II. Overall Requirements, Main Objectives, and Policy Directions for Economic and Social Development in 2020
The year 2020 is the final year for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and for concluding the 13th Five-Year Plan. Our economic and social development work this year will take on added importance, as we seek to complete the first Centenary Goal and to lay a good foundation for progress on the 14th Five-Year Plan and the second Centenary Goal.
1. Overall Requirements
Under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we must follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, implement in full the guiding principles of the Party’s 19th National Congress and the second, third, and fourth plenary sessions of its 19th Central Committee, and firmly act on the Party’s basic theory, line, and policy. We must strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership; enhance our confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership. As we focus on the objectives and tasks for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, we need to coordinate the prevention and control of covid-19 with the task of economic and social development. While ensuring regular prevention and control efforts, we must stay committed to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability and to the new development philosophy. Keeping supply-side structural reform as the main task, we need to draw on the impetus of reform and opening up to promote high-quality development. We need to secure progress in the three critical battles and step up efforts to ensure stability on six fronts and maintain security in six areas.* We need to firmly pursue the strategy of expanding domestic demand, ensure economic development and social stability, and make sure that we accomplish the targets and tasks for winning the battle against poverty and bring to completion the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. (*The six areas refer to job security, basic living needs, operations of market entities, food and energy security, stable industrial and supply chains, and the normal functioning of primary-level governments.)
In carrying out specific tasks, we need to remain mindful of worst-case scenarios and fully prepare ourselves, both mentally and in our work, for the occurrence of all possible scenarios. It is important to fully appreciate the inherent unity between ensuring stability on the six fronts and maintaining security in the six areas. We must focus on maintaining security in the six areas in order to ensure stability on the six fronts. By doing so, we will be able to keep the fundamentals of the economy stable. Maintaining security will deliver the stability needed to pursue progress, thus laying a solid foundation for accomplishing our goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. With a focus on maintaining security in the six areas, we need to intensify the implementation of macro policies. We will ensure full implementation of the policies we have already announced to tackle pressing problems and difficulties, and roll out new counter policies in light of new developments, so that we are able to ensure that people’s basic needs are met. At the same time, we must focus on our main objectives, employ well-conceived tactics and methods, and ensure that we can respond to external risks and meet domestic challenges, solve both short-term and long-standing problems, and give full play to the role of market and better leverage the role of government. We must do everything within our capacity, be adept at turning challenges into opportunities, and make sure that the decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee and the State Council are put into action and achieve real results.
2. Main Objectives
In accordance with the afore-mentioned requirements and considerations, and adhering to objective economic laws and a pragmatic and realistic approach, we have taken into account our international and domestic imperatives, our present and long-term needs, and what is required and what is possible, and have set the following main objectives for economic and social development in 2020.
Giving top priority to stabilizing employment and ensuring living standards, winning the battle against poverty, and working to achieve the objectives and tasks for moderate prosperity Our main considerations in setting this goal were as follows: China will face some factors in its development that are difficult to predict due to the great uncertainty regarding the covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment. Not setting a quantified target for economic growth this year will allow all sectors to continue implementing the decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee and the State Council and keep the focus of work on the six areas of security and pursuing high-quality growth, so that we can solve the main problems and difficulties facing us at the present moment. At the same time, not quantifying the economic growth target does not mean that we will not pursue economic growth. Efforts to ensure employment and basic living needs, eliminate poverty, achieve moderate prosperity, and forestall and defuse risks all need to be supported by economic growth.
Over 9 million new urban jobs, a surveyed national urban unemployment rate of approximately 6%, and a registered urban jobless rate of around 5.5% In setting these objectives, our main considerations were: Regarding the target for new urban jobs, the shocks caused by covid-19, as well as mounting downward pressure on the economy, mean that the pressure on the creation of urban jobs has grown significantly. However, given the level of employment demand among new entrants to the workforce in the cities, it is not only necessary but essential to maintain a considerable level of job growth, and this also embodies our jobs-first policy orientation. With regard to unemployment rates, although the impact of the epidemic is likely to persist for some time to come, we have the confidence and the ability to forestall and defuse risks of large-scale job losses and thus keep employment stable.
A CPI increase of approximately 3.5% In setting this objective, we have taken into account the following factors: Consumer price increases from 2019 are exerting a significant carryover effect on prices this year, while the adverse impact of the epidemic has added some new inflationary factors, with the upward pressure on prices remaining relatively high. In projecting a CPI increase of around 3.5%, we have also taken into account the need to keep market expectations stable.
Personal income growth that is basically in step with economic growth. This objective is based on the following considerations: It is compatible with the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and it will better serve our people’s growing need for a better life and embody the people-centered development philosophy. Moreover, with implementation of the rural revitalization strategy making progress and policies and measures to boost personal incomes gradually taking effect, this year’s target for personal income growth is an attainable one.
More stable and higher-quality imports and exports and a basic equilibrium in the balance of payment. Our primary considerations for this objective are: Given the relative difficulty of maintaining growth in foreign trade in 2020, we not only need to strive to promote steady growth in foreign trade and keep market expectations and business confidence stable, but also must move quickly to develop new competitive strengths and encourage high-quality development of foreign trade.
A further drop in energy consumption per unit of GDP and discharge of major pollutants, with major efforts being made to fulfill the targets and tasks in the 13th Five-Year Plan. By the end of last year, we had achieved 87.1% of the 15% reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP set out in the 13th Five-Year Plan. However, the tasks for this year remain formidable, particularly as the impact of the epidemic on economic growth is likely to be greater than the impact on total energy consumption. Much hard work will be required in order to achieve the target.