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China’s Central Economic Work Conference drafts blueprint

Author  :  ZHONG ZHE     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2019-01-07

China is still and will be in an important period of strategic opportunity for development for a long time to come, according to China’s annual Central Economic Work Conference held in Beijing on Dec. 19–21.

Looking to the next year, the conference proposed to make progress on the basis of steady growth, adhering to new concepts of development and facilitating high-quality growth. It also stressed supply-side structural reform as the main approach, deepening marketoriented reform and expanding high-level openness.

Quan Heng, vice president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said that although international investment and trade rules are in the midst of changes and there are some uncertainties in the world economy, economic globalization and international economic cooperation are still the general trends. China should seize this important opportunity to promote economic globalization toward a more inclusive, open and sustainable direction, participating in economic globalization and improving global economic governance.

At present, new technologies, products, models and industries are constantly emerging. Consumption upgrade is a general trend, especially in the service industry, which is maintaining rapid growth. Industrial upgrading has generated new demand, and China’s manufacturing industry, based on a sound industrial support system, continuous enhancement of innovation capacity and rapid industrialization capabilities, cannot be easily replaced, said Li Xiaohua, a research fellow from the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Although the international environment is complex and changing, an international production network has been formed, and the industries of the world are interdependent. As such, opening up will remain the main direction, Li concluded.

The conference put forward seven priorities for the next year, including promoting the highquality growth of the manufacturing industry, a strong domestic market, strategies for rural vitalization, coordinated regional development, reform of the economic system, all-round opening up, and the strengthening and improvement of people’s livelihood.

Xu Hongcai, deputy chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that fiscal policy should be more active and effective in the future, expanding fiscal expenditures and reducing taxes and fees.

Quan said that with the implementation of the new development concepts, the continuous economic restructuring and the supply-side structural reforms, China’s economy has shifted from high-speed to high-quality growth. The integrated development of the Beijing-TianjinHebei Area, the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Yangtze River Delta, and the GuangdongHong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has laid a good foundation for the long-term resilience and sustainability of the Chinese economy.

Special attention should be paid to regional coordination strategies, which are essentially engines of economic growth, said Cao Heping, a professor from the School of Economics at Peking University. China’s central and western regions have rich resources. They must actively seek regional development models dominated by inland service industries and achieve a balanced transformation of regional development strategy to release more of the regional economies’ potential.

Feng Kaiwen, a professor from the College of Economics and Management at China Agricultural University, said that national rejuvenation and economic take-off can mean the economic modernization of a country. The economic modernization of a country is inseparable from the development of agriculture and the vitalization of rural areas.

It is necessary to cultivate new business entities such as family farms and cooperatives for rural people, Feng suggested. He also proposed solving the difficulties that such small-scaled entities encounter in production and management.

Editor: Yu Hui

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