have been implementing tax cuts and fee reductions on a massive scale in recent years”.

Xiao also said that preliminary work on a property tax was under way, but that it would require “ample research and study”, the newspaper said.

China has for years mulled a property tax, which could deter speculation in real estate and boost local government budgets, though little progress has been made due to resistance from local governments who rely heavily on land sales for revenue.

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