A high-powered commission led by Premier Zhu Rongji will soon be established to take control of the mainland's telecommunications industry. According to the China Daily members of the commission will include high-ranking government officials such as State Vice-President Hu Jintao and Vice-Premier Li Lanqing, as well as the heads of the various ministries under the State Council such as Information Industry Minister Wu Jichuan. Salomon Smith Barney telecoms analyst Rohit Sobit said the new commission could give the telecoms regulator, the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), as much power over the industry as the State Council. MII director-general Song Ling said the high-ranking commission would be responsible for mapping out the telecoms sector's long-range development plans, while the MII would be responsible for implementing the plans. He denied rumours that the central government would dissolve the telecoms regulator. A special group would also be formed to implement the government's telecoms policy, the paper cited director of the Beijing municipal telecoms policy, Hua Pinglan, as saying. The Minister of the State Development Planning Commission, Zeng Peiyan, will be appointed to take charge of this group. Mr Hua said the new commission, under the State Council instead of the MII, would make it easier and more efficient in co-ordinating the different government departments responsible for implementing the government's information policies. 'I believe the commission will be an advisory body that will supervise the telecoms industry, while the MII will be an administrative body that implements the rules and regulations,' said CLSA Emerging Markets telecoms analyst Edison Lee. The commission would also help resolve disputes between the different ministries, Mr Lee said. MII has had problems regulating the telecoms industry because some telecoms operators, such as China Railway Telecomcom, come under the auspices of other ministries. Political struggles have also taken place between the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) and the MII as both bodies claim to have the right to govern cable operators in setting up telecoms businesses. These disputes have pushed Beijing into considering merging the MII and Sarft. China Mobile and China Unicom, the two listed arms of China's telecoms regulators, supported setting up the commission. China Mobile chairman Wang Xiaochu said the commission would foster a more transparent, fair and open regulatory environment. Salomon Smith Barney downgraded the short-term target price for China Mobile to HK$30 and China Unicom to HK$10. Meanwhile, Vodafone Group chief executive Sir Christopher Gent said the company would not increase its stake in China Mobile this year. However, he said that Vodafone, which has a 2.1 per cent stake in China Mobile, would seek to increase its investment in China in a 'measured way'.