March 5, 2019
Trade wars and need to increase consumer base seen as reasons for lagging growth.
China will aim for a lower growth target of between 6 to 6.5 per cent this year as the economy loses steam due to the ongoing trade war with the US and weaker domestic and global demand, according to the Straits Times.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is set to announce this when he delivers the government’s work report at the Great Hall of The People on Tuesday (March 5) morning.
The world’s second largest economy expanded at its slowest pace in 28 years to grow at a clip of 6.6 per cent last year, down from 6.8 per cent the year before (2017).
Economists expect growth this year to ease to below 6.3 per cent.
In recent weeks, Beijing has loosened credit, rolled out more infrastructure projects and cut taxes to support the economy.
Mr Li will be addressing nearly 3,000 lawmakers at the opening of the country’s parliament known as the National People’s Congress.
He is set to announce further measures such as steeper tax cuts to help businesses cope with rising costs.
Foreigners keep eye on diplomatic policy, GDP performance
An online survey by China Daily and 25 global media outlets found that China’s foreign policy was the top concern among global internet users.
The survey serves as a barometer of how people worldwide view the two sessions. It asked them to choose the China-related topics they are interested in ahead of the roughly two-week-long event.
The National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body, convene every March for meetings in Beijing.
This year’s annual session of the CPPCC National Committee opened on Sunday. The annual NPC session opens on Tuesday.
The 25 participating overseas media organizations, including London’s Daily Telegraph and Spain’s Agencia EFE, published the questionnaire online to collect responses from their readers.
In the survey, 18.9 percent of the respondents said foreign policy and foreign affairs were the most-anticipated topic, followed by China’s GDP growth (13.6 percent), environmental protection (13.3 percent) and the job market (12 percent). A total of 5,206 people had submitted answers as of Saturday.
Apart from the online questionnaire, global media organizations also submitted written statements, which indicated that ordinary people and the media industry have some topics of interest in common.
Trinh Thanh Thuy, editor-in-chief of Vietnam News, said China’s foreign policy — the top choice of respondents globally — is also “of great interest” for the English-language daily.
Henok Seyoum from the Ethiopian Press Agency said, “China is vigorously projecting soft power and presenting a peaceful image abroad by promoting cultural, educational, sports, tourism and other exchanges.”
The global media community is also closely watching China’s GDP growth and job market.
Mongolia’s Montsame News Agency acknowledged China’s importance in trade as China is responsible for most of the total foreign investment and export volume of Mongolia.
Denys Ivanesko, director of the Ukrainian News Agency, wrote that information on China’s job market is in demand. Ukraine’s well-educated specialists, facing limited job prospects at home in the shadow of an economic crisis, are looking for opportunities abroad, including in China, Ivanesko said.
Environmental protection is another big interest for foreign media. The Athens-Macedonian News Agency in Greece said that “the size of China’s economy means that its decisions will have a global impact in terms of carbon emissions and other pollutants”. China is also expected to “act as a world leader in global initiatives for change”, it said.