China drops reference to economic growth target amid COVID fight

by | Jul 29, 2022 | World

Ruling Communist Party drops previous calls to reach 5.5 percent growth this year.China has backed off its yearly economic growth target as it doubles down on an ultra-strict “zero COVID” policy that has pummelled consumer spending, manufacturing and trade.
Chinese officials dropped previous calls to reach the 5.5 percent growth target while pledging to “strive to achieve the best results” during the next six months, according to a state media report published on Thursday following a high-level meeting of the ruling Communist Party.
China should “stabilise employment and prices” and “maintain economic operations within a reasonable range”, Xinhua news agency reported after the 25-member Politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.
The report said authorities would also “resolutely and conscientiously” implement Beijing’s policies for controlling COVID-19, which include lockdowns, mass testing and border controls.
The party announcement appears to acknowledge that Beijing will not reach its growth target for 2020 and underscores the lengths to which Xi is willing to go to keep COVID-19 under control as the Chinese leader vies for an unprecedented third term in power later this year.
After a party meeting in April, state media said China would “work hard” to meet its economic and other development targets.
‘Implicitly walked back’
“The politburo meeting in China mentioned growing the economy with ‘best effort,’ and did not refer to the 5.5 percent GDP targe …

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