Facing a sluggish world economic situation and increasing domestic pressure in economic transformation and upgrading, this government, which was established in 2013, made great efforts in promoting reform and improving people’s lives since then.
Growth within reasonable range
From 2013 to 2016, China’s GDP growth was 7.7 percent, 7.4 percent, 6.9 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively, maintaining its high ranking among major economies of the world. Although the indicator has been falling each year, it maintained stable, medium- to high-speed growth. Meanwhile, with its ever-expanding economic aggregate, the country’s total GDP increased from 56.9 trillion yuan in 2013 to 74.4 trillion yuan in 2016.
Steady progress on structural reform
To enhance the quality of economic development, the government implemented supply-side structural reform with a series of initiatives, such as entrepreneurship and mass innovation, Internet Plus, cutting overcapacity and SOE reform.
From 2013 to 2015, China phased out a total of 90 million tons of steel and iron capacities. In 2016, growth in added value of strategic emerging industries exceeded that of traditional industries by 4.5 percent, showing the fast maturing of new economic driving forces. Newly registered enterprises reached 5.53 million, a year-on-year increase of 24.5 percent.
In the past four years, people’s disposable income has continued to increase, at a higher speed than economic growth. The gap between urban and rural residents has been narrowing, with the poor population in rural areas greatly reduced, and more benefits for migrant workers.
Better social care
The government paid great attention to development of social causes such as education, health, and culture, and providing better public services.
In 2013, China promoted setting up systems of pension insurance and social assistance, with standards for minimum living allowances in urban and rural areas increasing by 13.1 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively, and pensions of retirees from enterprises increasing by 10 percent. In 2014, the government focused on financial aid for students from poor families, and migrant workers’ children were able to sit their college entrance exams in cities where their parents earn a living. In 2015, China set up systems to cover costs for serious diseases and provide living allowances for disabled people.
Transformation of govt functions
Since taking office, Premier Li Keqiang has been stressing the importance of streamlining administration and delegating power to lower levels. According to the National Development and Reform Commission, by the end of last year, departments of the State Council had eliminated a total of 620 approval procedures, fulfilling its promise of removing 1/3 of all approval items ahead of schedule. The government’s efforts reduced by 1 trillion yuan costs for enterprises in 2016 alone.
During the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2010-2015), energy consumption of GDP per unit dropped 18.2 percent, and discharge volumes of major pollutants dropped over 12 percent. In 2016, average density of PM 10 decreased 5.7 percent year on year, and density of PM 2.5 in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions decreased 7.8 percent, 13.2 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively, a drop of over 30 percent from 2013.
From the signing of free trade agreements with more countries to the inclusion of renminbi into the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket, and the promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative, China has witnessed fruitful results in international cooperation.
In September 2013, the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) officially set up and began to explore a management mode of pre-establishment national treatment plus negative list, before Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian joined the pilot projects. In August 2016, seven more FTZs were established.
In recent years, the government renewed its dedication to carrying forward Chinese traditional culture, and fostering innovative cultural products and industries, with an effort to ensure cultural undertakings did not lag behind economic development.
In 2016, China held cultural year events with a number of countries, to facilitate the spread of Chinese culture and enhance the country’s soft power.