The annual government work report, delivered by Premier Li Keqiang at the opening meeting of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, set the GDP growth target at around 6.5 percent, or higher if possible.[Special coverage]
According to the report, the government must keep in mind the big picture and adopt a holistic approach, have clear priorities and focus on key tasks, and properly handle interactions among various sectors.
Let's take a look at the nine major work priorities for 2017.
1. Pushing ahead with five priority tasks through reform
This year, the government will take solid and effective steps to cut overcapacity, implement targeted policies to cut excess urban real estate inventory and carry out deleveraging actively and prudently. The government vows to take multiple measures to cut costs and use targeted and powerful measures to strengthen areas of weakness.
In 2017, China will further reduce steel production capacity by around 50 million metric tons and shut down at least 150 million metric tons of coal production facilities. At the same time, the government will suspend or postpone construction on or eliminate no less than 50 million kilowatts of coal-fired power generation capacity.
2. Deepening reform in major sectors and key links
According to the government work report, China will continue to transform government functions, reform fiscal and tax systems and advance reform in the financial sector. The government will speed up the reform of SOEs and state capital, do more to energize the non-public sector and improve the property rights protection system. Furthermore, the government will make a big push for progress in the social system reform and deepen institutional reform to build a sound ecological environment.
3. Doing more to unleash potential of domestic demand
In 2017, the government will promote a steady increase in consumer spending, work proactively to expand effective investment, improve planning for regional development and take progressive steps to pursue a new type of urbanization.
This year, China will invest 800 billion yuan in railway construction and 1.8 trillion yuan in highway and waterway projects. Construction on another 15 major water conservancy projects will begin; and work on major rail transport, civil aviation and telecommunications infrastructure projects will be sped up.
4. Transforming and upgrading the real economy through innovation
This year, the government will strengthen its capability for creating technological innovations, accelerate the development of emerging industries and endeavor to transform and upgrade traditional industries. Furthermore, the government will continue to encourage people to start businesses and innovate as well as take comprehensive steps to improve product quality.
5. Promoting steady development of agriculture and continued increases in rural incomes
According to the report, the government will push forward with structural adjustment in agriculture, boost the development of modern agriculture, deepen rural reforms and step up the development of public facilities in rural areas.
6. Actively expanding China's opening up to the world
China will make major efforts to pursue the Belt and Road Initiative, ensure that foreign trade continues to pick up and register steady growth. The government will also make big moves to improve the environment for foreign investors and promote the liberalization and facilitation of international trade and investment.
According to the report, China will build 11 high-standard pilot free trade zones, and widely spread practices developed in these zones that are proven to work.
7. Effectively strengthening environmental protection
This year, the government wants to make our skies blue again, strengthen prevention and control of water and soil pollution and move forward with ecological conservation and improvement.
8. Promoting social development to ensure and improve the wellbeing of our people
In 2017, the government will strive to boost employment and business startups as well as ensure people have access to equitable and quality education.
According to the report, the government will work towards progress in building a healthy China, and weave a strong safety net to ensure people's wellbeing.
Furthermore, the government will develop cultural programs and industries, explore new forms of social governance, ensure workplace safety and protect people's lives.
9. Strengthening the all-around improvement of government
China will continue to make sure government functions are fully carried out in accordance with the law, maintain ethical conduct and moral integrity at all times and perform with a strong work ethic, sense of responsibility and enterprising spirit.