Home » “Great concern”: sluggish economy is the focus of the Chinese People’s Congress

“Great concern”: sluggish economy is the focus of the Chinese People’s Congress

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© AP

The annual People’s Congress starts in China on Tuesday. One of the most important topics this year will be the economy: it has been sluggish for some time in the country with more than 1 billion inhabitants.

Under China’s constitution, the National People’s Congress is the highest state body and the country’s only legislative house, but it falls under the leadership of the Communist Party. According to official figures, the plenum currently has 2,956 members, who are not freely elected. The meeting of top officials and delegates of the Chinese Communist Party starts on Tuesday and lasts until next Monday. A week is slightly shorter than normal for the conference.

According to official information, the report on the work of the government is at the top of the agenda, together with the economy. The economic and social development goals for the coming year are also a key focus. The government plans to unveil its economic growth target for 2024, which many observers are eagerly awaiting. Some experts expect the government led by state and party leader Xi Jinping to set an ambitious growth target.

“Great care”

According to the spokesperson, economic issues are a “major concern” for the delegates. This includes employment for young people, including recent graduates. Youth unemployment in China is high and the Chinese statistics agency has stopped publishing figures because they are said to be too politically sensitive.

But China, the world‘s largest exporter, is also struggling with domestic weakness and a cooling global economy. In 2023, the world‘s second-largest economy grew by 5.2 percent, which is the weakest growth in decades. The country is faced with problems in the extensive real estate sector, among other things.

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No traditional press conference

Surprisingly, the Prime Minister’s traditional press conference at the end of the People’s Congress this year was canceled. Prime Minister Li Qiang will therefore not hold the meeting with journalists at the end of the week, it was said. In previous years, the press conference was always a rare opportunity for the head of government to answer questions from reporters.

According to Lou Qinjian, the press conference will not take place in the coming years unless there are special circumstances. However, journalists will have more opportunities to ask questions of ministers and other government officials, he said.

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