Same GDP target set, higher growth quality expected — China Focus

March 08 06:48 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds during the opening session of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.

The move to consolidate even more power under Xi comes as foreign governments, already wary of China’s expanding influence overseas, are closely watching shifts toward greater authoritarianism.

In a almost two-hour speech to the legislature, Premier Li Keqiang did not mention the scrapping of term limits but emphasized the primacy of Xi and the ruling Communist Party he leads in all aspects of Chinese life.

The CPPCC is an important organ for multiparty cooperation and political consultation led by the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The main address yesterday was Premier Li Keqiang’s two-hour work report, which was devoted primarily to economic matters.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its forecast for China’s GDP growth from 6.5 percent to 6.6 percent in January, amid a positive outlook for the recovery of the world economy, which had seen a meltdown in the last few years.

China will increase its military spending by 8.1 percent in 2018 in a bid to further modernize weapons and vessels for the world’s largest army, officials said Monday.

China on Monday vowed to target a growth rate of around 6.5% in 2018 that would lift 10 million people out of poverty – in tune with establishing a strong military force.

Mr. Li underscored that China had fulfilled its earlier goal of cutting troop numbers by 3,00,000, as part of a road map to build a modern technology driven military force.

This is China’s largest military budget increase in three years, NPR reports, but it remains a fraction of the United States’ budget in excess of $700 billion. Acknowledging their contribution to achievements made in the past five years, Xi called on non-communist parties and people without party affiliation to enhance confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, consolidate political orientation and actively offer their suggestions. It seems a highly tactical move, and one where those who were likely to be supportive were selected and recruited into the proposed change, creating a sense of consensus, and those likely to oppose it were kept out of the loop, he told the Post. Another delegate from central Henan province said “Xi Jinping is great”, but several other legislators refused to answer questions about the amendment.

Speaking more briefly this time, Zhang explained that neither the CCP’s constitution nor the state’s constitution stipulates term limits for the general secretary of the CCP Central Committee or the chairman of the Central Military Commission. “So for the Constitution, it follows the same practice regarding the term of the President”.

Xinhua cited a budget report submitted Monday to the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress now underway in Beijing.

China has carried out reform and opening up for 40 years, during which the Chinese economy has grown rapidly, laying a solid material foundation for consolidating national defense and strengthening the military. But Beijing is now focussing on slower but more sustainable consumption-based growth.

The deputies will also elect and decide on members of state organizations, he added. “Xi needs more time to find and train the right successors”, he said.

China kicks off annual parliamentary session, military budget rises

Same GDP target set, higher growth quality expected — China Focus
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