China should aim for a 6% GDP growth in 3 years instead of setting an annual target: govt adviser
Published: May 21, 2020 01:03 PM

A range of data have shown the Chinese economy is resilient, with supply-side reform delivering progress.

China should aim to return to a growth rate of around 6% within the next two to three years instead of setting an annual growth rate for each year to lift the Chinese economy back on the right path, as it faces huge uncertainty largely from overseas, according to an economic advisor to the Chinese government.

"My opinion is that [China] should combine the economic development for the next two to three years to make an overall plan… if you make plans on an annual basis, your plan would fail to catch up with the changes," said Li Daokui, a prominent economist at Tsinghua University and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body.

In an exclusive interview with the Global Times on Wednesday night, Li, who is also a former policy advisor to China's central bank, said that if China would be regarded as doing a good job if its economy could return to around 6 percent growth after two to three years.

China's annual GDP growth target has been a closely-watched indicator of the economic well-being of the world's second-largest economy and policy priority for the year from the two sessions, which kicked off on Thursday. The target is usually contained in the Government Work Report, which is scheduled to be released on Friday morning.  

This year, as the Chinese economy is still grappling with what officials call "unprecedented" challenges from the global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been rising calls for officials to scrapping a specific numerical GDP growth target to make more room for policy maneuvers to other more pressing issues.

"The baseline for future economic work is to safeguard the security of [economic operations] and stabilize livelihood," Li said, suggesting a comprehensive set of contingency plans to fend off risks in a wide range of areas from oil and food supplies to financial risks to foreign sanctions against China.

"We must safeguard our companies listed overseas against impact of foreign long-arm jurisdiction as well as defend against unilateral investigations and sanctions," he said.