Hitherto unknown novel coronavirus pneumonia has brought unprecedented impact on Chinas economic and social development. All parties are looking forward to how the upcoming national two sessions in 2020 will set the development direction for the whole year.
In the first quarter, Chinas GDP fell 6.8% year on year, the first negative growth since the quarterly accounting of GDP. While significant strategic achievements have been made in the prevention and control of domestic epidemic, Chinas economic prospects are still facing uncertainties due to the spread of overseas epidemic, Global trade pressure, financial market turbulence and other factors.
Especially in the context of the postponement of the two sessions, the discussion on how to set the economic development goals of China this year has lasted for more than a month, especially whether to cancel the GDP growth goals has aroused great controversy.
Those who support the cancellation of the growth target believe that the economic situation under the epidemic is not clear, and that setting specific targets or bringing side effects. For example, Ma Jun, a member of the monetary policy committee of the peoples Bank of China, worries that if the growth target is too high, it may kidnap the macro policy and lead to flood. He suggested that the main objective of economic policy should be transformed into employment stabilization and social security after unemployment.
The party in favor of maintaining the growth target believes that Chinas economy is in the critical period of returning to work and production, and setting reasonable targets is conducive to stable expectations. According to Zhang Ming, director of the International Investment Research Office of the world economic and Political Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, stable employment is positively related to economic growth, so we should still set a flexible annual growth target this year to coordinate resource allocation.
On the surface, the above views are tit for tat, but there are many similarities in their internal logic.
At the time of Chinas economic transition from high-speed to high-quality development, people talk about whether to set up growth goals or not. In fact, it is no longer about a beautiful number, but how to make the goals closer to reality, more beneficial to peoples livelihood, and more effective guidance for development. This is also an important criterion for the Chinese government to follow when building a reference frame for economic development.
At present, all parties are concerned about the geometry of GDP growth target for the whole year, more because China plans to achieve a well-off society in an all-round way this year, GDP doubled compared with 2010 is one of the important indicators, which requires a certain economic growth rate.
However, according to Wang Yiming, former deputy director of the development research center of the State Council, building a well-off society in an all-round way is a comprehensive and profound change, involving economic, political, cultural, social and ecological aspects, which depends on quantity and quality.
As said, the word well-off reflects peoples living standard and state. The well-off society in an all-round way includes a whole set of index system, including the quantitative goal of doubling GDP and per capita income of urban and rural residents, the quality goal of focusing on the sense of gain of poverty alleviation, and the soft goal of politics, culture, ecological civilization, etc.
According to this, Wang Yiming pointed out that even though some of the quantitative objectives are slightly different in statistical sense, the gap is caused by the epidemic situation and will not affect the process of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way in general.
Needless to say, the epidemic has seriously impacted the production and living order. The fight against the epidemic has cost Chinas economy and, to a certain extent, disrupted the original development steps.
But in the words of Ning Jizhe, deputy director of the national development and Reform Commission and director of the National Bureau of statistics, the epidemic has a great impact on Chinas economic operation, but the impact is generally controllable, and it has not and will not change the long-term development trend of Chinas economy.
Despite the negative growth of GDP in the first quarter, Chinas peoples livelihood is guaranteed effectively, and the overall economic and social situation is stable. Despite the difficulties in some industries, the epidemic has not damaged the fundamental productivity, and new driving forces such as the digital economy are growing more against the trend. Despite the impact on the production and operation of enterprises and the stability of the industrial chain, the orderly resumption of work and production demonstrates the great resilience of Chinas economy.
In the face of a complex situation, following the six stabilities, the recent meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee put forward six guarantees, highlighting that Chinas economic policy now emphasizes more on maintaining strategic focus, adhering to the bottom line thinking, focusing on maintaining the basic plate, and bottoming out for growth.