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China Strives to achieve annual economic, social development goals despite epidemic

Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 23 Février 2020

Through properly preventing and controlling the epidemic and sustaining economic growth, China will surely cope with the short-term impact of the epidemic and achieve this year’s goals for economic and social development.

By Lu Ya’nan, People’s Daily

China’s economy is showing two major signs of development when the country is at a critical moment of epidemic prevention and control – impacted offline business in the transport, culture, tourism, hotel, catering, film and entertainment industries and booming new models of online consumption, entertainment and education.

In this sense, it calls for dialectical thinking in evaluating the current Chinese economy. Short-term impacts are unavoidable amid the epidemic, while the country is also able to turn pressure into the power for economic transformation and upgrading.

The novel coronavirus pneumonia is a “black swan”, especially when China plans to finish the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve all the goals set by its 13th Five-Year Plan this year. This has composed a very heavy task for China’s economic and social development.

In addition, the Chinese economy is facing rising downward economic pressure amid intertwined structural, institutional and cyclical problems and going through a pivotal stage for transforming its growth model, improving its economic structure, and fostering new drivers of growth.

Against such backdrop, the country must ensure effectiveness of epidemic prevention and control while fulfilling tasks regarding reform, development and stability.

It must keep a close eye on economic operation and the possible impacts of the epidemic on the economy, stabilize employment, the financial market, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and expectations, and prepare for all kinds of complex and difficult situations. Only full preparation can reduce the impacts of the epidemic to the lowest.

The epidemic’s impacts are short-term, and China has the confidence, conditions and capability to achieve its annual economic targets. The virus-related disruption is periodical, and the economic fundamentals sustaining sound development will remain unchanged.

The short-term impacts of the epidemic will never be able to shake an economy of nearly 100 trillion yuan ($14.37 trillion). Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have voiced confidence in the resilience of the Chinese economy.

With the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the advantages of the socialism with Chinese characteristics, a solid material and technical foundation accumulated in the reform and opening-up, and the successful experiences in the battle against SARS, the 1.4 billion Chinese people are bound to win the battle against the epidemic with solidarity and keep the economy performing within a reasonable range.

China has enough policy space to hedge against the short-term impact of the epidemic and bring the market back to normal.

The country has enhanced counter-cyclical adjustment to cope with the possible temporary obstacles facing enterprises that have to postpone resumption of work. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and other departments for the first time jointly adopted the policy of special refinancing and government-funded interest subsidies, which will lower the financing costs of enterprises in the production to less than 1.6 percent.

Moreover, local governments across the country have issued policies to help enterprises stabilize employment. For instance, the companies that don’t launch large-scale layoff will get a 50-percent refund of their unemployment insurance premiums paid in the last year. Such policies will largely relieve the pressure of enterprises, boost confidence of the market, and stabilize investment expectations.

Apart from the space for maneuver, China’s economy will also climb up as it strives to achieve industrial transformation and upgrading through the synergetic efforts made by industrial chains.

For instance, the huge number of orders received by enterprises are forcing them to form cross-regional industry coalitions with other companies on the industrial chain based on the Internet of Things (IoT); the decline of traditional consumption is also coercing catering enterprises to develop online delivery services and foster new growth drivers based on community consumption. Growers of fruits and vegetables are embracing e-commerce to expand their market as traditional sales channel encounter obstacles.

One can always find more solutions than problems. By bolstering areas of weakness and seizing opportunities, the Chinese economy, which has weathered numerous ups and downs, will definitely tackle the current challenges.

The Chinese economy shall be evaluated from a comprehensive, dialectical and long-term perspective. It is like a great river that always marches forward, despite twists and turns along the course.

Through properly preventing and controlling the epidemic and sustaining economic growth, China will surely cope with the short-term impact of the epidemic and achieve this year’s goals for economic and social development.

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