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Highlights of 2023 government work report



The opening meeting of the first session of China’s 14th National People’s Congress (NPC) took place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday.

Premier Li Keqiang, on behalf of the State Council, delivered a government work report to the national legislature for deliberation.

Here are some highlights of the work report:

Growth target set at around 5 percent

China aims to expand its economy by around 5 percent in 2023, and set its inflation target, or increase in consumer price index (CPI), at around 3 percent.

It stabilized the economy, steadily enhanced development quality and maintained overall social stability in 2022, securing new and hard-won achievements in development, according to the report.

The country aims to create around 12 million urban jobs in 2023 and is targeting a surveyed urban unemployment rate of around 5.5 percent, according to the report, while the overall tariff level fell from 9.8 percent to 7.4 percent over the past five years.

Improvements, upgrades to industrial structure

Over the past five years, China fully implemented the innovation-driven development strategy and improved and upgraded the industrial structure, according to the government work report.

China promoted the development of the real economy through innovation and continued to foster new drivers of growth, it said, the leading role of technological innovation was reinforced, a number of major sci-tech innovation projects were launched and efforts to secure breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields were stepped up.

Industries were encouraged to develop toward the medium- and high-end, and priority was given to manufacturing in the development of the real economy, and the stable performance of the industrial sector was ensured. The share of manufacturing in the economy remained largely unchanged, according to the report.

Chinese products are now of a higher quality and more competitive, the report stated.

Stabilize grain output, boost rural revitalization

China aims to stabilize grain output and advance rural revitalization this year, according to the report.

The country plans to keep total grain acreage at a stable level and launch a new drive to increase grain production capacity by 50 million tonnes, the report said, and will also invigorate the seed industry and support the development of agricultural science, technology and equipment.

The report also called for fostering rural industries with local features to create more channels for increasing rural incomes.

“Our achievements in poverty alleviation should be consolidated and expanded to prevent large-scale relapse into poverty,” it added. 

Pursue green and low-carbon development

China strengthened environmental protection and pursued green and low-carbon development over the past five years, according to the report.

The country worked harder to prevent and control pollution, and in cities at and above the prefectural level, air quality was good or excellent on 86.5 percent of the days over the past five years, a 4-percentage-point increase, it said.

China also made steady progress in energy conservation and carbon reduction, the report stated, adding that the country worked toward the targets of peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality with well-conceived and systematic steps.

The energy mix was further improved, with the share of clean energy in total energy consumption up from 20.8 percent to over 25 percent, it added.

Progress made in work related to Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan

China has made fresh progress in work related to its Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan over the past five years.

The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been formulated and put into effect, and the principle that Hong Kong and Macao should be administered by patriots has been applied in these two regions, the report noted.

“We have ensured that Hong Kong has entered a new stage in which it has restored order and is set to thrive,” said the report.

The central government has promoted the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and supported Hong Kong and Macao in developing their economies, improving living standards, responding to COVID-19 and maintaining stability, it said.

The report added that efforts have also been made to resolutely fight separatism and interference, and to further promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. 

Major-country diplomacy

Major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics has been conducted on all fronts over the past five years, according the report.

President Xi Jinping and other Party and state leaders visited many countries and attended, online or offline, many major diplomatic events, and China also hosted a number of major diplomatic events, the report noted.

“With courage and ability to stand our ground, we resolutely safeguarded China’s sovereignty, security and development interests. We actively expanded global partnerships, worked to build an open world economy, safeguarded multilateralism and promoted the building of a human community with a shared future,” the report said.

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Foreign news

Xi, Putin sign joint statement on deepening comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era



Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin jointly signed and released here on Tuesday the Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era at the Kremlin in Moscow.

In the statement, the two sides pointed out that China-Russia relations are not the kind of military-political alliance during the Cold War, but transcend such a model of state-to-state relations and have the nature of no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party.

They said that different countries have different histories, cultures and national conditions, and they all have the right to choose their own development path. There is no such a thing as a superior “democracy.” The Russian side highly regards the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by the Chinese side.

The Russian side in the statement reaffirms its adherence to the one-China principle, recognizes Taiwan as an inalienable part of Chinese territory, opposes any form of “Taiwan independence,” and firmly supports China’s measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Both sides agree to strengthen cooperation in law enforcement such as preventing the “color revolution,” and cracking down on the “three forces” including the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement,” transnational organized crime, economic crime and drug crime.

The two, according to the statement, will build a closer partnership for energy cooperation, support enterprises of both sides in promoting energy cooperation projects such as oil and gas, coal, electricity and nuclear energy, and promote the implementation of initiatives that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including the use of low-emission energy and renewable energy.

They will also jointly safeguard international energy security including the security of key cross-border infrastructure, and maintain the stability of industry and supply chains of energy products.

Russia spoke highly of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and will continue to participate in the work of the Group of Friends of the GDI.

The two countries call on an objective, impartial and professional investigation into the explosion of the Nord Stream pipeline, said the statement, adding that they jointly oppose the attempt to politicize origin tracing of viruses.

China and Russia express serious concerns about the consequences and risks of the trilateral security partnership – AUKUS and related nuclear-powered submarine cooperation programs among the United States, Britain and Australia on regional strategic stability.

The two sides strongly urge AUKUS members to strictly fulfill their obligations of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and safeguard regional peace, stability and development.

They also express serious concern about Japan’s plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident into the sea this year, and stressed that Japan must conduct transparent and full consultations with neighboring countries and other stakeholders and relevant international agencies.

The two sides urged Japan to properly handle the nuclear-contaminated water in a scientific, transparent and safe manner, and accept the long-term supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and related countries, so as to effectively protect the marine environment and the rights to health of people of all countries.

Also in the statement, the two sides expressed serious concern about the biological military activities of the United States, both inside and outside the country, which seriously threaten other countries and undermine the security of relevant regions. They demand that the United States make clarification on this, and refrain from carrying out all biological activities that violate the Biological Weapons Convention.

The two sides urge NATO to abide by its commitments as a regional and defensive organization, and call on NATO to respect the sovereignty, security, interests as well as diversity of civilizations, history and culture of other countries, and treat their peaceful development in an objective and fair manner.

They also express serious concern about NATO’s continuous strengthening of military security ties with Asian-Pacific countries and undermining regional peace and stability. The two sides oppose piecing together a closed and exclusive group structure in the region, and stirring group politics and camp confrontation.

China and Russia, said the statement, express concern over the situation in the Korean Peninsula, and urge the U.S. side to respond to the legitimate and reasonable concerns of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with practical actions and create conditions for the resumption of dialogues.

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