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China’s Li Keqiang Delivers Government Work Report to National People’s Congress

March 5 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The Work Report by the Premier of China always sums up the year’s progress and gives an idea of what’s to come. While 2020 has been difficult as the year of the COVID pandemic, Premier Li Keqiang began today by citing China’s major accomplishments during that period, underlining the success of the poverty alleviation—eliminating absolute poverty in all counties—and sending Tianwen-1 to Mars. With great confidence China greets this 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding.

China issued no growth target for last year, because of the economic uncertainties in the grip of the pandemic. Growth was in fact around 2.3%. This year China has set a growth target of around 6%., while 11 million more urban jobs will be created. There will also be a rural revitalization program to follow on the poverty alleviation program in order to ensure that no one falls back into poverty. It will also bring the urban population up to 65% of the total. These measures would concentrate on the counties that had most recently been brought out of poverty, and on the people who had to move from their previous locations due to the impossibility of bringing their areas into the mainstream of economic activity. It also entails improving rural incomes and improving living conditions in those areas. Furthermore there will also be an effort to develop agri-businesses in order to provide more employment to the rural population.

Li explained the innovation-driven development strategy and measures for promoting and financing small- and medium-sized enterprises, which are the traditional source of innovation, including using tax breaks and reducing service charges. Li further discussed continuing China’s opening up to foreign businesses and giving them the same opportunities as the domestic ones. He also said that researchers would be eased of some pressures to allow them to concentrate more fully on their creative work.

Li cautioned to beware of financial risks, and that government expenditures would be reduced, but that payments to local and provincial governments, which target specific projects will be increased. He urged local governments to be “frugal,” to avoid creating new “bubbles.”

Li said there would be a concerted effort to develop stable supply chains and with priorities on areas such as 5G and fiber optics. In promoting domestic consumption as the main driver of economic growth, the government will improve health services availability, pension plans, and increase the service business and tourism, providing consumer options.

China will also continue promoting high-quality development in the projects along the Belt and Road. Li reiterated China’s commitment to reduce its “carbon footprint” by developing clean coal, and moving toward non-fossil fuels, including the ongoing development of nuclear energy. The clean coal proposal is already turning China’s Greenpeace representative livid, as well as Bloomberg News.

The prime minister described plans to expand education, particularly for children of migrant workers and opening up universities to children in the less-developed western regions.

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