Government Work Report drafting group explains China's scrapping of GDP target
Published: May 29, 2020 02:42 PM

GDP Photo: Xinhua

This year China did not set a specific GDP growth goal in the Government Work Report released during last week’s two sessions due to economic uncertainty in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, said an official from the report drafting group during a press briefing on Friday.

Economic uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is the primary reason China has not set a specific economic growth target for 2020 – for the first time in decades, said Sun Guojun, a member of China's Government Work Report drafting group.

Sun explained that a GDP goal serves as a benchmark for other economic indicators, but it is not necessary.

China's scrapping of a specific target for GDP growth shows the country is fully prepared for the worst and striving for the best, which reflects bottom-line thinking, said Jin Li, a professor at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management, during a panel discussion at the two sessions.

"Whether or not to set GDP growth targets each year should be determined in light of the current situation," Sun added, noting that a GDP growth target is recommended if the economy is in a normal state.

Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday during a press conference that China expects to see positive economic growth in 2020 if tasks in six key areas including job creation, people's livelihoods and market entities are completed.

Considering the continuous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, setting an unrealistic economic growth target is likely to interfere with the task of coordinating virus prevention and control as well as economic and social development, Tang Jianwei, chief economic analyst at the Financial Research Center of the Bank of Communications, told the Global Times.

Tang added that if China were to set a very low growth target, it would be less instructive.

Global Times