SCIO briefing on ensuring stability a priority while making new progress in high-quality development
Beijing | 10 a.m. March 7, 2022

The State Council Information Office (SCIO) held a press conference in Beijing on Monday about ensuring stability a priority while making new progress in high-quality development.


Lian Weiliang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission

Lin Nianxiu, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission

Hu Zucai, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission


Xing Huina, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO

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Lian Weiliang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

Lin Nianxiu, vice chairman of the NDRC

Hu Zucai, vice chairman of the NDRC


Xing Huina, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and SCIO spokesperson


March 7, 2022

Xing Huina:

Friends from the media, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). Today, we are joined by three vice chairmen of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC): Mr. Lian Weiliang, Mr. Lin Nianxiu and Mr. Hu Zucai, who will introduce the topic at hand and answer your questions.

Next, let's first give the floor to Mr. Lian Weiliang.

Lian Weiliang:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the press:

Good morning. On the morning of the day before yesterday, He Lifeng, head of the NDRC, was interviewed on the sidelines of the annual legislative session. Today, along with Mr. Lin Nianxiu and Mr. Hu Zucai, both vice chairmen of the NDRC, I'm very happy to meet you here. First of all, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and respect to all friends from the media for your long-term concern, support and assistance to the development and reform work.

Since last year, the external environment has become more complex, severe and uncertain. China's economic development is facing threefold pressures of shrinking demand, supply shocks and weakening expectations. Under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, all regions and departments have coordinated pandemic controls and socio-economic development, and innovated and improved macroeconomic regulations and controls, achieving higher growth and lower inflation. China has accomplished its main targets and tasks for last year, and the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) is off to a good start.

On the morning of March 5, Premier Li Keqiang delivered a government work report, making comprehensive arrangements for various tasks this year, and clarified the goals and tasks for economic and social development throughout the year. The draft plan on national economic and social development in 2022 has been submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) for review and approval and to members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) for deliberation. The NDRC will conscientiously implement the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, adhere to the principle of ensuring stability is a priority while making new progress, and focus on stabilizing the macroeconomic market, keep the economy operating within a reasonable range, maintain overall social stability, and take practical actions to greet the convening of the 20th National Congress of the CPC.

Now, we are willing to answer your questions.

Xing Huina:

Thank you for your introduction, Mr. Lian. The floor is now open for questions. Please identify the news outlet you work for before asking your question.



In the face of the current pressure on China's economic and social development, it is necessary to focus on stimulating economic vitality through reform. What are the key tasks for reforming the economic system this year? How can we further stimulate economic and social development through reform? Thank you.

Lian Weiliang:

Thank you for your questions. Both the Central Economic Work Conference and the premier's government work report clearly stated that "reform and opening-up policies should lend impetus to development." The Party Central Committee and the State Council have deployed a series of major reforms to vitalize development. The NDRC will act on its new development philosophy, build on its new development paradigm, promote high-quality development, and earnestly implement these major reforms, particularly in the five areas of implementing reforms to stimulate the vitality of market players, to build a high-standard market system, to stabilize growth and expand domestic demand, to promote high-level opening-up, and to promote the transition to green and low-carbon growth.

First, we will accelerate reforms to stimulate the vitality of market players. We will complete the three-year action plan (2020–2022) for the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), move faster to adjust and improve the layout and structure of the state-owned sector, and deepen the reform of mixed ownership actively and steadily. We will encourage and guide private enterprises to accelerate the pace of structural reform and achieve high-quality development. We will focus on the concerns of market players, continue to strengthen support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and create a favorable environment for various market players to compete for development. We will advocate an entrepreneurial spirit and accelerate the building of world-class enterprises.

Second, we will accelerate reforms to build a high-standard market system. Efforts will be made to remove market barriers, improve the fundamental market system, and build a unified domestic market. We will carry out comprehensive pilot reforms of the market-based allocation of production factors, strive to achieve major breakthroughs in land, labor, capital and technology, and make significant progress in the basic system related to data. We will steadily promote market-oriented reform of competitive areas in key industries, accelerate the building of a unified national market system for electric power, and further improve the unified national oil and gas market system.

Third, we will accelerate reforms to stabilize growth and expand domestic demand. We will innovate the investment and financing system, promote reforms to introduce a business-invested project commitment system, improve investment facilitation, and better leverage private capital to expand effective investment. We will promote the quality and scale of consumption, further improve the consumption environment, and facilitate the continuous recovery of consumer spending. We will improve the institutions and mechanisms for distribution based on factors of production and expand the size of the middle-income group.

