Xi Jinping's old speech on China front pages shows urgency to fix economy

A six-month-old speech by President Xi Jinping on the need to preserve jobs and shore up growth was splashed across China’s main financial newspapers on Monday, signaling greater urgency to bolster the economy after lockdowns brought Shanghai and other major cities to a halt.
Xi Jinping's old speech on China front pages shows urgency to fix economy(File Photo / REUTERS)
Xi Jinping's old speech on China front pages shows urgency to fix economy(File Photo / REUTERS)
Published on May 16, 2022 01:53 PM IST
Copy Link
Bloomberg |

A six-month-old speech by President Xi Jinping on the need to preserve jobs and shore up growth was splashed across China’s main financial newspapers on Monday, signaling greater urgency to bolster the economy after lockdowns brought Shanghai and other major cities to a halt.

Xi’s speech, delivered on Dec. 8 at the Central Economic Work Conference, was first published Sunday by the Communist Party’s Qiushi magazine and then on the front pages of Monday’s People’s Daily, China Securities Journal and other state-owned papers. In the remarks, Xi voiced support for the “healthy development” of the private sector and entrepreneurs, but also warned that regulators must prevent “capital predators” from acting recklessly.

While the speech was a reiteration of previously expressed policy, authorities chose to highlight them at a time when concerns are rising that the world’s second-biggest economy is slowing sharply -- and amid a debate over whether a split may have developed among China’s top leaders on how to respond. 

Also read: In a haze of disinfectant, China struggles with invisible enemy

Since Shanghai and other regions imposed lockdowns in March, Xi’s public comments have largely emphasized the need for China to stick to Covid Zero, a policy that has come under increasing criticism at home and abroad as the economic and social toll has escalated. Premier Li Keqiang, China’s second most-senior leader, has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the dire economic situation without always directly mentioning the Covid-Zero strategy.

Data released on Monday underscored the damage caused by Covid Zero to the economy, with industrial output and consumer spending sliding to the worst levels since the pandemic began and analysts warning of no quick recovery. Investors responded by selling everything from Chinese shares to U.S. index futures and oil.

In the remarks published on Monday, Xi said China can’t promote “welfarism” and should draw lessons from some Latin American countries that have fallen into the “middle-income trap” after engaging in populism and raising “lazy people.” The government should also not resort to “moral kidnapping” to force enterprises to make philanthropic donations, he added. 

Also read: China's Xi Jinping suffering from 'cerebral aneurysm', was hospitalised: Reports

Xi also affirmed the role of private capital in the economy, saying that China seeks  orderly development and that officials will continue to “promote healthy development of the private sector and growth of private entrepreneurs.”

At the same time, Xi warned that the improper accumulation of wealth poses risks to a healthy economy. There has been reckless expansion of capital in China in recent years, he said, which has been due to a lack of supervision. China should fight against monopolies, profiteering, sky-high prices, malicious speculation and unfair competition, Xi added. 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • French President Emmanuel Macron 

    On bid to cut oil prices, what Macron has been told by UAE, Saudi

    Two top OPEC oil producers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, can barely increase oil production, French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he had been told by the UAE's president. Read: France holds parliamentary election in vital test for Macron "And then he said (the) Saudis can increase by 150 (thousands barrels per day). Maybe a little bit more, but they don't have huge capacities before six months' time," Macron said.

  • Police block the scene where a semitrailer with multiple dead bodies was discovered, Monday, June 27, 2022, in San Antonio.

    At least 40 migrants found dead in truck in US city: Report

    At least 40 people have been found dead inside a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, news agencies reported citing law enforcement official briefed on the matter. San Antonio's KSAT television reported 42 people dead inside the truck, in a presumed migrant smuggling attempt in South Texas. San Antonio police is yet to make an official statement on the incident. Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a tweet that the victims' nationalities were still unknown.

  • In many European countries, monkeypox cases are rising,

    More than 3,400 monkeypox cases reported to WHO globally: 5 things to know

    The World Health Organization has confirmed over 3,400 reported cases of monkeypox and one related death globally as of last Wednesday, with majority of them from Europe. In an update on Monday, the WHO said that 1,310 new cases were reported to the UN health agency since June 17, with eight new countries reporting monkeypox cases. 5 things to know about monkeypox: Monkeypox is a large DNA virus belonging to the orthopoxvirus family.

  • People watch as smoke bellows after a Russian missile strike hit a crowded shopping mall, in Kremenchuk, Ukraine.

     G7 vows to keep pressure on Russia after missiles strike Ukraine shopping mall

    Russian missiles struck a crowded shopping mall in central Ukraine on Monday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, as Moscow fought for control of a key eastern city and Western leaders promised to support Kyiv in the war "as long as it takes". More than 1,000 people were inside when two Russian missiles slammed into the mall in the city of Kremenchuk, southeast of Kyiv, Zelenskiy wrote on Telegram. He said the death count could rise.

  • File photo of former President Donald Trump.

    Company buying Trump's social media app faces subpoenas

    The company planning to buy Donald Trump's new social media business has disclosed a federal grand jury investigation that it says could impede or even prevent its acquisition of the Truth Social app. Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. dropped almost 10% Monday as the company revealed that it has received subpoenas from a grand jury in New York. The new probe could make it more difficult for Trump to finance his social media company.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, June 28, 2022