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Chinese leadership stresses stability, progress in economic work

Updated: 07 25 , 2017 14:00
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BEIJING, July 24 -- China will continue "seeking progress while maintaining stability" for its economic work in the second half of 2017, according to a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Monday.

The meeting, presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, stressed that China will implement a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy with supply-side structural reform as the main theme in the latter half of the year.

Authorities will maintain the continuity and consistency of policies to ensure stable and healthy economic development, push forward supply-side structural reform and guard against systemic financial risks, according to a statement released after the meeting.

The meeting affirmed China's economic performance in the first half of this year, which has been running in a proper range with expectation-beating economic indicators and steady improvement in urban employment.

Yet there are still contradictions and problems within the economic operation, and authorities should stay sober-minded and maintain strategic focus to address hidden risks and promote sustained and sound development, according to the meeting.

For the second half of this year, leaders at the meeting called for better handling of the relationship between stability and progress, as well as the balance, timing and intensity of the country's economic work.

At a separate meeting Friday, Xi also spoke of the positive changes taking place in the economy, saying the fundamentals of economic and social development are sound.

There are substantial changes in the relations between economic supply and demand, while companies' expectations and market confidence are improving gradually, he told a symposium attended by representatives of non-Communist parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, as well as non-party individuals.

The momentum of economic development is getting stronger in China, which plays a significant role in driving the global economic recovery, according to Xi.

Speaking of economic stability and progress, Xi said stability is the key, and progress should be pursued on the precondition of keeping overall stability.

However, that does not mean authorities should stay in a state of inertia or seek stability in an aggressive or mechanical way, he noted.

Instead, they should make a difference while walking a fine line, he said.

Authorities should "maintain strategic focus" and "do the right things at the right time," he urged.

To resolutely promote the supply-side structural reform, Monday's CPC meeting pledged measures to push for progress on excess capacity cuts, inventory reduction, deleveraging, relieving corporate burdens and fixing weak links.

The handling of the "zombie enterprises," or unprofitable firms burdened with debt, mismanagement or overcapacity, is the key to the reform, the statement said.

Work should also be done to defuse local government debt risks in a more active yet prudent manner, regulate financing activities of local authorities and curb the growth of hidden debt, it said.

Disorders in the financial sector should be corrected, while financial coordination should be strengthened to make the financial sector better serve the real economy, it said.

The meeting also urged efforts to stabilize the property market, encourage domestic private investment, boost employment and improve the business environment to attract foreign investment.

The Chinese economy continued steady expansion in the first half of this year with GDP up 6.9 percent year on year to about 38.15 trillion yuan (5.6 trillion U.S. dollars), data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

In the second quarter, GDP held steady at 6.9 percent year on year, flat from the first quarter, according to the NBS.

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