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Key Points of 2020 Government Work Report

2020-05-23 19:35:00 Source:China Today Author:
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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers a government work report at the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

China's national legislature started its annual session on the morning of May 22 in Beijing. Premier Li Keqiang delivered a government work report on behalf of the State Council to the legislature for deliberation at the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress, held at the Great Hall of the People. Here are the highlights of the report.

Work Review

- The economy remained stable overall. Gross domestic product (GDP) reached RMB 99.1 trillion, representing a 6.1 percent increase over the previous year. Around 13.52 million new urban jobs were added, and the surveyed unemployment rate was below 5.3 percent. Consumer prices rose by 2.9 percent. A basic equilibrium was maintained in the balance of payments.

- The economic structure continued to improve, and the development priorities of regions are better aligned. Total retail sales of consumer goods exceeded RMB 40 trillion, and consumption continued to serve as the main engine driving growth. Grain output was kept above 650 million metric tons. For the first time, permanent urban residents exceeded 60 percent of the population.

- New growth drivers became stronger. Business startups and innovation continued to surge nationwide, with an average net increase of over 10,000 businesses per day.

- Major headway was made in reform and opening up. China cut taxes and fees by RMB 2.36 trillion, going well beyond the target of RMB 2 trillion.

- Pivotal progress was achieved in the three critical battles. The rural poor population was reduced by 11.09 million, and the poverty headcount ratio fell to 0.6 percent. Pollution prevention and control efforts continued, with further reductions in the discharge of major pollutants and overall improvements in the environment. The financial sector remained stable.

- Living standards continued to improve. Per capita disposable personal income topped RMB 30,000. Basic old-age insurance, health insurance, and subsistence allowance standards were raised.

Main Targets

- 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.

- China will prioritize stabilizing employment and ensuring people's livelihood this year, aiming to create more than 9 million new urban jobs and keep the registered urban unemployment rate of around 5.5 percent.

- China has set its CPI increase at around 3.5 percent for the year of 2020.

- China will ensure the elimination of poverty among all rural residents living below the current poverty line and in all poor counties this year.

- China will pursue a prudent monetary policy in a more flexible and appropriate way.

- China will work to improve the consumption willingness and capabilities of domestic residents and support the recovery and development of consumer service sectors.

- China's deficit-to-GDP ratio this year is projected at more than 3.6 percent, with a deficit increase of RMB 1 trillion over last year.

- China will pursue a prudent monetary policy in a more flexible and appropriate way.

- China will work to improve the consumption willingness and capabilities of domestic residents and support the recovery and development of consumer service sectors.

Vitalizing Market Entities

- China will further cut taxes and fees. China will continue implementing reductions of VAT rates and the share of employees’ basic old-age insurance paid by enterprises, and China will make further tax and fee cuts of about RMB 500 billion. The payment of corporate income taxes by micro and small businesses and self-employed individuals will be postponed to next year. China expects that these measures will see additional savings of more than RMB 2.5 trillion for enterprises throughout the year.

- China will reduce enterprises’ production and operating costs. The policy of reducing electricity prices for general industrial and commercial businesses by 5 percent will be extended to the end of the year. The rates for broadband and dedicated Internet access services will be cut by 15 percent on average. Rents for state-owned premises will be lowered or exempted, and all other types of property owners are encouraged to also reduce, waive, or defer rent payments, and they will receive policy support from the government in doing so.

- China will increase financial support to keep business operations stable. The policy allowing micro, small, and medium businesses to postpone principal and interest repayments on loans will be further extended till the end of March next year—payments on all inclusive loans of micro and small businesses eligible for this policy should also be deferred, and other businesses facing financial difficulties can discuss similar terms with their creditors. China will encourage banks to substantially increase credit loans, first-time loans, and loan renewals without repayment of principal for micro and small businesses. The scope of the government financing guaranty will be expanded and guaranty fees will be reduced significantly. Large commercial banks should increase inclusive finance lending to micro and small businesses by more than 40 percent.

Consumption and Investment

- China will promote the recovery of consumption. China will stabilize employment, promote income growth and ensure people’s basic needs are met to encourage and enable consumer spending.

- China will expand effective investment. This year, RMB 3.75 trillion of special local government bonds will be issued, an increase of RMB1.6 trillion increase over last year. China will develop next-generation information networks and expand 5G applications. China will build more charging facilities and promote wider use of new-energy automobiles. China will begin the renovation of 39,000 old urban residential communities and support the installation of elevators in residential buildings and the development of meal, cleaning, and other community services. China will redouble efforts to develop major transportation and water conservancy projects, and increase national railway development capital by RMB 100 billion.

- China will step up implementation of China’s regional development strategies. China will implement a package of policies to support Hubei’s development, helping it ensure employment, public wellbeing, and normal operations, and spurring the full recovery of economic and social activity there.

Poverty Reduction

- China will win the fight against poverty. China will deepen collaboration on poverty alleviation between the eastern and western regions, and intensify assistance to targeted poor areas from central Party and government departments, offices of other political parties, as well as state-owned enterprises, public institutions, and universities under the central government.

- China will bolster agricultural production. China will keep total crop acreage and grain output stable, raise the multiple cropping index, increase the minimum purchase price of rice, give more rewards to major grain-producing counties.

- China will create more channels for rural residents to find employment and increase their incomes.


- China will significantly shorten its negative list for foreign investment.

- China has stressed the joint implementation of the China-U.S. phase-one economic and trade agreement.

- China will focus on high-quality joint building of the Belt and Road, and carry out mutually beneficial cooperation.

- China will resolutely safeguard the multilateral trading regime and actively participate in reform of the World Trade Organization.

- China will further stabilize foreign trade and actively leverage the role of foreign capital.

- China will establish new pilot free trade zones (FTZs) and integrated bonded areas in the country's central and western regions.

People's Livelihood

- China will increase the basic pension for retirees and the minimum basic old-age pension for rural and non-working urban residents. China will ensure the payments of pension fund on time and in full to nearly 300 million people.

- China will stick to its principle of "housing is for living in, not for speculation." The country will implement city-specific policies to promote steady and healthy development of the real estate market.

- China will beef up efforts in restoring hog production.

- China will severely punish the illegal hunting and trading of wild animals.

- China will place priorities on curbing pollution in a law-based, scientific and targeted way, and intensify efforts in fighting air pollution in key areas.

- It is imperative and well within China's ability to ensure the food supply for 1.4 billion Chinese people through the country's own efforts. To bolster agricultural production, the country will increase its area of high-standard cropland by 80 million mu (5.33 million hectares).

Taiwan, HK and Macao

- China will resolutely oppose and deter any separatist activities seeking "Taiwan independence." China will improve institutional arrangements, policies and measures to encourage cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation, deepen cross-Straits integrated development and protect the wellbeing of Taiwan compatriots.

- The Chinese central government will support the country's Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions in developing the economies and improving living standards.




COVID-19 Prevention, Control

- China stands ready to work with other countries to strengthen international cooperation on epidemic control.

- China plans to issue RMB 1 trillion of government bonds for COVID-19 control.

- China will spare no efforts in its regular prevention and control of COVID-19, nor will it lose any time in advancing its economic and social development agenda.

- China will redouble its efforts to minimize the losses resulting from COVID-19 and fulfill the targets and tasks for economic and social development this year.




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