Xi Jinping highlights private sector's critical role as China strives for post-pandemic recovery
Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed efforts to unite people from the private sector around the Communist Party of China (CPC) to better promote the healthy development of the private sector, as China pushes ahead with reviving its economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, hailed the private sector's role in China's economic growth since the reform and opening-up and asked Party branches at all levels to unite business people from the private sector and strengthen connections with the CPC.
Xi's instruction was read out by Wang Yang, China's top political advisor, at a meeting aimed to strengthen the united front work involving the private sector on Wednesday.
China's private sector, which contributes over 60 percent of the country's GDP, is key to post-pandemic recovery and jobs.
According to official data, trade by private enterprises expanded 8.5 percent to 9.21 trillion yuan (1.35 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first eight months of 2020, accounting for 45.9 percent of the total, up 3.9 percentage points from the same period last year.
China's economy grew 3.2 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to official data, recovering from a record contraction as the government stepped up stimulus to combat the shock from the coronavirus crisis.
Despite the positive signs, Xi has repeatedly warned of severe and complex circumstances of a shrinking global economy and external environment and emphasized China's domestic market.
Talking to entrepreneurs at a meeting held on July 21, Xi said the coronavirus pandemic has dealt a heavy economic blow to China and the rest of the world, with a slew of market players in the country facing unprecedented pressure.
Under such circumstances, he said market entities now act as the carriers of economic power, hence ensuring the vitality of market players is equivalent to stimulating social productivity.
He promised to give more financial and policy supports to the sector, as it's key to growth and jobs.
Citing international and domestic challenges, the CPC Central Committee issued guidelines for strengthening united front work involving the private sector on Tuesday. It's the first time the CPC has issued such guidelines since reform and opening-up began in 1978.
Business people must "maintain high consistency" with the party regarding the political aspects of position, direction and principles, so that they can make more contributions to the economic recovery, said the guidelines.
The document also pledged to provide more support and improve the business environment as part of efforts to help private companies fend off the impact of the virus and ensure sustainable and high-quality development.
(Cover: A worker inspects machines at a smart workshop of a hosiery company in Zhuji, east China's Zhejiang Province, October 23, 2019. /Xinhua)