China’s GDP growth was 6.7 percent in 2016 — a three-decade low for the country, but outpacing most other major economies.
Reforms in key areas of state-owned enterprises as well as financial and social security are also needed in good time.
Wide-ranging measures are needed to regulate property market.
The country is battling against pollution that affects the lives of millions. Xi has urged governments at all levels to remember that “clear waters and green mountains are invaluable assets.”
Xi will also face a number of foreign policy choices, including a response to Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States.
Despite the challenges ahead, Xi has voiced optimism about China’s future.
“As long as our 1.3 billion-plus people pull together for a common cause, as long as the Party stands together with the people and we roll up our sleeves to work harder, we will surely succeed in a Long March of our generation,” Xi said in his 2017 New Year address.
“Today, in the Xi Jinping era, China is on track to the central stage of the world,” said Zhang Weiwei, director of the Institute of China Studies at Fudan University.
Xi is tasked with multiple missions: leading the Party and people to fulfill the great dream of revitalizing the Chinese nation; cracking the hard nuts of reform across all sectors; promoting the rule of law; and managing a clean, unified and advanced ruling party.
He is also expected to play a leading role in pushing forward globalization, as the West appears to be in retreat in this regard.
Reform is high on Xi’s agenda. Hundreds of measures have been designed and released during the past four years to address issues such as urbanization, innovation and the market’s role in resource allocation.
As “the main framework for reform is basically established,” implementation will be the focus for the coming years.
Supply-side structural reform, which is called by Xi as a “battle” concerning the overall situation and long-term development, will be continued in 2017. Xi believes it is an “inevitable choice” for developing the Chinese economy.
This includes cutting excess capacity in major sectors such as steel and coal, implementing agricultural reforms, boosting the real economy and nurturing new growth drivers. China will deepen supply-side structural reform in agriculture, according to the first policy statement released by the central authorities this year.
The restructuring of China’s economy and the upgrading of industry would generate huge new demand.