Premier mollifies fears over economy

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-17 0:23:02

As downward pressure in the Chinese economy is causing some anxiety, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang displayed a relaxed manner when giving his annual press conference at the end of the fourth session of China's 12th National People's Congress. The premier's confidence on the state of the Chinese economy was not a show for the media. 

Questions raised by Chinese and foreign reporters largely focused on the economy. Li mollified the fears of failing to achieve a 6.5 percent economic growth and said that "it's impossible" that the country won't fulfill its targeted economic growth.

Li promised to "ensure that there are no large-scale layoff waves" when addressing the concerns over the impact of reform to State-owned enterprises. He guaranteed pension payments, emphasizing the government "will have no difficulties in paying pensions." His affirmation that the elderly will be looked after properly is not just an empty promise. 

The premier confirmed that Hong Kong will maintain its long-term prosperity and stability and that the Chinese mainland's preferential measures toward Taiwanese enterprises will remain unchanged. Referring to China-US economic and trade cooperation, Li noted that China became the largest trading partner of the US last year. He also showed his confidence in the underlying trends of Sino-US relations moving forward, no matter who is elected into the White House. 

Li's confidence is by no means without foundation. The continuous advance of China's reforms will release the nation's huge potential. If we add the number of urban residents, plus the rural-urban migrant population, the figure comes to more than 1 billion, greater than the combined populations of the 34 most developed economies. This will unleash a massive driving force to bring forward Chinese economic transition.

China faces a lot of problems. But the country has gone through much more challenges since it adopted a reform and opening-up policy more than three decades ago. Most world economies are plagued with difficulties. The rise of aggressive US presidential candidates like Donald Trump in the primaries is proof that the US is undergoing grave difficulties and challenges.

Both Chinese and international public opinion are still too fixated on GDP as a barometer of national development. Admittedly, one reason for the  waning confidence in the Chinese economy is the lowered GDP growth rate. With new growth drivers emerging, a boost in consumption and the ratio of tertiary industries expanding, the upward trajectory of life quality for most Chinese has continued. China is also going up in the global ranks of comprehensive strength. A moderate growth rate of 6.5-7 percent hasn't held China's rejuvenation back.

China is an emerging economy of increasing sophistication as it spirals upward in development. It struggled with severe inflation and large-scale layoffs in the past, so the current problems don't require too much concern.

China needs to mobilize the society. Most problems it faces can be resolved in the process of development. Confidence and initiative matter the most.

Posted in: Editorial

blog comments powered by Disqus