China's important economic meeting unveils policy focus for 2021
Going through recovery from the pandemic and preparing for the lasting impacts, China charted the course for its economy in the coming year at the annual key economic meeting, formulating a new development paradigm for quality growth.
China has made historic achievements in this unusual year while facing a severe and complicated international environment, working for reform and growth, and withstanding heavy blows from the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Central Economic Work Conference held in Beijing from December 16 to 18, listing eight major tasks for the next year.
China plans to appropriately manage the tempo and strength of its macro-control and implement targeted and effective macro policies, with efforts to spur the vitality of market entities, specifically micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and individually-owned businesses, according to the meeting statement.
The policy is expected to achieve a balance between multiple policy objectives, including growth, stability, and economic transformation, Zhu Haibin, Chief China Economist at J.P. Morgan, told CGTN on Friday.
When it comes to the dual circulation theory, Zhu believes it will continue to emphasize the reform and openness policy.
More than the supply-side reform, which China has been undertaking in recent years to deleverage, the annual meeting also mentioned demand-side reform, a new concept debut at the latest meeting of China's Politburo on December 11.
The supply-side reform should work with the demand-side reform to create a higher-level dynamic equilibrium and improve the overall effectiveness of the national economic system, according to the readout of the Politburo meeting.
The demand-side reform involves several areas, including social safety network and income equality, Zhu said, noting the demand-side reform is made to expand the middle-income group and to boost domestic demand.
The country has become the only major economy with positive growth this year and scored decisive achievements in financial risks preventing, poverty alleviation, and pollution control, three key battles crucial for China's plan to achieve its goal of a moderately prosperous society next year, the economic meeting said.
The economic recovery prepared China for policy normalization.
"The successful pandemic control and successful economy opening put China in a much better position compared to the rest of the world to normalize economic policy," Zhu said, noting some uncertainties remain, including how much the policy will be tightened, how quickly the inflation was moving from the current deflation territory back to positive, and also the risk in the China-U.S. relationship.