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By Dr. James Eric Black Economic issues certainly have the
Chair, Mercer University Department of Journalism and Media Studies priority on the government’s agenda.
Even considering the effective reopening
The annual sitting of the National to reactivate the national economic
People’s Congress of China and the engine, experts are still divided on
Chinese People’s Political Consultative whether the country as at the early stage
Conference has pledged a package of 4 of a V-shaped recovery.
trillion RMB (US$559 billion) worth of cost
cuts for the country’s struggling factories The government's response to the
and merchants in 2020—the largest economic fallout from the virus before the
economic rescue plan in its history—in an two sessions has totaled just tens of billions
enhanced effort to save jobs that were put at of dollars — a fraction of the trillions of
risk by the coronavirus outbreak. dollars that other countries have thrown at
the pandemic.
2020 is a significant year for China as it
is the deadline of the 13th Five-Year Plan The package announced by Premier Li
(FYP, 2016-2020) as well as the beginning of Keqiang included 1 trillion yuan (US$140
the next FYP. This is particularly the case billion) in additional spending to be raised
because China has set a goal of achieving from a 0.8 percentage point increase in
moderately prosperous society in all respects the central government’s fiscal deficit
by 2020. ratio, taking it to 3.6% of GDP, along
with 1 trillion yuan from sales of special
This year’s two session were postponed treasury bonds. In addition, Beijing has
two months due to the Concid-19 pandemic. also given local governments authority to
Normally, about 5,000 delegates from issue another 1.6 trillion yuan of special
around China travel to Beijing to attend the purpose bonds that will be used to fund
two sessions every March, roughly 10 days of infrastructure construction.
meetings that gather China’s top legislative
body, the National People’s Congress (NPC), The combined cuts in business costs,
and its top advisory committee, the Chinese which include tax exemptions, lower bank
People’s Political Consultative Conference interest rates and waived contributions
(CPPCC). to social welfare funds as well as reduced
prices for utilities such as electricity, will
There were two primary issues at this year’s be carried out on top of 2 trillion RMB in
two sessions. The first one was to keep additional fiscal spending and government
controlling the outbreak of the coronavirus bond issuances.
and making a safe environment for people to
come back to work. And the second one was
to revive and stabilize domestic economy
with fiscal and monetary policies.

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