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China boosts investment in key fields to buoy recovery

(Xinhua)    10:46, July 28, 2020

China has pledged more measures to scale up investments in key fields including the new type of urbanization and major projects as it logged a better-than-expected economic recovery.

By the end of June, the newly-issued special government bonds nationwide had topped 2.23 trillion yuan (about 319 billion U.S. dollars), with more than 80 percent of the total flowing into transport infrastructure, municipal and industrial park infrastructure, people's well-being and related service sectors, official data showed.

At a State Council's executive meeting Wednesday, authorities vowed to further promote a new kind of urbanization, with efforts to improve public facilities and services, push forward the renovation of old urban residential communities, and build environmental protection facilities and public parking lots.

Advancing the new type of urbanization that puts people first is where lies the greatest potential of domestic demand, and it will help keep the fundamentals of the economy stable, the meeting said.

The move, coming on the heels of a 3.2-percent Q2 GDP growth, is expected to shore up weak links in the country's vast rural areas, especially in the western region where the urbanization drive is still laden with much leeway.

Huge domestic demand is expected to be unleashed, which analysts believe is key to sustaining a more robust recovery for the rest of the year.

One of the latest efforts in the front, the laying of railway tracks for the 1,213.7-km Golmud-Korla Railway, linking the city of Golmud in Qinghai with the city of Korla in Xinjiang was completed on Tuesday, paving the way for accelerating development in the western region.

As of July 1, a total of 1,178 km of new rail lines had been launched. For the whole year, China plans to add new rail lines totaling 4,400 km, including 2,300 km of high-speed tracks, the China State Railway Group said.

In addition, authorities have reiterated carrying out the construction of key water conservation projects, which were described as an important part of the country's major projects in this year's government work report.

China will advance the construction of 150 major water conservation projects in 2020-2022. These projects are expected to increase the storage capacity for flood control by 9 billion cubic meters and the annual water supply capacity by 42 billion cubic meters, said Su Wei, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission.

Total investment in the projects is estimated to reach 1.29 trillion yuan, which is expected to leverage investment of about 6.6 trillion yuan and create an average of about 800,000 new jobs annually, according to Su.

Latest data by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that China's fixed-asset investment increased 4.8 percent year on year in the second quarter despite an overall contraction in the first half of 2020.

At present, weak demand remained the most pressing problem hindering further recovery of the Chinese economy, said Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, who advised pushing forward an array of major engineering projects to foster a solid foundation for long-term development.

Echoing Zhang's sentiments, Fan Ruoying, a researcher with the Bank of China, said that in the second half of the year, investment will play a more prominent role in underpinning growth.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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