By Lu Yanan from People’s Daily,
BEIJING: China’s economic fundamentals sustaining sound development remain unchanged, Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission told the People’s Daily in a recent interview, adding that China is confident, able, and conditioned to realize the expectation on the yearly economic and social development.
Ning, also head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said so when elaborating on China’s economic status and how China will realize its annual economic tasks when facing with new challenges.
His statement also came after the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee convened a symposium recently to analyze the current economic trend and plan for the development in the second half of 2018.
According to the symposium, China’s economy maintained stable operation with changes, and is facing new challenges amid the changing external environment. The Political Bureau urged the country to identify the major contradictions and make targeted measures to address them.
When asked about the slowdown, or even consecutive drop in the growth of some economic indexes since the second quarter, Ning responded that part of the economic indexes saw fluctuations this July, including investment growth and consumption growth, but China’s economy is still running within a reasonable range.
“However, given the new situation where the economy maintained stable operation with changes, we must attach more importance to such fluctuations to prevent the temporary changes from developing into a downward trend,” he pointed out, adding that this is also the background for the Political Bureau meeting to plan the economy for the second half year, and its new demand to maintain steady growth.
The CPC Central Committee has made targeted measures to prevent drastic fluctuations of economic indexes and cope with the downward pressure revealed by some figures, according to the official.
The country will, first of all, maintain stable and healthy economic development, stick to positive fiscal policies and prudent monetary policies, make its policies more forward-thinking, flexible and effective, and stabilize employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign capital, investment and expectation, he elaborated.
China will take making up short boards as a priority in deepening the supply-side structural reform, said Ning, noting at the same time that there are still many fields that China needs to get better at, such as improving infrastructure in ecological and environmental protection and livelihood.
Ning added that the world’s second largest economy will also give a bigger role of finance in the development of real economy. It will better combine this role with the prevention and dissolving of financial risks, so as to create a more favorable financing environment for real economy and make financing easier and cheaper.
The country is about to keep promoting reform and opening up and continue to deepen the reform of streamlining administration, delegating powers and improving administration, the reform of state owned enterprises, and the reform of the financial sector. The opening efforts will be further enhanced for greater effects.
China will stay resolute to solve issues in the property market, as it will tailor different policies for different cities, facilitate the balance between supply and demand, and accelerate the building of a long-term mechanism that promotes stable and healthy development of the real estate market.
The country will keep guaranteeing and improving people’s livelihood, he said, adding that more efforts will be made to stabilize employment, and ensure adequate spending on salaries, education, and social security.
“The government work report issued earlier this year has made detailed deployment for improving livelihood, and the deployment must be fully implemented. The country should take concrete measures and make practical achievements to enhance people’s sense of gain,” he stressed.
These are major tasks for China to cope with the changes while maintaining stable development, and keep economic stability with a good momentum for growth, the official concluded.
China’s economic fundamentals sustaining sound development remain unchanged, and on the supply side, China’s comparative advantages in productive factors remain unchanged, Ning underlined when asked about China’s potential to maintain steady growth and complete annual tasks.
The labor resource is still its largest advantage, he elaborated, explaining that China has a labor force of over 900 million people, and 700 million of them are currently employed, over 170 million of whom have received higher education or acquired professional skills.
“In addition, China sees 8 million college graduates each year. It brings pressure to employment, but is a treasury as well. We are totally capable of turning demographic dividend into talent dividend,” said Ning.
In addition, China holds advantage in capital. “Our capital has grown from inadequate to sufficient, and we have enough capital in finance, industries, and infrastructure,” the official told the People’s Daily.
“We hold advantage in the area of territory. As a broad country with vast regional differences, China possesses huge potential in the intensive exploitation of land that many countries cannot compare,” he added.
China, in Ning’s opinion, has other advantages that are emerging. With the implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy, the rapidly growing industries of information and technology are building new advantages for competitiveness. These are not only short-term but also long-term advantages.
China is a market with 1.4 billion population and the largest group of middle-income earners, and it is going through a major consumption upgrading. All these create huge resilience and inner power for the stability of China’s economy.
Besides, China has sufficient macroeconomic policy instruments. The debt ratio of the Chinese government is at a low level in the global context, and the country still enjoys a large space for macro-control thanks to its rejection to the scattergun approach in recent years, according to him.
Ning added that China has gained rich experience in macro-control, especially in the past 40 years of reform and opening up.
The so-called “China threat” rhetoric fanned up in the international community is groundless, and so is the “collapse” of China, he stressed.
“Faced with the changes in stable development, we will take targeted measures and policies, and we are completely capable of overcoming all the difficulties,” Ning concluded at last.