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Government Work Report shows China’s determination in reform, upgrade

Updated: Mar 9,2017 8:05 AM Beijing News

As Premier Li Keqiang was presenting the Government Work Report on March 5, BBC, Wall Street Journal and other global media companies were competing to send every piece of news about China’s economy.

French news agency Agence France-Presse said that the work report has clarified key tasks of the Chinese government this year, and underlined problems and challenges ahead for China’s social and economic development.

According to Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao, the Chinese government has set more pragmatic development goals for 2017. It will create favorable conditions for the nation’s drive to transform and upgrade the economy through reform.

China’s economic growth target for 2017, which was released in the Government Work Report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on March 5, was the focus of all foreign media.

Financial Times said China’s announcement to lower the annual GDP growth goal to around 6.5 percent has “significant meaning”.

Reuters reported that the goal complies with China’s economic situation, and the basic needs to achieve tasks of the 13th Five-year Plan. The goal also weakens the idea that GDP is everything.

According to Nikkei Net in Japan, lowering the economic growth target showed China’s determination to transform ways of economic growth.

Bloomberg reported that China’s lower but more flexible economic growth benefits the structural reform and will be more welcomed by investors.

The Associated Press believed this move was aimed at playing down the importance of GDP growth speed, and transferring the attention to people’s incomes, consumption levels and an innovation-driven economy.

It said that although the goal is lower than the previous year, China would still be one of the countries with rapid economic growth.

“Premier Li’s speech on matters that people concern the most such as people’s livelihood, education, food safety and smog prevention received positive responses in the audience,” the Voice of America reported.

The New York Times sent a message on its Twitter account “Premier Li’s speech got the most attention from the audiences when he announced that the years-long practice of charging for domestic roaming and long-distance calls will be officially canceled.”

Meanwhile, foreign media also noticed that the 2017 Government Work Report raised numerous goals on improving people’s lives.

The Associated Press commented that Premier Li has intentionally put more emphasis on improving people’s income and consumption level, so as to develop a consumer-driven economy, while reducing its reliance on trade, heavy industry and investment.

In the report, Premier Li said domestic and foreign enterprises are treated equally in policies concerning Made in China 2025, and more sectors will be opened to foreign companies. It is an important policy as reported by the Associated Press and the German newspaper Die Welt carried special reports.  

Premier Li called for further opening-up, and pledged that China will unswervingly promote international economic cooperation, in an effort to safeguard multilateral trading system, according to Kyodo News Agency.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung from Germany said that the work report “sounded a warning” to the uncertainty of global economic growth and increasing protectionism.  

Some media also noticed that this year’s work report included large section concerning the Hong Kong Administrative Region, longer and more comprehensive than the past three years, demonstrating the central government’s care for Hong Kong’s development and its people’s wellbeing.