Business & Economy

China sets a 2021 growth target above 6%, hardens Hong Kong stance

Update 1: Adds Hong Kong policy plans, updates headline

Beijing, Mar 5 (efe-epa).- China established a 2021 growth target for “above 6 percent,” according to the government’s work report, to which EFE had access, delivered to the National People’s Assembly, which began Friday.

The document said the objective is set taking into account “the recovery of economic activity” – GDP grew by 2.3 percent in 2020 – and also sets an inflation growth target of about 3 percent.

“This growth target will empower all of us to devote full energy to promoting reform, innovation and high-quality development,” the report said.

In addition, China is setting the goal of creating more than 11 million urban jobs, the document added.

The country is also set to achieve a basic balance in the balance of payments and promises not to make major changes in its macroeconomic policy this year.

Likewise, the report said the growth of the item for Research and Development will be an annual 7 percent.

The report also sees a decrease of about 3 percent in energy consumption per unit of GDP and that clean heating will account for 60 percent of all heating in northern China, one of the most polluting areas in the country.

The government report also ensures China will continue to implement “in its entirety” the so-called “One Country, Two Systems” principle that governs relations with the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong.

China “will resolutely guard against and deter external forces’ interference” in Hong Kong, the Chinese premier said during the congress.

“We will improve the relevant systems and mechanisms of the two special administrative regions for enforcing the [Chinese] constitution and the Basic Law (of Hong Kong); and implement the legal systems and enforcement mechanisms for the two regions to safeguard national security,” Li Keqiang said.

On Thursday, China announced that the NPC – the country’s legislature – would discuss a proposal to overhaul Hong Kong’s electoral system, which seems to be aimed at reducing the political leverage of the opposition.

Wang Chen, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, submitted “a draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” to the NPC on Friday for deliberation, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The NPC is expected to greenlight the proposal before the end of the annual political event, following which the NPC Standing Committee will draw up the legislation that it will impose on the semi-autonomous city. EFE-EPA


Related Articles

Back to top button