Draft govt work report discussed at key meeting

By Xu Wei (China Daily) 08:39, March 01, 2024

China's policymakers pledged on Thursday to further invigorate the economy, prevent and defuse risks and improve social expectations as they deliberated on the draft of the Government Work Report before the opening of the national legislature's annual session next week.

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the Party's core leadership, highlighted at a meeting the need to build up the momentum of the nation's economic recovery and make sustained efforts to push for the quality and reasonable growth of the economy.

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

The draft of the report, which set out priorities for the central government's work this year, will be reviewed by national lawmakers during the upcoming second session of the 14th National People's Congress, which is due to open on Tuesday.

The report was also deliberated in February at a plenary session of the State Council, China's Cabinet.

Premier Li Qiang also presided over a meeting in January to solicit opinions from experts, business leaders and representatives from sectors such as education, scientific research, culture, health and sports on a draft of the report.

The policymakers underscored on Thursday China's accomplishments over the past year, highlighting the challenges posed by a complex international landscape and the substantial tasks of reform, development and stability.

The nation has navigated external pressures and internal difficulties, making concerted efforts to achieve a stable transitioning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, securing economic recovery and substantial progress in high-quality development, said a statement issued after the meeting.

Official statistics showed that China's GDP expanded 5.2 percent year-on-year in 2023 to 126.06 trillion yuan ($17.53 trillion), surpassing the government's preset annual growth target of around 5 percent.

The nation created 12.44 million new jobs last year, with its surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas standing at 5.2 percent.

With this year marking the 75th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China and being a critical year for fulfilling the goals set out in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), the policymakers emphasized accelerated steps to foster a new development pattern, advance high-quality development and further deepen reform and opening-up.

They also called for steps to work toward a high level of self-reliance in science and technology, bolster macro regulation and coordinate measures in boosting domestic demand and deepening supply-side structural reform.

The government's proactive fiscal policy must be moderately intensified toward greater quality and efficiency, while the nation's prudent monetary policy should be flexible, moderate, precise and effective, the policymakers said.

The meeting highlighted the necessity to maintain the consistency of macroeconomic policy orientations to create a stable, transparent, and predictable policy environment.

The nation must vigorously promote the construction of a modern industrial system and accelerate the development of new productive forces, which feature high technology, high efficiency and high quality, and are aligned with the country's new development philosophy, the policymakers stressed.

More steps will be taken to boost domestic demand, deepen reform, expand high-level opening-up, and effectively prevent and defuse risks in key sectors, they added.

The meeting reiterated the nation's commitment to work related to farmers, the agricultural sector and rural areas, saying that rural vitalization and urban-rural integration must be advanced.

The nation will continue to bolster its efforts in building an ecological civilization and pushing forward green and low-carbon development, the policymakers said. They also underscored the need to continue improving the public's well-being and innovating social governance.

It is important to strengthen the government's self-improvement, combat formalism and bureaucracy, and strive to fulfill the economic and social development goals for the year, they added.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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