Xi says China’s economy is ‘resilient’ and will deepen global ties

Xi Jinping said China’s economy was “resilient” and pledged to deepen economic ties with other countries as he begins a third term as head of the ruling Communist Party.

“China cannot develop in isolation from the world. The development of the world also needs China,” Xi said, addressing an audience of Chinese and foreign reporters after the party congress concluded.

The twice-a-decade event came at a time of heightened concern over the world’s second-largest economy, where growth has been hit by tight Covid-19 controls and a deep housing market slump.

Xi tried to allay those concerns by referring to the country’s long-term growth prospects. “Currently, the Chinese economy is resilient. The economic potential is ample. There is plenty of room to manoeuvre,” he said. “Sound long-term economic fundamentals will not change.”

At the party congress, Xi pushed for the “dual circulation” policy – an attempt to insulate China from economic shocks and US sanctions – while maintaining strategic trade and investment ties with the rest of the world. Xi highlighted the latter part of this approach in his comments to reporters, saying the country’s economic opening “will only get wider.”

Xi also promised economic policy changes aimed at improving growth, without giving details.

“We will firmly deepen reform and opening up, firmly push forward high-quality development,” he said.

Bloomberg Economics estimates that China can grow by around 4.6% per year over the next decade, if already announced reforms such as raising the retirement age and easing residency restrictions in cities continue.

Xi’s recent predecessors as party leader stepped down after serving two five-year terms, but the congress result means Xi is likely to remain in the top job until at least 2027. He is expected to appoint longtime associates to key economic positions in government next year.

Xi’s brief remarks to the press included a call for China to achieve “modernization with Chinese characteristics”, referring to an effort to achieve high-income country status without following the economic and political policies seen in the economies. advancements.

In his report to the party congress last week, Xi stressed that economic development was the party’s “top priority”, but added that development must be balanced with national security. Over the next five years, the focus will be on developing strategic technologies and limiting inequalities, he added.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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