Fourth, we will accelerate reforms to achieve a higher level of opening-up. We will continue to promote institutional opening-up, ensure national treatment for all foreign-invested enterprises, further ease market access for foreign capital, and ensure that the negative list for cross-border service trade is fully observed. We will speed up construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port, and do a good job in the island-wide customs clearance operation. We will optimize services for foreign investors and speed up the implementation of major foreign investment projects.

Fifth, we will accelerate reforms to shift toward green and low-carbon development. Efforts will be made to achieve the peak carbon and carbon neutrality goals. We will improve assessment and statistical accounting systems for greenhouse gas emissions, and avoid one-size-fits-all or campaign-style approaches in carbon reduction. We will speed up improvements to policy incentives for reducing pollution and carbon emissions and policy constraints on such emissions, and launch trials for the trading of energy consumption rights and green power. We will improve the price formation mechanism and promote important breakthroughs in the ecological product value-realization mechanism.

In accordance with the requirements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, we will make full use of the "key tactic" of reform to inject strong impetus into the stable and healthy development of the economy and society.

Thank you.



Recently, due to the impact of geopolitical conflict, commodity prices have risen sharply, which will inevitably have a negative impact on the Chinese economy to a certain extent. How will the NDRC mitigate the impact of rising commodity prices in order to sustain growth? Thank you.

Hu Zucai:

Changes in the prices of commodities such as grain, energy and minerals are related to people's wellbeing, industrial and agricultural production, and the macroeconomic market. Stable prices will ensure an orderly market, stable economy and society. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to the work of ensuring the supply and price stability of commodities.

Last year, due to factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, excess liquidity and supply bottlenecks, the prices of international bulk commodities such as oil, natural gas, coal and iron ore rose sharply, driving up global inflation. Prices in many countries hit multi-year highs. For example, the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) rose 7% in December last year, hitting a 40-year high. China's economy is deeply integrated into the world economy. We purchase a relatively high proportion of oil, natural gas, iron ore and other commodities. Rising international prices have increased imported inflation pressure and pushed up the prices of domestic energy and raw materials. In October last year, the domestic producer price index (PPI) reached 13.5%, a new high for many years, which had an adverse impact on the production of enterprises and people's lives, and brought challenges to the stable operation of the macro economy. We fully implemented the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, coordinated pandemic controls and economic and social development, coordinated development and safety, took multiple measures, and adopted a series of measures to ensure supply and stabilize prices such as making supply and demand adjustments, carrying out market supervision and guiding expectations. All these measures have achieved positive results. The overall domestic price has remained within a reasonable range. Last year, China's CPI rose by an average of 0.9%, in sharp contrast to the high inflation in major international economies, playing an important role in stabilizing global prices.

Since the beginning of this year, influenced by multiple factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the adjustment of monetary policies of major economies, and in particular, the aggravation of geopolitical conflicts, the trend in global commodity prices presented to be more challenging and complicated with uncertainties. In recent days, the global oil price surpassed the US$110-per-barrel mark and soared to $139 today. Prices of coal, natural gas, and iron ore remained high, and there is a rising trend in prices of corn and other grains. All these pose a challenge to our work of ensuring domestic supply and stabilizing prices.

Generally speaking, China's economy features strong resilience and large market space. With abundant policy tools, particularly bumper grain harvest in consecutive years, adequate production of hogs, and sufficient supply of industrial and agricultural products and services, China has all the necessary conditions as well as the capability and confidence to continue to keep prices running smoothly. Therefore, the projected target for CPI increase at around 3%, which was set in this year's government work report, is achievable. In January of 2022, China's CPI rose by 0.9% year-on-year, much lower than the percentages in the United States and the eurozone, which were 7.5% and 5.1%, respectively. The year-on-year increase of PPI fell back to 9.1% in January, which was also substantially lower than the level of more than 20% in the eurozone.

To ensure the supply and stabilize prices of commodities are of weighty responsibility. Faced by the complicated and grave situation this year, we will resolutely implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, evaluate worst-case scenarios, implement policies in a comprehensive way, and strengthen precision regulation so as to make every effort to ensure the supply and stabilize prices of commodities.

