People visit the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in east China's Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Xiang)
China's top leaders have mapped out priorities for next year's economic work as the annual Central Economic Work Conference concluded in Beijing Friday, highlighting efforts to maintain stability while pursuing progress.
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 2021, analyzed the current economic situation and arranged next year's economic work.
Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng, who are members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, attended the three-day conference.
Economic work next year should prioritize stability while pursuing progress, according to the meeting.
Actions should be taken to safeguard macroeconomic stability, keep major economic indicators within an appropriate range and maintain social stability to prepare for the Party's 20th National Congress, the meeting said.
The year 2021 has been a milestone for both the Party and the nation, according to the meeting, which noted that China has maintained a leading position in the world in economic development and epidemic control, with progress made in scientific strength, industrial chain resilience, reform and opening-up, people's livelihood and ecological civilization.
However, it cautioned that China's economic development is facing pressure from demand contraction, supply shocks and weakening expectations, and the external environment is becoming increasingly complicated, grim and uncertain.
"We must face the difficulties squarely while staying confident," said a statement released after the meeting, citing China's strong economic resilience and unchanged fundamentals underpinning long-term growth.
The meeting called for remaining committed to China's own cause, consolidating the economic foundations, enhancing the abilities of scientific and technological innovation and adhering to multilateralism.
It also urged making proactive efforts to align with the high-standard international economic and trade rules, deepening reform via high-level opening-up, and boosting high-quality development.
The meeting stressed the necessity to adhere to the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, promote high-quality development and pursue progress while ensuring stability.
It highlighted the timing, extent and efficiency of policy adjustments and reform to ensure their steady advancement, as well as coordination and systems thinking.
THE 2022 POLICY TOOLBOX
China will continue implementing proactive fiscal policies and prudent monetary policies for steady economic progress next year, according to the meeting.
It pledged to implement new tax and fee cut policies, strengthen support for small and medium-sized enterprises, individually-run businesses, manufacturing and risk-defusing, and take a moderately proactive approach in advancing infrastructure investment.
Prudent monetary policies should be flexible and appropriate, and liquidity should be maintained at a reasonable and ample level, the meeting said.
It underlined efforts to guide financial institutions to ramp up support for the real economy, especially for small and micro enterprises, technological innovation and green development.
In 2022, China will wield its microeconomic policies to stimulate the vitality of market entities, deepen the supply-side structural reform with a focus on smoothing the circulation of the national economy, and firmly advance the implementation of policies related to science and technology, said the meeting.
Next year's economic priorities also include vitalizing development through policies of reform and opening-up, promoting more balanced and coordinated regional development, and ensuring that its social policies well safeguard people's well-being.
Efforts will be made to boost the employment of young people, including college graduates, and optimize flexible employment and social security policies.
In the first 10 months of 2021, China created 11.33 million new jobs in its urban areas, achieving its whole-year target in advance, official data showed.
Reiterating the principle that "housing is for living in, not for speculation," the meeting said China will support the property market to better cater to the reasonable demand of home buyers and adopt city-specific policies to boost the virtuous cycle and healthy development of the sector.
The country will also expand high-quality and institutional opening-up, grant foreign-funded enterprises national treatment, attract more investment from multinational companies, and facilitate the early implementation of major foreign-invested projects.