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Experts look ahead to China’s economy

Author  :  DUAN DANJIE, WU NAN, MING HAIYING and ZHANG YIXIN     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2021-01-07

China’s top leaders have set the economic priorities for next year in the key Central Economic Work Conference held from Dec. 16 to 18 in Beijing.

In a speech at the conference, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, reviewed the country’s economic work in 2020, analyzed the current situation, and arranged the economic work for next year.

Recognizing the country’s hard-won economic achievements this year amid effective control of COVID-19, the meeting outlined specific tasks for 2021, a year of special importance as it marks the beginning of China’s new five-year plan period and the 100th anniversary of the CPC’s founding.

From a global perspective, China has made three important achievements this year, said Jin Bei, a research fellow from the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). In terms of growth and efficiency, China has become the only major economy in the world to achieve positive growth in 2020. In terms of equality, in 2020 the country completed the task of eliminating absolute poverty. In terms of safety, China has made achievements in public health security, anti-pandemic efforts, and social security and stability.

The country will make efforts to build more independent and controllable industrial and supply chains, as the security and stability of industrial and supply chains is the foundation of forming a new development paradigm, according to the meeting.

In order to achieve this, Zhang Zhongjia, secretary of the leading Party members’ group of the Hubei Academy of Social Sciences, said that the relationship between government and market, international and domestic markets, short-term and long-term growth, independence and collaboration should be handled well.

The meeting listed anti-monopoly supervision as one of the key tasks for next year, vowing to prevent disorderly capital expansion.

Sheng Bin, dean of the School of Economics at Nankai University, said that this indicates the importance of and concern with competition policy, which is an inherent requirement for achieving economic and social stability and high-quality development.

Jiang Qiping, a research fellow from the Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics at CASS, suggested strengthening the regulation of illegal monopoly behavior in accordance with the country’s anti-monopoly law. In light of the mixed operation of technology companies and financial companies, it is important to strengthen industry and business management, and improve regulatory capabilities and law enforcement capabilities.

The Central Economic Work Conference once again emphasized that financing needs to support the real economy, said He Dexu, director of the National Academy of Economic Strategy at CASS. It is necessary to create an accommodative and sound monetary and financial environment and implement a prudent monetary policy for the development of the real economy, so as to increase financial support for the real economy, and build an effective channel for doing so. It is also important to coordinate the development of the real economy and financial risk prevention, while providing targeted solutions to prominent problems with providing financial support for the real economy.

As part of China’s commitment to tackling the global issue of climate change, the country will seize time to formulate an action plan for peaking carbon dioxide emissions before 2030, and support areas with favorable conditions to peak the emissions ahead of the schedule, according to the meeting.

China has previously announced that it will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

This is a very arduous task, said Li Zuojun, vice director-general of the Research Institute for Resources and Environment Policies at the Development Research Center of the State Council. At present, China is actively implementing the national strategy to address climate change, adjusting the industrial structure, and optimizing the energy structure, which will lay a solid foundation for the work in the coming years.

Editor: Yu Hui

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