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The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Monday held a meeting to analyze the current economic situation and make arrangements for economic work in the second half of the year (H2).

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting.

The meeting called for carrying out macroeconomic regulation with precision and force, strengthening counter-cyclical regulation, and making more policy options available.

Currently, China’s economy is facing new difficulties and challenges, which mainly arise from insufficient domestic demand, difficulties in the operation of some enterprises, risks and hidden dangers in key areas, as well as a grim and complex external environment, it said.

It is necessary to stick to a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, extend, optimize, improve and ensure the implementation of tax and fee reductions, and give full play to the role of quantitative and structural monetary tools, it said.

Strong support will be given to scientific and technological innovation, the real economy, and the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, according to the meeting.

The RMB exchange rate shall be kept generally stable at an appropriate and balanced level, the meeting noted, pledging efforts to invigorate the capital market and boost investor confidence.

The meeting demanded efforts to actively expand domestic demand and give play to the fundamental role of consumption in driving economic growth.

Consumption of major items including automobiles, electronic products and household items should be boosted, and spending on services such as sports, leisure and cultural and tourist services should be encouraged, according to the meeting.

Government investment should better play the role of driving overall investment, with faster issuance and use of local government special-purpose bonds.

More policies should be formulated and rolled out to spur private investment, while multiple measures should be taken to keep the country’s foreign trade and investment stable, according to the meeting.

The number of international flights should be increased, the meeting demanded, while calling for efforts to keep China-Europe freight train services stable and unimpeded.

It also urged accelerated steps to foster and expand strategic emerging industries and develop more mainstay industries, as well as moves to promote the in-depth integration of digital economy with advanced manufacturing and modern services and to advance the safe and sound development of artificial intelligence.

Efforts should be made to promote the well-regulated, healthy and sustained development of platform enterprises, said the meeting.

Authorities should establish and improve regular communication and exchange mechanisms with enterprises, which will be encouraged to venture, invest and take risks to actively explore new markets, according to the meeting.

It called for supporting pilot free trade zones and free trade ports that are eligible in aligning with high-standard international economic and trade rules and trying out reforms and opening-up measures.

The meeting also urged meticulous efforts to host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation successfully.

The meeting called for concrete efforts in preventing and defusing risks in key areas, and adapting to the new situation that major changes have taken place in the relationship between supply and demand in China’s real estate market.

Real-estate policies should be adjusted and optimized in a timely manner, the meeting said, adding that the policy toolkit should be well utilized with city-specific measures to better meet residents’ essential housing demand and their needs for better housing, and advance the stable and sound development of the real estate market.

The meeting also urged expanding the supply of government-subsidized housing, preventing and defusing local government debt risks, strengthening financial regulation and steadily encouraging high-risk small and medium-sized financial institutions to defuse risks through reform.

It stressed that stabilizing employment should be considered from a strategic and overall perspective, and that the scale of the middle-income group should be expanded.

Efforts should be made to resolutely prevent major and serious accidents from occurring as well as to ensure power supply in summer.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has called for striving to realize economic development goals in 2023 at a meeting recently.

The CPC Central Committee held the symposium with non-CPC personages on July 21 to seek opinions and suggestions on the country’s current economic situation and economic work for the second half of the year. Xi presided over the symposium and delivered an important speech.

To do the economic work well for the second half of the year, the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability should continue to be followed, Xi said.

Efforts should be made to fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, accelerate the building of a new pattern of development, comprehensively deepen reform and opening up, intensify macro regulation, expand domestic demand, boost confidence and prevent risks, he said.

He also stressed pushing for the continued improvement of the economic performance, endogenous driving force and social expectations, continuously defusing risks and hidden dangers, and effectively upgrading and appropriately expanding China’s economic output.

Li Qiang, Cai Qi and Ding Xuexiang, members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, attended the meeting. Li briefed on the economic work in the first half of the year and the planning for the second half.

Leaders of eight non-CPC parties, head of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and a representative of personages without party affiliation made remarks respectively at the meeting, raising suggestions on topics such as promoting high-level opening-up, accelerating the development of artificial intelligence, speeding up the development of biomedicine, and promoting new-type consumption.

Xi said that under the CPC leadership, the Chinese economy continued to recover in the first half of the year, with solid progress made in high-quality development.

China’s economic recovery speed took the lead among major economies, with sound economic fundamentals unchanged in the long run and a bright prospect, he said.

To cope with prominent challenges in the economic operation, efforts should be made to strengthen macro-control and expand demand, Xi said.

He called for pushing forward industrial upgrades and optimization, deepening reform and high-level opening up, preventing and defusing risks in key areas, and ensuring and improving people’s wellbeing, so as to realize continuous economic growth and development goals in 2023.

Xi expressed gratitude to the non-CPC parties and personages as their proposals and suggestions on major issues, such as restoring and expanding consumption, accelerating high-quality development of digital economy, and promoting the optimization and upgrading of key industrial chains of manufacturing industry, had provided important references for the scientific decision-making of the CPC Central Committee.

He expressed the hope that they will continue to comprehensively understand and accurately grasp the policies and arrangements made by the CPC Central Committee, make research and offer suggestions on major issues including infrastructure construction, modernization of the industrial system, and reforms in key areas, and build consensus and confidence to further stimulate vitality of business entities

Shayne Heffernan

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