Beijing [China]: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday said that China had reached its most difficult stage of economic stabilization and called on leaders of key provinces to coordinate efforts on economic recovery.
This comes as China’s GDP showed an unusually weak growth of just 0.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2022, according to the China National Bureau of Statistics. “The economy continued to recover in July, but small fluctuations are still present. We are now at the most tense stage of economic stabilization, so we need to build a solid foundation for economic recovery without wasting time,” Keqiang said at a meeting with leaders of provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Henan, Shandong and Sichuan, as quoted by Xinhua news agency .
Keqiang said that measures to combat COVID-19 must be coordinated based on the need to rebuild the economy.
“We need to act in line with the demand that the epidemic must be stopped, the economy must be stabilized and development must be safe,” the head of the Chinese government said.
Experts say that China’s weakening growth is a result of two months of lockdown in Shanghai, tougher COVID-19 restrictions in other parts of the country and disruptions in the manufacturing, logistics and tourism sectors.
The Chinese economy expanded by an annual 4.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year.
Against this backdrop, Li noted that China’s economy is in a critical stage of stabilization and urged the adoption of a sense of urgency in the country’s endeavours to consolidate recovery momentum.
The country should fully implement the new development philosophy and coordinate epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development in a highly efficient way, Li said.
The six provinces contribute to 45 per cent of the country’s total economic output, Li said, calling the provinces the pillars of the country’s economic development while urging them to take a key role in stabilizing economic growth.
The local governments should tighten their belts, put existing assets to better use, maintain a balance between revenue and expenditure, and guarantee fiscal spending in ensuring people’s livelihoods, Li said.