China drops reference to economic growth target in COVID fight – Reuters

Chinese officials have dropped previous calls to meet the 5.5% growth target while pledging to “strive for the best results” over the next six months, according to a media report from China. statement released Thursday following a high-level meeting of the ruling Communist Party.

China should “stabilize employment and prices” and “keep economic operations within a reasonable range”, Xinhua news agency reported after the 25-member Politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.

The report said authorities will also “resolutely and conscientiously” implement Beijing’s policies to control COVID-19, which include lockdowns, mass testing and border controls.

The party’s announcement appears to acknowledge that Beijing will fall short of its 2020 growth target and underlines how far Xi is willing to go to keep COVID-19 under control as the Chinese leader battles for an unprecedented third term. in power later this year, Al Jazeera reported.

After a party meeting in April, state media said China would “work hard” to achieve its economic development and other goals.

Economists have long viewed 5.5% growth in 2022 as unrealistic given repeated rounds of ultra-tight pandemic restrictions, including a two-month lockdown in the financial capital, Shanghai.

The world’s second-largest economy narrowly avoided contraction during the second quarter, growing just 0.4% year on year – the slowest pace since the early days of the pandemic.

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