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China's Xi vows to help consumers spend 'without worries'

Tan KW
Publish date: Wed, 01 Feb 2023, 11:13 PM
Tan KW
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BEIJING : Chinese President Xi Jinping (pic) telegraphed plans to revive consumption and reaffirmed an ambition to accelerate the country’s race towards technology independence, two of the biggest challenges facing the world’s second-largest economy.

China will establish a long-term mechanism to boost consumption so that consumers will have a stable income and be able to spend "without worries", Xi was quoted as saying by state media on Wednesday (Feb 1).

China must resolutely implement a strategic plan to boost domestic demand, alongside efforts to push supply-side reforms, state media quoted Xi as saying in a study session of the Politburo, a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party.

"We will establish and improve a long-term mechanism to expand residents' consumption, so that residents can consume with stable incomes, dare to spend without worrying about the future, and have a strong desire to spend in a good consumption environment," Xi said.

Since the agenda-setting Central Economic Work Conference in December, top policymakers have repeatedly vowed to focus on bolstering consumption to drive an economic recovery this year.

China will strive to be a global leader in key scientific and technological innovation to achieve tech self-reliance and resolve the problem of foreign "strangleholds," Xi said.

Xi and other Chinese leaders have vowed to strengthen China's state-led system to achieve breakthroughs of core technologies, amid tensions with the United States.

Meanwhile, China will improve its investment mechanism, advance new infrastructure construction, expand investment in high-tech industries and strategic emerging industries, Xi said.

China will continue to spur private investment, he said.

The country's economy grew 3% in 2022, far below the official target of around 5.5% and hitting one of its worst rates in nearly half a century. Growth is expected to rebound to around 5% in 2023, after Beijing ditched harsh Covid-19 restrictions in early December.


  - Reuters


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