First, we will make efforts to ensure the supply and price stability of grains to guarantee food security. Grain prices are the basis of all prices. The stability of grain prices can provide solid support for our efforts to stabilize all prices. China has sufficient stocks and supply of rice, wheat, and other types of grains, and therefore is fully self-sufficient. This year, we will ensure a stable sowing area and grain output and make efforts to ensure the supply and stabilize the price of chemical fertilizer. In this way, we will manage to keep grain output sufficient and its price stable, so as to ensure that the Chinese people can hold their bowls firmly. At the same time, we will strengthen our work to ensure the supply and the price stability of corn and soybeans, tap domestic potentials, make more efforts to improve the production capacity of soybeans and oilseed crops, reasonably make use of global resources, strengthen reserve adjustment, and maintain the balance between supply and demand.

Second, we will make efforts to ensure supply and price stability of energy to guarantee energy security. We will focus on the work to stabilize coal supply and prices. China's coal consumption accounts for 56% of the total energy consumption, and coal-fired power generation accounts for about 60%. If the coal price is stable, then the electricity price will be stable accordingly, and furthermore, the fundamentals of energy price will be stable. Recently, the NDRC issued a notice to further improve the pricing mechanism for the coal market, aiming at improving range-based regulation for coal prices and creating synergy between an efficient market and a well-functioning government. Next, we will fully carry out this major reform to ensure the implementation and effectiveness of reform measures. We will improve the coal production, supply, storage, and marketing system, improve the adjustment capacity of supply and demand, ensure a reasonable and sufficient production capacity, strengthen market expectation management, guide coal prices to run within a reasonable range, and improve the transmission mechanism of coal and electricity prices, so as to ensure a secure and stable supply.

Third, we will make efforts to ensure supply and price stability of major minerals to guarantee the security of industrial and supply chains. We will intensify our efforts on domestic exploration and development of iron ore, accelerate the construction of mineral products bases, expand the recycling of steel scrap and other renewable resources, enhance support capacity of domestic resources, strengthen import and export adjustment capacity, and resolutely curb the blind expansion of energy-intensive, high emission, and low-standard projects, so that we can ensure a secure supply and basic price stability of major minerals.

Fourth, we will keep a close eye on market trends and strengthen law-based market supervision. We will pay close attention to the supply and demand and price performance of key commodity markets and strengthen monitoring and analysis to keep abreast of the situation. We will keep high-standard market supervision and strengthen coordinated supervision of futures and spot markets. We will crack down on the fabricating and spreading word of possible price increases, price gouging, hoarding and profiteering, other violations of laws and regulations, and malicious speculation of capital in particular.

Fifth, we will make solid efforts to guarantee a basic living to people who encounter difficulties to ensure that their basic living needs are met. We will guide localities to earnestly implement a linkage mechanism of subsidies, and provide temporary subsidies in full and in a timely manner to effectively guarantee a basic living to people in difficulties.


Cover News:

Last year, there was a global shortage of energy supply, and some parts of China also saw a shortage of coal and electricity. Although we have ensured a stable supply of energy in a very short period of time, there are still worries about whether a similar situation would take place this year. What countermeasures does the NDRC have to ensure a stable supply of energy? Thank you.

Lian Weiliang:

Thank you for your question. Last year, we indeed faced grave challenges in our efforts to ensure energy supply. China's capability to turn the tide in a short time to ensure energy supply in some places is mainly attributable to the close attention of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. In recent years, China has planned in advance the construction of energy production, supply, storage, and marketing systems and continued to increase the effective supply of energy. In key window period before the heating season, decisive policies were made, and a series of practical policies and measures were quickly adopted, such as increasing coal production and supply, ensuring full operation of generator units, making early preparation, and keeping sufficient storage of natural gas, as well as coupling the price of coal with that of electricity in a reasonable way. China's institutional strength also helps enhance its capability to ensure energy supply. We have implemented full coverage of medium and long-term contracts for thermal coal and coal used for heating, guided coal prices to return to a reasonable range, and ensured that people's basic energy needs are met. Generally speaking, the energy supply and demand in the heating season was relatively stable, coal stockpiles for heating at power plants were adequate for no less than 20 days of consumption, and there was neither power nor gas rationing. All these have effectively ensured the smooth running of economic and social development as well as a warm winter for all residents.

