President Xi stresses economic development in fight against COVID-19

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on party committees and governments at all levels to work hard to win the battle against the new coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19), while striving to achieve this year's economic and social development goals.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the statement when presiding over a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Wednesday.

The president said stronger measures should be taken to contain the virus, especially in areas with severe or high-risks, as the fight has entered a crucial stage.

He said since the outbreak of the epidemic, all regions and all parties have dedicated themselves to the fight, with medical staff working hard at the front lines. He once again called for efforts to place people's health and safety as the top priority.

Noting that 2020 is the year when China is expected to turn into a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and the last year of the 13th Five-Year Plan, the meeting urged the party committees and governments at all levels to minimize the impact of the epidemic, maintain a stable economy and society, and strive to achieve the goals and tasks set by the CPC Central Committee.

According to the meeting, the measures to achieve the above goals should include stronger macroeconomic adjustment, positive fiscal policies, targeted tax cuts, loan support, and preferential financial services. The meeting also called to expand domestic demand and encourage private investment, support foreign trade enterprises to get back into operation as soon as possible, and create a sound environment for foreign trade.

In the fight against COVID-19, the meeting stressed that utmost efforts should be made to increase the treatment and cure rates, and lower infection and mortality rates. For cities with a large number of infected patients, it's urgent to increase designated hospitals, beds, and quarantine spots, speed up suspected cases detection and admission of patients.

The meeting also urged to pool together superior medical resources and technical forces, come up with effective treatment plans for patients, and make more efforts on drugs and vaccine research.