Hu sets economic targets at Party meet

Updated: 2012-11-09 17:47

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)

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GDP growth, long-term strategy to boost consumer demand key tasks for China

China aims to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020 and double its GDP by then compared with 2010, Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said.

In a report delivered at the opening of the 18th National Congress of the CPC in Beijing on Nov 8, Hu, also the Chinese president, said China is in a period of strategic opportunities for its development, and much can be achieved.

Hu sets economic targets at Party meet

Delegates to the 18th National Congress of the CPC walk to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for the opening of the congress on Nov 8. [Photo/China Daily] 

The country should continue to boost domestic demand, speed up the establishment of a long-term mechanism for increasing consumer demand, unleash the potential of individual consumption, increase investment at a proper pace and expand the domestic market, he said.

China is the world's second-largest economy after surpassing Japan last year, and many are predicting that it can surpass the US before 2020. China's economy grew 7.4 percent in the third quarter, the slowest quarterly growth in more than three years, and growth for the year is expected to be below 8 percent, raising concerns not only about how the country is faring, but also about the effects of that on the global economy.

The Party congress, which runs until Nov 14, will set new policy directions and elect new leaders for the next five to 10 years.

The three main events of the congress are: review of the report submitted by the 17th CPC Central Committee, which summarizes achievements and talks of future directions; amendments to the Party's Constitution, enabling the Party to adapt to changing conditions and set new policy priorities; and the election of the Party's 18th Central Committee, which will hold its first plenum immediately after the congress to elect the general secretary, members of the Politburo and other senior leaders.

The political report is essentially a policy manifesto that offers clues about possible changes in policy direction.

In 1992 the 14th CPC National Congress officially identified the establishment of a socialist market economy as a policy goal. This helped overcome resistance to reform policy and opened the door for the wave of market-oriented liberalization in the ensuing 20 years.

Amendments to the Party's Constitution that year also allowed many private entrepreneurs to become Party members, something that could not have happened earlier because the Party previously positioned itself as a representative of workers and peasants.

This year among the 2,000-plus delegates are 26 representing migrant workers, which is a first.

The composition of the Politburo and of the Politburo Standing Committee are receiving widespread attention because their members will make the key decisions on China's policies over the next 10 years.

According to a research note by Barclays, questions of particular interest to investors include who will be the new members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the country's highest political decision-making body, and whether the new leaders will announce political and economic policy breakthroughs at the congress.

Huang Yiping, an economist with Barclays, says that while the composition of the committee is important because individual senior leaders have different policy leanings and personal styles, the structure suggests continuity of direction for key political and economic policies.

"The younger and better-educated new leaders will probably focus more on structural reforms to promote growth sustainability."

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