China plans to increase 6,6% defense spending in fiscal year


"We have not set a specific target for economic growth for the year, mainly because the global epidemic situation and economic and trade situation are very uncertain, and China's development is facing some unpredictable factors", Li said at the start of the parliament meeting.

China's defense spending this year will rise at the slowest rate in three decades but will still increase by an impressive 6.6% from 2019, as the country grapples with what it sees as growing security threats and a wilting economy. All had to be tested for the virus before they could attend.

In the absence of larger-scale stimulus, economists now say China's policy makers will focus on getting the economy to muddle through while trying to create employment and stable living conditions for the tens of millions of Chinese workers who economists estimate have lost work in recent months.

It also helps demonstrate that the virus outbreak has not thrown off track Xi's aim of establishing China as the primary regional power and diminishing the presence of its key rival, the U.S. He called on the country to "redouble our efforts" to revive slumping economic growth. The one-year LPR rate is now 3.85 percent.

All tax and fee reduction policies must be fully implemented for China's businesses in order to let businesses to sustain themselves and ensure success for the future. And he said that the government would increase its subsidies for basic medical insurance for rural residents and urban nonworking residents - but only by a little over $4 a year per person.

"That said, 6.6% growth is not insignificant and is perhaps multiples higher than expected GDP growth for the coming year", he said.

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But he did not set a target for economic growth for the year.

"We will give priority to stabilizing employment and ensuring people's livelihood, resolutely win the battle to overcome poverty, and strive to achieve the goal of building a moderately prosperous society", the premier said.

Despite disruptions from the pandemic, the Chinese market will remain the most noteworthy business environment in the world for a long time, as long as China maintains strong domestic demand and innovation momentum, said Hungchih Liu, vice president for Asia Pacific of engineering multinational AECOM.

The omission coincided with a report from China's top economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, that said energy efficiency improved only 2.6% a year ago, missing the 3% target spelled out by Li at the national legislature in 2019.

China has maintained that it acted quickly and transparently, and Li signaled that China would continue to promote itself as a responsible partner in the global health crisis. Jonathan Luan, an analyst at BloombergNEF in Beijing, said it demonstrates a "willingness to be prudent and conservative amid the virus hit" that won't undermine China's desire to reduce energy consumption and develop efficiency in the sector.

"Many weak links have been exposed in public health emergency management, and the people have expressed their views and suggestions, which deserve our attention", he said.

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