The Yangshan Deep Water Port of east China's Shanghai, Oct. 16, 2019. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)
The annual Central Economic Work Conference was held in Beijing from Tuesday to Thursday, as Chinese leaders charted course for the economy in 2020.
In a speech at the conference, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, reviewed the country's economic work in 2019, analyzed the current situation and outlined key tasks for 2020.
The meeting was also attended by Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng, all members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
Facing the complicated situation of mounting risks and challenges at home and abroad in 2019, China has maintained sustained and sound economic and social development and made key breakthroughs in the "three tough battles," seeing notable progress in targeted poverty reduction, effective prevention and control of financial risks, and general improvement in the environment, according to a statement released after the conference.
Meanwhile, the country's progress in achieving the major tasks of the 13th Five-Year Plan met expectations, and new major steps have been made toward finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
"The root cause is that we have upheld the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, maintained strategic resolve, kept pursuing progress while ensuring stability, deepened reform and opening-up, and given full play to the enthusiasm of central and local governments," the statement said.
"While fully acknowledging our achievements, we must see that China is at a pivotal stage of transforming its growth model, improving its economic structure, and fostering new drivers of growth," the statement said.
The country faces rising downward economic pressure amid intertwined structural, institutional and cyclical problems, according to the statement.
The global economy continues to slow down, the world is still undergoing in-depth adjustments due to the global financial crisis, profound changes are accelerating, and sources of turbulence have substantially increased, the statement said. "We need to be well prepared with contingency plans."
Given this situation, the conference pointed out that the basic trend of the Chinese economy maintaining steady growth toward long-term sound development remains unchanged.
"We can overcome all risks and challenges," the statement said.
To achieve the expected targets for 2020, China will make ensuring stability a top priority, and uphold the policy framework of stable macro policies, flexible micro policies, and social policies that ensure basic needs are met.
The conference underscored sustained vigorous efforts in deepening supply-side structural reform, and ensuring reasonable growth and steady improvement of the economy.
TOWARD GREAT VICTORY
The meeting mapped out major economic tasks for the next year.
It stressed unwavering implementation of the new development philosophy to promote high-quality development, calling on governments at all levels to adopt a comprehensive and holistic approach.
The meeting called for resolute efforts in the "three tough battles" against major risks, poverty and pollution.
On improving the people's well-being, the meeting underscored ensuring a stable workforce and improving the structure and quality of employment.
The country will continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy. The quality and effect of the fiscal policy must be enhanced with more efforts on structural adjustment, while the monetary policy should be pursued with moderate flexibility to maintain market liquidity at a reasonably ample level.
The growth of credit and social financing should be in keeping with economic development, social financing costs should be reduced, and the supply-side structural reform of the financial sector should be deepened, said the statement.
The meeting called for promoting industrial and consumption upgrading, fully tapping into the advantages of China's considerable market, and giving play to the underpinning role of consumption and the pivotal role of investment.
In terms of boosting high-quality development, the meeting stressed building new driving forces through faster implementation of regional development strategies, such as the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta, and the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The country will work to build a number of advanced manufacturing clusters with international competitiveness.
The reform of the economic system will be deepened, with the reform of state-owned assets and enterprises to be accelerated, said the statement.
China's opening-up will continue to develop on a larger scale and at a deeper level. Foreign investment will be facilitated and better protected. The country will further shorten the negative list for foreign investment, lower the overall tariff level, and encourage enterprises to diversify export markets.
The meeting called for maintaining stable growth of foreign trade, ensuring stable and greater use of foreign investment, and making solid progress in jointly building the Belt and Road.
Completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieving the goals of the 13th Five-Year Plan will be the top priority of the CPC's work next year, and concerted efforts should be made in this regard to secure a great victory, said the statement.