BEIJING, March 13 (TMTPOST) – China’s newly-elected Premier Li Qiang on Monday set out concrete measures to meet the economic growth target in 2023 during his first press conference in his new position after the closing of the 14th National People’s Congress.
During the just-concluded annual Two Sessions, China set a target for GDP growth of approximately 5%, the lowest in almost thirty years, which came after a year that saw 3% economic growth. On how to achieve this goal, Li proposed to leverage multiple factors, including macro policy, demand expansion, reform and innovation, and risk prevention and control. “With a large economy of over 120 trillion yuan and many new challenges, it’s not easy to reach a growth target of about 5%, and we need to double our efforts,” he said.
Li also said that a comprehensive plan was made during the Central Economic Work Conference last December. He would stick to the plan by emphasizing stability and progress. Stability refers to “stable economic growth, stable employment rates, and stable consumer prices” while progress means high-quality advancement, he told reporters at the press conference.
In response to a question about the new government’s goals in the next five years, Li said the government should turn the grand blueprint drawn by the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) into a construction plan, working with the whole nation towards a brighter future. “The 20th National Congress of the CPC held last October made a comprehensive strategic plan for the development of our country in the next five years and beyond, and all our major concerns can be clearly addressed by its report,” he said.
When it comes to specific work of the government in the next five years, Li said the focus was on three aspects. Firstly, the people-centered development ideology must be firmly established. All the work of the CPC and the government is aimed at benefiting the people. “Objectively speaking, the vast majority of the people don’t pay attention to GDP growth on a daily basis, what they care more about are housing, employment, income, education, health care, ecological environment and other specific things,” Li explained. The work of the government should be in accordance with the actual well-being of the people, so as to ensure that the people have something to look forward to, and that the government has something to achieve.
The second focus is promoting high-quality development. “China’s economic and social development has made tremendous strides, with the size of the economy steadily ranking the second in the world. However, the development is still unbalanced and inadequate, as anything divided by 1.4 billion will be small,” noted Li. According to the new premier, China’s development now is just to solve the “having or not” problem, and the next step is to solve the “good or not” problem, especially to improve scientific and technological innovation capacity, construct a modern market system, and promote green development. “In general, we should implement the new development concept completely, accurately and comprehensively, accelerate the construction of a new development pattern, and strive to promote high-quality development,“ said Li.
Finally, Li said that it is necessary to unswervingly deepen reform and opening up. He noted that reform and opening up is the key move to determine the future of contemporary China. When promoting Chinese modernization and achieving the second centenary goal, China should stick to the road of reform and opening up. That requires adherence to the direction of socialist market economy reform, continued opening up at a high level, and constantly increasing the momentum and vitality of development in deepening reform and opening up.