China’s annual Congress concludes with focus on economic stability

Beijing, Mar 11 (EFE).- Chinese lawmakers Friday approved a 5.5 percent growth target set by the government for 2022 at the end of the annual session of the 13th National People’s Congress, the country’s parliament.

The lawmakers also okayed the government’s plan to hike its defense expenditure by 7.1 percent 1.45 trillion yuan ($229.51 billion).

Some 3,000 lawmakers gathered at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing from Mar.5 for the session attended by President Xi Jinping.

The defense budget hike comes after a year of tension with Taiwan and amid a military offensive by Russia in Ukraine.

The NPC, which has never rejected a government’s work report since its inception in 1954, approved the objectives outlined by Premier Li Keqiang.

These included containing the consumer price index to 3 percent this year and creating 11 million jobs.

Li proposed keeping the unemployment rate in urban areas to under 5.5 percent. It was 5.1 percent in 2021.

Chairman of the NPC’s Standing Committee Li Zhanshu said China would prepare legal tools to deal with international conflicts and defend itself.

After a recent video of a woman who spent years chained to a wall sparked outrage in the country, the fight against trafficking and crimes against women and children came up for discussion at the meeting.

The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) report promised to take strict measures against the sexual abuse and trafficking of women and children.

Li said China would frame laws on tariffs, online fraud, food safety, and people’s welfare in 2022.

He stressed the importance of maintaining Xi Jinping as the “core” leader and ensuring that the ideology and leadership of the Communist Party of China remain unchanged.

The Communist Party will hold its 20th Congress in autumn, in which President Xi Jinping will possibly be elected for an unprecedented third term as the head of the party and the country. EFE


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