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Xi's call to fuel growth boosts confidence

By Li Xiang, Zhou Lanxu and Ma Si | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-26 08:15
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Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attends a panel discussion of national political advisers from the economic sector on May 23, 2020 in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]

Clear direction laid out for economic, social policies amid rising challenges

President Xi Jinping's call for national efforts to foster new growth drivers and leverage China's economic resilience, to ensure steady development amid rising challenges, has laid out a clear direction for the country's economic and social policies and substantially boosted people's confidence, national political advisers and experts said.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended a panel discussion of national political advisers from the economic sector on Saturday in Beijing, as they gathered for the third session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.

The president made a speech after hearing the remarks of the political advisers. He said that efforts should be made to leverage China's potential and role as the world's largest market, clarify the strategic direction of supply-side structural reform, and consolidate the basic trend of steady economic growth with sound momentum in the long term.

Political advisers and experts said that Xi's speech emphasized the inner strength of the Chinese economy amid growing external uncertainties and challenges, showing the leadership's strong determination to overcome difficulties and achieve the country's set objectives.

"General Secretary Xi Jinping's speech has provided guidance for our country's economic development. It also pointed out a clear direction for the national effort to control the COVID-19 epidemic and further push social and economic development," said Chen Bailing, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and the Central Committee of the China National Democratic Construction Association.

Strengthening resolve

Zhang Zhanbin, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said Xi's speech is encouraging and helps strengthen the country's resolve to address various challenges and push for steady economic growth.

In his speech, Xi said China's economy is at a pivotal stage for transforming the growth model, improving economic structure and fostering new growth drivers. The president said the economy now faces relatively heavy pressure due to difficulties and challenges caused by intertwined structural, institutional and cyclical problems, which have been compounded by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Xi said that despite the rising instability and uncertainties in the world, China's economy is still characterized by ample potential, strong resilience and sufficient policy instruments.

The president also stressed the need to ensure stability and security in areas such as employment, people's basic livelihoods and the survival of businesses, especially private and smaller companies which are the country's major job providers.

Feng Yanming, an economics professor at Minzu University of China in Beijing, said that the central government has stepped up support for smaller businesses with a string of comprehensive and specific measures.

"There will be additional cuts in taxes and fees this year, combined with more favorable financial aid from the commercial banks as well as further streamlining of the operation of local governments. These measures have provided unprecedented conditions for the development of small and macro businesses," Feng said.

During his discussion with the national political advisers on Saturday, Xi also called for faster progress in advancing the development of the digital economy, intelligent manufacturing, health, new materials and other strategic emerging industries, highlighting the creation of new growth areas and drivers.

Tapping technology

To that effect, Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said on Monday that more than 10,000 new 5G base stations are being built in China every week, as the nation moves to accelerate the commercialization of the superfast wireless technology and make better use of 5G's potential in driving economic growth.

"In April alone, more than 7 million mobile users subscribed to telecom carriers' 5G data package plans. The increase brought the total number of 5G mobile subscribers to more than 36 million by the end of April," Miao said.

The ministry will also take more measures to ensure the implementation of favorable policies designed to support small and medium-sized enterprises, Miao said.

In his speech, Xi also called for unwavering efforts to make economic globalization more open, inclusive and balanced so that its benefits are shared by all, and to build an open world economy.

Wang Tao, chief China economist at Swiss bank UBS, said that the Chinese government will continue its commitment to deepen reform and facilitate higher-level opening-up, to ensure its economic competitiveness in the global market and its attractiveness for foreign investment.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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