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China sets out economic priorities for 2nd half

Updated: Jul 29, 2022 By XU WEI chinadaily.com.cn Print
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A photo shows the view of CBD area in downtown Beijing. [Photo/Sipa]

Economy: Food security, energy, housing on agenda

China set out priorities on Thursday for its economic policies in the second half of this year, pledging to enable its macro policies to play a proactive role in boosting demand and to increase credit support to businesses in a bid to attain the best possible outcomes for growth this year.

A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee highlighted the need to consolidate the momentum of economic recovery, stabilize the job market and commodity prices, and maintain major economic indicators within a proper range.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting.

The tone-setting meeting came after China's economy grew 0.4 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022, posting 2.5 percent growth in the first half of the year, as the world's second-largest economy was battered by a surge in COVID-19 cases in Shanghai and other manufacturing hubs in eastern China.

China set the target of around 5.5 percent for its GDP growth in 2022 during the annual session of the National People's Congress earlier this year.

Policymakers at Thursday's meeting said the nation must maintain its strategic orientation and remain unwavering in running its own affairs well as it faces some stark contradictions and problems in the economy.

In coordinating efforts to fight the pandemic and pursue economic and social development, they highlighted the need to adopt a comprehensive, holistic and long-term perspective, saying that political considerations should be the priority.

They reaffirmed the nation's dynamic zero-COVID strategy, saying that new outbreaks must be contained immediately and there should be zero complacency in fighting the pandemic.

The monitoring of new variants of the coronavirus and the research and development of new vaccines and pharmaceuticals should be stepped up, they said.

The meeting pledged support to local authorities to take full advantage of special-purpose bonds, which totaled 3.65 trillion yuan ($540.77 billion) this year.

The government will ensure reasonable and ample liquidity in monetary policy to scale up credit support to businesses and put new loans from policy banks and investment funds for infrastructure to proper use.

They highlighted the need to bolster the stability and global competitiveness of industry and supply chains, ensure unimpeded transportation and logistics, and support the nation's central and western regions in improving their infrastructure and business climate.

The nation will reinforce its efforts to ensure food security, improve its ability, guarantee the supply of energy and resources, and plan the development of a system for the supply and use of new energy.

Homebuyers seeking to meet their basic needs and those trying to improve their housing conditions will receive support, and local authorities will be urged to assume their duties in ensuring that real estate developers deliver their projects.

The meeting underscored the need to properly defuse risks from village and township banks in some areas and crack down on financial crimes.

It reaffirmed the importance of promoting the standardized, healthy and sustainable growth of the platform economy, conducting regularized oversight of businesses in the sector and approving a host of new investments by such businesses.

The policymakers urged the provincial regions serving as China's economic powerhouses to lead the nation's growth, saying that eligible provincial areas must strive to reach their preset targets for economic and social development this year.

The government will create a good policy and institutional environment to free the hands of State-owned enterprises, boost the courage of private businesses and shore up the confidence of foreign enterprises, they said.

The meeting was held three days after a high-level symposium that solicited opinions and suggestions on economic work for the second half of the year from non-CPC personages.

While presiding over the meeting, Xi said the long-term positive fundamentals of the Chinese economy, which has strong resilience, immense potential and adequate vitality, remain unchanged.

He expressed hope that non-CPC personages can give full play to their strengths, contribute to socioeconomic development and help create a sound environment for the 20th National Congress of the CPC.

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