Conference paves way for economic upgrading
In keeping with the additional importance it acquired due to the global economy struggling in the face of the COVID-19 storm, the Central Economic Work Conference which concluded on Friday laid out a navigation chart for the world's second-largest economy to ride the storm as well as help anchor the global economy.
The government has taken a series of measures to help the domestic economy keep on course despite the strict pandemic prevention and control measures, which the conference indicated could extend well into next year.
These measures have facilitated a stronger-than-expected economic recovery, prompting some economists to raise their forecast for China's growth for next year, and say the country's robust recovery will be a crucial stabilizer for the global economy.
Although economic activities have gradually returned to normal in the country, there remain, as the conference warned, many uncertainties including new infection waves and a volatile external environment. No wonder the conference stressed that to navigate the choppy waters, the country needs to seize the opportunities and avoid the risks.
As the conference said, to seize the opportunities and realize high-quality, sustainable development in 2021 and beyond, China will make greater efforts to build more independent and controllable industrial and supply chains, strengthen national strategic technologies through efforts including giving full play to the State's role in organizing major science and technology innovations, ensure grain security, and check monopolies and the disorderly expansion of capital.
While boosting domestic consumption remains a vital part of the "dual circulation" development paradigm, the government will formulate an action plan to ensure carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality is achieved before 2060.
Promoting employment, improving the social security system, optimizing the income distribution structure, facilitating the expansion of the middle-income group, and reforming the hukou (household registration) system are key to promoting qualitative growth. The government will also continue to work to balance the pandemic control measures and economic growth.
To maintain necessary support for economic recovery, China will keep its macro policy consistent and stable in 2021, and will continue to implement proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy.
Such support is needed to ensure robust yet qualitative growth. And the more robust the internal circulation or domestic economy is, the more easily can it integrate with the external circulation or global economy — which is what the "dual circulation" development paradigm aims to achieve.
As the only major economy expected to achieve positive growth this year, China looks set to contribute more to the post-pandemic global recovery by pursuing high-quality growth to further boost its economy, which incidentally has been the main driver of global growth over the past few years.