The annual meeting of the National People's Congress. Photo: Xinhua

The central government will focus on stabilizing China’s job and financial markets this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertain global economic and trade environment, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in the government work report.

As the markets expected, the government work report, which was announced in the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress on Friday, did not set an economic growth target for this year as the country will face some factors that are difficult to predict.

“We must focus on maintaining security in the six areas in order to ensure stability on the six fronts. By doing so, we will be able to keep the fundamentals of the economy stable,” the report said. “Maintaining security will deliver the stability needed to pursue progress, thus laying a solid foundation for accomplishing our goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.”

First mentioned by Beijing in July 2018, the six fronts refers to the stabilization of the job market, financial system, external trade, foreign capitals, investments and market expectations.

Six areas were suggested by Chinese leaders on April 17, 2020, referring to the security in employment, people’s livelihoods, the market system, food and energy supply, industrial supply chain and public services.

China aims to add more than 9 million new urban jobs in 2020 and keep the surveyed urban unemployment rate at about 6%. The country will ensure the elimination of poverty among all rural residents living below the current poverty line and in all poor counties.

New infrastructure spending

China’s investment in new infrastructure such as 5G networks and data centers may reach 17.5 trillion yuan (US$2.47 trillion) for the 2020-2025 period as local regions ramp up spending in the sector.

The data marked an annualized growth rate of about 21.6%, Xu Xianping, a professor at the Guanghua School of Management with Peking University and also a former deputy head of the country’s top economic planner, told the Shanghai Securities News.

Since authorities unveiled guidelines to increase spending on new infrastructure construction, more than 20 provincial-level regions have mapped out plans in the sector, with the city of Shanghai eyeing to invest about 270 billion yuan in the coming three years.
A research note by Haitong Securities predicted new infrastructure spending would reach 3 trillion yuan this year.

Poverty relief

The China Development Bank (CDB), one of the country’s policy banks, has stepped up financial support for poverty alleviation resettlement programs as the country aims to achieve its goal of eliminating absolute poverty this year.

The CDB said it is expected to complete its annual loan issuance plan for the relocation programs in advance at the end of the third quarter of the year.

The bank extended a total of 2.7 billion yuan in loans in the first quarter in support of 30 poverty alleviation relocation programs. This added to the total to 23.9 billion yuan which supports relocation programs in 92 counties and has benefited some 300,000 relocated people so far.

Company news

ZTE Corp, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, announced it had signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China Unicom on 6G development. 

According to the agreement, ZTE and China Unicom will give full play to their own innovative advantages in the 6G field. Based on China Unicom’s network and service situation, both sides will jointly explore the prospect and technical trends of 6G, in a bid to achieve the strategic and coordinated development of both parties.

The two companies will carry out cooperation on 6G technological innovation and standards while actively promoting the in-depth integration of 6G with satellite networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) and the Industrial IoT.

Baidu, the Nasdaq-listed Chinese internet search giant, said it was not worried about the US government’s tightening measures on foreign companies’ listings on the US exchanges and was discussing internally on re-listing in other areas, including Hong Kong.

“We do pay close attention to the US government’s continuous tightening of the regulations on Chinese companies’ shares listed in the United States, and we are discussing internally what we can do,” said Robin Li, chairman and chief executive of Baidu.

The story was written by Xu Jiangshan and Nadeem Xu and first published at ATimesCN.com

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