We understand that our people remain concerned about the energy supply of this year. The global energy supply has been in continuing shortage, both the rapid recovery of our country's economy and rapid growth of exports have driven the rapid increase of energy demand, and our efforts to steadily achieve the carbon-peak and carbon-neutralization goals have required for an accelerated transformation into clean and low-carbon energy, all of which put forward new and higher requirements for ensuring energy supply. China has been deeply integrated into the global economy. The rise in global commodity prices has driven the demand for energy-intensive products, and geopolitical conflicts and changes in global energy supply and demand will affect the security and reliability of the energy supply in our country.

Despite the increasingly unpromising challenges we are facing, China has the condition, ability, confidence and solutions to ensure a secure and reliable supply of energy. In accordance with the deployment and requirements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, we will give full play to the coordination mechanism for coal, electricity, oil, gas, and transportation services and focus on ensuring energy supply from four aspects. To be specific, we will emphasize the three "intensifies" and one "ensure," that is, to intensify efforts to increase production capacity, intensify efforts to guarantee reserves, intensify efforts to ensure a stable supply and price, and ensure that people's basic energy needs are met.

First, we will intensify our efforts to increase production capacity. We will vigorously promote the construction of large-scale wind power and photovoltaic bases in sandy areas, rocky areas, and deserts, and build a significant number of peak-shaving plants that utilize pumped storage for electricity generation, by which ways we will increase the effective output of various power generation in a coordinated manner. We will greatly increase investment in oil and gas exploration and development to promote the increase of petroleum and gas reserves and output and free up advanced coal production capacity in an orderly way to maintain the coal output at a reasonable level.

Second, we will intensify our efforts to guarantee reserves. We will accelerate the construction of government- deployable coal reserve capacity to more than 200 million tons, add gas storage facilities of more than five billion cubic meters, increase the electricity supply of pre-emergency and peak-shaving plants to more than 300 million kilowatts, and guide major energy production enterprises and large energy consumers to strengthen their consciousness of social responsibility.

Third, we will intensify our efforts to ensure a stable supply and stable prices. We will give full play to the role of medium and long-term energy contracts and achieve full coverage of medium and long-term contracts for coal, electricity, and gas services in key areas related to people's livelihood and economic development. We will help keep coal prices running within a reasonable range and improve the transmission mechanism of coal and electricity prices.

We will make efforts to ensure that people's basic energy needs are met. Although we are guaranteed with reliable energy supply capacity, with the significant increase in the proportion of unstable power sources, such as climate-vulnerable wind power and photovoltaic plants, residents and enterprises have higher and higher requirements for reliable energy to meet their living and production needs. Through a larger margined, more secure, and more reliable supply guarantee plan, we will ensure energy security and supply in all situations. We will ensure that there will be neither electricity nor gas rationing unless in extreme cases, and even if there's an extreme case, the switches and valves will not be turned off. Supported by the above comprehensive measures, we will ensure the security and reliable supply of energy in China and reassure our people and all energy users.

Thank you.


China set a 5.5% GDP growth target for this year, which is believed by many analysts as a bit difficult to achieve and may require much stronger policy support. What's your take on that? Also, do you have fears of the negative effects of stimulus policies, for example, lower investment efficiency, excess capacity, and possible risks of an asset bubble? In addition, what is the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the Chinese economy and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)? Thank you.

Lian Weiliang:

Thank you for your questions. Premier Li Keqiang made a thorough explanation on this year's growth target and the measures to achieve it. The government work report emphasized that the target of around 5.5% represents a medium-high growth rate from a large base figure and demonstrates the country's ability to move proactively. Achieving this goal will require arduous efforts.

NDRC Chairman He Lifeng also expounded on ways to achieve the GDP growth target as he joined the "minister aisle" interview on the sidelines of the ongoing "two sessions." We are well poised to achieve this year's target. We have ample room for development, which is created by implementing the new development philosophy, building the new development paradigm, and promoting high-quality development. We have also accumulated practical experience in driving high-quality development against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly, we have an effective policy mix, including prudent and effective macro policies, micro policies that continuously stimulate the vitality of market entities, structural policies that ensure smooth flow of economic activity, policies in the sci-tech sector that energize innovative potential, reform and opening-up policies that drive development, policies that promote more balanced and coordinated regional development, as well as social policies that meet people's basic living needs.

