Update: March 09, 2022 1:37 p.m. STI
beijing [China], Mar 9 (ANI): A series of meetings of China’s central leadership in the new year have raised concerns about the state of the country’s economy. Leaders are now eager to contain any unrest related to rising prices and unemployment at a time when President Xi Jinping is set to seek re-election later this year.
The Chinese Communist Party’s State Council met last November. During the Council plenum, Premier Li Keqiang reportedly said, “The (Chinese) economy is currently facing new downward pressures and uncertainties have increased.”
The central meeting of the CPC Polit Buro convened in late February to discuss the draft government work report. President Xi chaired the meeting. The report was presented at the annual session of the National People’s Congress on March 5.
Interestingly, Polit Buro skipped formal mention of two important issues. First, there was no mention of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or China’s failure to abide by United Nations resolutions condemning Russia. Second, the country’s difficult economic situation was not mentioned in Polit Buro.
The only mention of the Ukrainian crisis was made, very indirectly, in Premier Li’s report to the State Council: “China will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, stay on the path of peaceful development, working for a new type of relationship.”
Leaders adopted a similarly oblique way of approaching the unstable economy. His priority for 2022 was “to first ensure economic and social stability, then to seek progress”.
The priorities set for 2022 tell the real story. These are: Stabilizing the economy through more robust macroeconomic measures; stimulate market vitality by deepening reform; implement the strategy of development through innovation; increase domestic demand and promote coordinated development and urbanization between regions.
Two other economic challenges, also mentioned indirectly, were endemic financial corruption and the challenges of implementing financial reforms. Central management discussed the issues and the Polit Buro decided to link “financial corruption, political oversight and financial sector reform as issues that should be addressed in an integrated manner”.
The Polit Buro reiterated its insistence on resolving development issues ahead of the convening of the crucial 20th CPC National Congress this year-end. They include the following objectives: Another indicator of the leaders’ concern for the economy comes from their reiteration of the work of the “Six Stabilities” and the “Six Guarantees”. This concerns “stable employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, investment and expectation, and employment guarantees, basic livelihoods, economic entities, grain and food security. energy, industry supply chains and grassroots operations”.
While the economic growth target was reset to 5.5%, the special economic targets for 2022 had an inherent political message that they should “prioritize stability while seeking progress”.
The special objectives were as follows: “(Increase macroeconomic policy implementation efforts to stabilize the economic situation; relentlessly deepen reform to stimulate the vitality of market entities; thoroughly implement the development strategy focusing on innovation; firmly implement the domestic demand expansion strategy, and promote cross-regional coordinated development and new-type urbanization; firmly grasp agricultural production and promote the comprehensive revitalization of the countryside; develop high-level openness abroad to promote the sustained development of foreign trade and foreign investment.
For the first time in recent years, the Polit Buro has issued clear policy guidelines that will oversee the path and pace of economic progress: “Protect against and resolve financial risks, and maintain the bottom line of systemic absence [financial] risks; earnestly guarantee and improve people’s livelihood, and strengthen and innovate social governance, and strengthen self-construction of government, strictly prevent and eliminate formalism and bureaucracy, and strive to achieve the goals and annual economic and social development tasks.
The party leadership “realized” that many “salient problems” remained despite new achievements in the financial sector. “Some of these issues are common in nature and need to be addressed seriously. We need to concretize and reform the responsibilities of (these) entities, strengthen and reform day-to-day oversight, and address one issue at a time.” He did not identify the issues, but there was some indication of the origin of the fault as the Polit Buro stressed the “need to strengthen the centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee on financial work and unhesitatingly follow the path of financial development with Chinese characteristics.”
The shortcomings were to be addressed by the following measures: “Strengthening the atmosphere of full and strict Party governance; implement the ‘Two Responsibilities’ (the Party committee has the primary responsibility while the Discipline Inspection Commission is responsible for supervision); strengthen the supervision of “Number 1s” (the senior managers of their respective organizations) and management teams; carry out targeted rectifications to solve typical problems such as violation of the spirit of the Central Committee’s eight-point decision (on improving Party and government conduct) and “revolving doors” between politics and business ; and conduct an integrated anti-corruption fight so that (officials) dare not, cannot and do not want to be corrupt. » (ANI)