Friday, March 04, 2016

China Maintaining Growth Theme of Political Events
2016-03-03 21:38:13
Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, March 3, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee at the fourth session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2016. The fourth session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee opened in Beijing on March 3. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday raised the curtains for its annual political high season in the heart of Beijing, as efforts to maintaining growth are expected to dominate the two-week events.

Chairman Yu Zhengsheng addressed 2,200 members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, which convened the yearly session at the Great Hall of the People.

On Saturday, the National People's Congress (NPC), the legislature, will begin its annual session.

The dual sessions are significant on China's political calendar, and telegraph the general national agenda for the whole year and beyond.

Yu invoked familiar notions such as democracy and the rule of law in his 16-page work report, which also featured substantial references to economic issues.

China's economy expanded 6.9 percent year on year in 2015, the slowest in one fourth a century, weighed down by a property market downturn, falling trade and weak factory activity.

Observers are keen to hear how China's plans move from an export-led model to one led by consumption and services.

Yu told his colleagues, including former NBA player Yao Ming, that 2016 is the first year of the final stage of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and a crucial year for advancement of structural reform.

Yu asked them to "devote their main efforts this year to making suggestions and proposals related to the implementation of the 13th Five-Year Plan," referring to a draft roadmap for national economy and social development from 2016 to 2020.

The draft will be submitted to national lawmakers for review and approval in the next few days.

Explaining the proposals of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on the five-year plan, General Secretary Xi Jinping said that annual growth of at least 6.5 percent would be required to reach China's goal to double its 2010 GDP and per capita income of people by 2020.

Innovation and environment are also poised to be included in the roadmap to sustain growth.

Many worry that problems in China could spill over and cripple global growth, with low oil prices and monetary policy uncertainty clouding the outlook.

Within a reasonable range, China's growth is showing signs of improvement, such as better domestic demand and industrial structure as well as more balanced regional development.

The government raised its budget deficit to 2.3 percent of GDP in 2015, up from 2.1 percent in 2014.

The latest cut in the reserve requirement ratio for banks by 0.5 percentage point signals further monetary easing for creating pro-growth environment.

In his address, Yu mentioned supply-side reform, an economic vehicle that has not often been resorted to by Chinese policymakers.

In Western practice, supply-side economics often implies tax cut, higher deficit tolerance, stimulus to entrepreneurial innovation and discreet use of subsidy-applied industrial policies.

The CPPCC should "develop and follow the philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development," and adapt to the new normal in economic development, Yu said.

Besides economic growth discussions, NPC deputies are scheduled to deliberate on a draft charity law aimed to boost public trust.

The bill has already gone through two readings at the NPC Standing Committee's bi-monthly sessions.

It is rare for a draft law or an amendment to go through three readings and not be passed. One outstanding case was the property law, which was passed in March 2007 after eight readings.

Other topics in this NPC session would include state budgetary review, military spending and law enforcement.

China announced a 10.1-percent rise in its national defense budget last year, the lowest growth in five years.

Xi, also president, declared in September to reduce 300,000 service people and the People's Liberation Army conducted a massive restructuring.

On the sidelines of the two sessions, meanwhile, calls for unwavering conformity with Xi are expected to feature prominently.

An article in Qiushi Journal, the flagship magazine of the CPC Central Committee, says, faithfulness to the core leadership of the Party is characterized by staunch loyalty to "the CPC Central Committee, [its] General Secretary Xi Jinping as well as to Party theories, guidelines, principles and policies."

Adherence to the Party line must feature across all processes and aspects in building socialism with Chinese characteristics, the article says.

All the society must be united under the advocacy of Xi on the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, Qiushi says.

Echoing the Qiushi article, Yu, in his address, urged CPC members within the CPPCC National Committee to enhance their consciousness of the ideology, the whole, the core and the line.

No comments: