“We must redouble our efforts”
Because of the difficult to assess situation – caused by the corona virus – China’s leadership has announced that for the first time since 1990 no growth target can be set. Hong Kong has also introduced a new law. At present, the annual meeting is held in the National Congress rounds. About 3,000 delegates from all over China travelled to the capital for the event. Because of the circumstances this year, many things were handled differently than usual. This year, for example, the annual meeting will take place in May and not in March and all delegates have to wear protective masks in the Great Hall of the People.
China is strongly criticized
China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang states in his government report: “Our country is confronted with developments that are difficult to predict”. This is why the growth forecast for 2020 is omitted. There is too much uncertainty about the corona pandemic and the global economic environment is too fragile.
Despite various criticisms, such as that crisis management began only hesitantly and the outbreak of the virus was covered up, head of government Li appeals – the first stage in the fight against the corona virus has been won, but further challenges will follow. Strategic successes have been achieved in the prevention, containment and control of the pandemic, Li pleads. He emphasised that “everyone in the country has contributed to this”. However, one should not lull oneself into a false sense of security, because the end of the pandemic is not yet in sight and the challenges will continue to be very great. Li explains: “We must redouble our efforts to minimise losses from the corona virus – and at the same time achieve our goals for economic and social development”.
Investing against the crisis
The report of the head of government contains measures to strengthen the Chinese economy. These include an investment programme for digital infrastructure, tax breaks and more affordable credit for private companies. Government bonds of around one trillion yuan (128 billion euros) are to be made available to provide additional support for the economy. In addition, military spending for 2020 will be increased by 6.6 percent compared to the previous year.