China commends 2020 victory, aims to tackle risks in 2021 at top economic meeting

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/18 19:58:59

Industry PMI Photo:VCG

Chinese top officials on Friday closed a tone-setting meeting for economic work for the coming year, where they commended historic achievements in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and set tackling lingering risks as a top priority for 2021, as the domestic economy recovery continues to face complex and severe challenges.

The Central Economic Work Conference, attended by Chinse President Xi Jinping and other senior officials, was held in Beijing from Wednesday to Friday, where the leadership reviewed economic work in 2020, analyzed the current economic situation and outlined economic work for 2021, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The meeting concluded that facing severe and complex international situations, daunting domestic reform and development tasks, particularly with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, China maintained strategic focus and made accurate judgement and decisive actions that produced a "historic" outcome.

However, the meeting also pointed out that there remains a lot of uncertainties in the pandemic and internal environment, and the condition for China's economic recovery is still not as solid, adding that many risks are not to be neglected.

In line with long-standing tradition, the meeting also set top policy priorities for the coming year, which marks several critical inflection points for China's social and economic development, as 2021 is the start of the 14th Five-Year Plan and the beginning of China's second centennial goal of building a modern socialist power.

While stressing the overall theme of forming the widely discussed "dual circulation" development paradigm that puts heavy emphasis on the massive domestic market to ensure long-term high-quality growth, the meeting also outlined policy priorities in eight specific areas.

Among the areas of top priority are efforts to bolster the country's strategic technology capability to address major challenges that hamstrings the country's development and security. Despite an escalating technology war launched by the US, the meeting called for international cooperation in technology research and development.

In what appears to be a more targeted move, the meeting also called for efforts to make breakthroughs in core technologies to resolve "stranglehold" problems in various areas, as part of a push to build independent and controllable supply chains.

In line with the overall focus on the domestic market, the meeting also called for a series of efforts, including job creation and improvements to the social security net, to expand domestic demand. Also within expectations, the meeting stressed the need to strengthen anti-trust regulations to prevent "disorderly expansion of capital," signaling tighter regulations in the financial technology sector as part of efforts to prevent risks.

Despite the focus on the domestic economy, the meeting also called for continued reform and opening-up policies, addressing seed and land issues and urban housing problems, and efforts to ensure carbon emissions peak and neutrality goals.

Global Times     

Posted in: ECONOMY

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