China plans to achieve “about five percent” growth.
According to the government, the Chinese economy is expected to grow by “about five percent” this year.
The focus of the week-long meeting of about 3,000 delegates in the Great Hall of the People is on the formation of the new government.
Premier Li Keqiang introduced the growth target in his statement of accounts at the beginning of this year’s session of the People’s Congress of China on Sunday in Beijing. After the abrupt end of the zero Covid policy three months ago, the prime minister expects the second largest economy to recover significantly.
Growth of 5.5 percent had already been targeted in the previous year, but the target was ultimately not met due to the burden of lockdowns, forced quarantines and mass testing. Only three percent is achievable in 2022 — the second-worst growth rate since 1976 and slightly better than 2.2 percent in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
Those close to Jinping were promoted to government positions
The focus of the week-long meeting of about 3,000 delegates in the Great Hall of the People is on the formation of the new government. Party leader Xi Jinping will continue to consolidate his power as his inner circle relocates to government offices. At the party congress in October, the 69-year-old defied age and previous term limits and enshrined his permanent leadership role in the party’s constitution.
After two terms in office, Premier Li Keqiang, who is 67 years old, is retiring for reasons of age. He also does not belong to Xi Jinping’s camp. The former leader of the Shanghai Party, Li Qiang, 63, has been chosen as the new head of government. Xi’s longtime close followers are said to have economic expertise. He is not seen as a dogmatic organizer or simply a “yes man”, but rather as a pragmatic manager.
Deputy prime ministers and senior positions in the treasury, the powerful Reform and Development Commission (NDRC), the central bank, and the banking and securities regulator were also replaced.
Economist He Lifeng could take on the role of the outgoing Liu He, who led trade talks with the United States, as another vice premier in charge of economics and finance. According to unconfirmed press reports, the old banker Zhou Hexin could replace the former governor, Yi Gang, at the helm of the central bank. However, experts missed the international experience of both people.
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