China Focus: What authorities say on economic situation

BEIJING, May 13– Facing COVID-19 challenges and mounting uncertainties, will China’s economy continue to progress with sound momentum? China is making agile use of monetary policy ammunition to buoy the economy amid mounting uncertainties, said Chen Yulu, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, adding that the country can cope with the impact of other…

BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) — Facing COVID-19 challenges and mounting uncertainties, will China’s economy continue to progress with sound momentum? Multiple Chinese authorities answered in the affirmative, citing the unchanged trend toward high-quality and diversified pro-growth measures.

“The epidemic’s impact is temporary and short-lived. The economy will soon be back on track as policies aimed at coordinating epidemic containment and economic development gradually taking effect,” said Zhao Chenxin, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission.

China is making agile use of monetary policy ammunition to buoy the economy amid mounting uncertainties, said Chen Yulu, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, adding that the country can cope with the impact of other major economies’ tightening moves.

Deeming the domestic and international situations as complex and grim, the implementation of prudent monetary policy has been stepped up to stabilize economic fundamentals, he said.

To stabilize the industrial and supply chains, countermeasures are being taken swiftly in response to new challenges that have emerged since mid-March, including sporadic resurgences of COVID-19 and a complex external environment, resulting in the suspension of some factory activities and freight transport.

Xin Guobin, the vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that the country is making all-out efforts to ensure the stability and connectivity of industrial and supply chains to maintain industrial growth.

Endeavors will be made to ensure the solid implementation of the “white list” approach to support the resumption of work for key companies and remove bottlenecks in some places, Xin said in an interview with Xinhua.

“Although some indicators saw short-term contractions mainly due to the COVID-19 blow, the fundamentals underpinning the economy’s stable development and sound momentum remain unchanged,” said Sheng Laiyun, deputy head of the National Bureau of Statistics.

Sheng said leveraging multi-pronged macro policies is the key to reducing the COVID-19 impact to the minimum and ensuring the economy operates in a reasonable range.

Echoing his viewpoint, the vice minister of Finance Xu Hongcai said in an interview with Xinhua that “tax and fee cuts are key measures to sustain stable macroeconomic performance,” adding that China is accelerating the implementation of related policies.

Since the beginning of this year, the ministry has introduced over 20 tax support policies, including large-scale value-added tax (VAT) credit refunds and the full refunding of outstanding VAT credits of some industries, said Xu.

China’s agricultural sector and rural economy have also maintained stable performance, said Deng Xiaogang, vice minister of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, noting a balance between epidemic control and spring farming, citing the better-than-expected farming situation.

Comprehensive efforts will be taken to ensure grain harvests, said Deng, stressing that the bottom line for grain output this year is above 650 billion kg.

Government spending will increase in sectors ranging from grain production and high-end farmland to the seed industry to channel more funds into the countryside. Financial institutions will be guided to lend more to major rural projects, according to Deng.

As a primary engine for economic growth, consumption is resilient with massive potential in China, and the fundamentals for consumption expansion stay positive, said Sheng Qiuping, the vice minister of commerce.

Highlighting China’s stellar performance in foreign trade, Sheng said the ministry would work to safeguard smooth logistics and production activities, improve financial support, and encourage new business forms such as cross-border trade.

“The Chinese market will remain open and unleash more opportunities for global enterprises,” said Sheng. Enditem

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