China firm on achieving development goals of 2020, though setting no specific growth target
China will work to ensure achieving the development goals of winning the battle against poverty and completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects this year, though setting no specific economic growth target for 2020, according to a government work report submitted to the national legislature for deliberation on Friday.
The decision of dropping a specific growth target was made because the country will face some factors that are difficult to predict in its development due to the great uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment, Premier Li Keqiang said when delivering the report at the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress.
"Not setting a specific target for economic growth will enable all of us to concentrate on ensuring stability on the six fronts and security in the six areas," Li said.
"We must focus on maintaining security in the six areas in order to ensure stability on the six fronts. By doing so, we will be able to keep the fundamentals of the economy stable," he said. "Maintaining security will deliver the stability needed to pursue progress, thus laying a solid foundation for accomplishing our goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects."
The six fronts refer to employment, the financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and expectations. The six areas refer to job security, basic living needs, operations of market entities, food and energy security, stable industrial and supply chains, and the normal functioning of primary-level governments.
China will give priority to stabilizing employment and ensuring living standards, with the report unveiling detailed targets, policies, and measures.
China aims to add over 9 million new urban jobs in 2020, and keep the surveyed urban unemployment rate at around 6 percent.
The country will ensure the elimination of poverty among all rural residents living below the current poverty line and in all poor counties.
China plans to set its fiscal deficit above 3.6 percent of GDP, resulting in a deficit rise of 1 trillion yuan (US$141 billion) from last year. It will also issue 1 trillion yuan of government bonds for COVID-19 control.
The country will further cut tax and fees for enterprises with an aim of reducing corporate burden by over 2.5 trillion yuan, while stepping up financial support for stable business operations.
"At present and for some time to come, China will face risks and challenges like never before," Li said. "However, we have unique political and institutional strengths, a strong economic foundation, enormous market potential, and hundreds of millions of intelligent and hardworking people."
"If we face challenges head-on, boost confidence in development, create strong impetus for growth, and preserve and make the most of this important period of strategic opportunity for our development, we will, without doubt, be able to make it through this challenging time," he said. "The horizons for China's development are full of promise."
China will redouble its efforts to minimize the losses resulting from COVID-19, and keep its policies forceful and sustainable.
"We have both the resolve and the ability to accomplish the targets and tasks set for this year," Li said.