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Analysts say report rightly focuses on improving lives

China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-26 08:17
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A farmer picks tomatoes in a greenhouse in Tangwan, a village in Huanjiang Maonan autonomous county, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on May 12, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Despite the absence of a concrete figure for GDP growth this year, China's latest measures for its continued development are of vital importance to the livelihood of the Chinese people and others worldwide, especially amid the economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to international analysts.

Premier Li Keqiang delivered the Government Work Report on Friday at the opening of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing.

In the report, Li said China will not set a GDP growth target for this year and will take a number of forceful financial measures to shore up the economy, including urging local governments to adopt all possible measures to bolster employment. China is adopting a strengthened employment-first policy to cope with the pressure on jobs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as creating synergy to stabilize employment through the coordinated use of fiscal, monetary and investment policies.

Jon R. Taylor, chair of the department of political science and geography at the University of Texas at San Antonio in the United States, said it was a prudent move for the Chinese government to do so, allowing it to place more focus on jobs and people's livelihoods.

"Discarding the growth target allows for more sustainable economic growth," he said.

Such a move, Taylor said, also underscores the emphasis on a people-centered approach to the poverty alleviation priorities laid out by President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China.

Good reference guide

Yang Xiaohua, a professor of international business at the University of San Francisco, said Li's report provides a balanced view of China after COVID-19; it is "a non-sugar-coating, realistic and reassuring report for the Chinese people and a good reference guide for other countries as well".

"In the report, he realistically assessed the severity of the impact of COVID-19 on the Chinese economy and society. I appreciate the fact that the government puts people's lives above everything else," said Yang, who also chairs the university's China Business Studies Initiative program.

Christopher Bovis, a professor of international business law at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, said the work report showed that economic development is the underpinning strategy for building a prosperous society and eliminating poverty.

China has provided impetus to global economic progress by the application of responsive political and economic leadership toward sustainable development, he said.

"Pivotal to this solution is a global regulatory system which could strike a meaningful and workable balance between free trade and national concerns, especially elimination of poverty, raising living standards and combating the effects of the recent pandemic of COVID-19."

Bovis said that China's structural reforms and the continuous opening-up of its economy have "coincided with the pursuit of a global governance model for responsive and responsible political and economic leadership", which insists on the need to promote sustainable development.

"The focus of sustainable development should be the assessment of the traditional trade systems raised by the role of institutional systems such as the WTO in economic development," he said. "And China has committed to the functioning of a workable, fair and sustainable international trade system such as a reformed WTO."

Helping global economy

Vladimir Nezhdanov, a researcher of modern history and world politics at the University of Tyumen in Russia, said Li's report has delivered to the world a positive signal about China coming out of the COVID-19 crisis.

The report is encouraging as it tells how Chinese people pulled through the pandemic by facing various difficulties, the researcher said.

"On one hand, China is trying to recover its economy by stimulating consumption and investment while pushing infrastructure construction," he said. "On the other hand, China is trying to achieve its goal of eradicating poverty."

Nezhdanov said the recovery of China's economy will spur demand for energy, products and services in international markets, which will have tremendous meaning for the global economy.

Zhao Huanxin in Washington, Chang Jun in San Francisco, Wang Mingjie in London, Ren Qi in Moscow, Wang Xu in Tokyo, and Liu Xuan in Beijing contributed to this story.

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