II. Economic and Social Development in 2019: Overall Requirements and Policy Directions
This year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It will be a crucial year for us as we endeavor to achieve the first Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. To fulfill the work of government, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we must:
- follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era;
- implement fully the guiding principles of the Party’s 19th National Congress and the second and third plenary sessions of its 19th Central Committee;
- pursue coordinated progress in the five-sphere integrated plan;
- pursue balanced progress in the four-pronged comprehensive strategy;
- adhere to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability;
- continue to apply the new development philosophy;
- continue to work for high-quality development;
- continue to pursue supply-side structural reform as our main task;
- continue to deepen market-orientated reforms and expand high-standard opening-up;
- work faster to modernize the economy;
- continue the three critical battles;
- invigorate micro entities;
- explore innovations in and improve macro regulation;
- make coordinated efforts to maintain stable growth, advance reform, make structural adjustments, improve living standards, guard against risks, and ensure stability;
- keep major economic indicators within an appropriate range;
- take further steps to ensure stable employment, a stable financial sector, stable foreign trade, stable foreign investment, stable domestic investment, and stable expectations;
- boost market confidence;
- enable people to feel more satisfied, happy, and secure; and
- sustain healthy economic development and maintain social stability.
By doing the above, we will create the pivotal underpinning for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society and celebrate with outstanding accomplishments the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.
A full analysis of developments in and outside China shows that in pursuing development this year, we will face a graver and more complicated environment as well as risks and challenges, foreseeable and otherwise, that are greater in number and size. We must be fully prepared for a tough struggle. The difficulties we face must not be underestimated, our confidence must not be weakened, and the energy we bring to our work must not be allowed to wane.
China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development and has ample resilience, enormous potential, and great creativity to unleash. The longing of our people for a better life is strong. We have the unshakable will and the ability needed to prevail over difficulties and challenges of any kind, and our economic fundamentals are sound and will remain sound over the long term.
With the above in mind, the main projected targets for economic and social development this year are set as follows:
- GDP growth of 6–6.5 percent
- Over 11 million new urban jobs, a surveyed urban unemployment rate of around 5.5 percent, and a registered urban unemployment rate within 4.5 percent
- CPI increase of around 3 percent
- A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments, and stable, better-structured imports and exports
- A macro leverage ratio that is basically stable, and effective prevention and control of financial and fiscal risks
- A reduction of over 10 million in the rural poor population
- Personal income growth that is basically in step with economic growth
- A further improvement in the environment
- A drop of around 3 percent in energy consumption per unit of GDP
- Continued reductions in the discharge of major pollutants
The above projected targets are ambitious but realistic – they represent our aim of promoting high-quality development, are in keeping with the current realities of China’s development, and are aligned with the goal of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. But to realize these goals we need to redouble our efforts.