More importantly, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we have accumulated rich experience in developing new ways to improve macro regulation as we address various risks and challenges. We have both macro-policy tools and space available to us, and we used them to intensify cross- and counter-cyclical adjustments. We did not adopt a deluge of strong stimulus policies but paid attention to the precision, efficiency, and sustainability of policies. While making sure we achieve the growth target, we effectively avoided problems such as lower investment efficiency, excess capacity, and asset bubble.

This year, we will work on the following three aspects to achieve the GDP growth target. First, we will pay more attention to the implementation of major decisions, issue more policies and measures to further expand domestic demand, and strive to maintain the sound development momentum of foreign trade. Second, we will enhance the coordination of macro policies in order to unleash their combined role in stabilizing growth. In particular, we will strengthen the assessment and analysis of newly issued policies in order to accelerate policies that contribute to economic stability and keep an eye out for policies that work otherwise. Third, we will attach more importance to addressing various risks and challenges, and ensuring food security, energy security, and the stability of industrial and supply chains. We will also work on pandemic control in a more precise manner.

As to the possible impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, we are paying as much attention as you do. The conflict brings more uncertainty to global economic development. I want to emphasize that the Chinese economy has strong resilience, ample potential, and adequate space for development. Though the external environment is becoming more complicated, the fundamentals underpinning China's long-term growth remain sound. China is still able to keep its major economic indicators within the appropriate range. Regarding the BRI, both Russia and Ukraine are participating countries of the initiative. China will work along with all participating countries of the Belt and Road, including Russia and Ukraine, to promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road in the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefit. We also look forward to seeing the concerned parties peacefully resolve the issues through dialogue, and minimize the conflict's impact on the world economy.

Thank you.


Economic Daily:

The internal and external environment that China faces has undergone significant changes. The Central Economic Work Conference held last year underlined the smooth operation of the industrial chain. Can you please introduce the efforts on maintaining the security and stability of industrial and supply chains and what new measures will be taken in the future? Thanks.

Lin Nianxiu:

Maintaining the security and stability of industrial and supply chains is a strategic requirement of building the new development paradigm. It also matters to China's long-term development and security. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to the security and stability of the industrial and supply chains. General Secretary Xi Jinping has made important instructions on numerous occasions, pointing out the direction and providing the fundamental principles for us. In recent years, the NDRC has worked along with other departments to earnestly implement decisions and policies of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, shored up the industrial economy, resolved impediments to industrial development, and smoothened economic circulation. This has contributed to a much stronger resilience of industrial and supply chains and increased our capability of maintaining the security and reliability of industrial and supply chains. This can be seen in the following four aspects.

First, a more stable operation. The industrial economy continued to develop steadily. In 2021, industrial added value above the designated size rose 9.6% year on year. Key industries and sectors maintained stable operation. We managed to maintain the supply and steady the prices of commodities and raw materials, effectively guarding against the impact brought to industrial and supply chains by undue fluctuations in prices.

Second, a better structure. We made breakthroughs in key and core technologies, achieving unprecedented results and making major improvements in a number of sectors. Companies generated more vitality and improved their cost-effectiveness. A number of outstanding companies and key equipment have become a calling card of China. A batch of small and medium-sized companies with high growth potential, advanced technology, strong market competitive edges as well as single-product specialists emerged more quickly and showed a promising outlook. Strategic emerging industrial clusters with unique characteristics and complement each other develop and thrive nationwide, adding to the efforts of maintaining stable industrial and supply chains.

Third, stronger development momentum. Industrial sectors amassed great momentum in transformation, upgrading and technological innovation. In 2021, China's high-tech industry saw its investment rise 17.1% year on year, 12.2 percentage points higher than that of investment in general. The manufacturing industry saw its investment in technological transformation rise 13.6% year on year, higher than the growth rate of overall investment in the manufacturing industry, adding new impetus to improving industrial and supply chains.

Fourth, stronger competitiveness. China's exports and global market share created record highs. In 2021, the export delivery value of industrial enterprises rose 17.7% year on year. China's 5G network facilities and applications led the world. The production and sales of new energy vehicles topped the world for seven consecutive years. The production of photovoltaic modules accounted for more than 70% of the world's total. Power transmission and transformation and rail transit already led the world. Industries with strong competitiveness continued to grow, and they have taken up a much better position in global industrial and supply chains.

We should also be keenly aware that facing the complex and volatile international environment and domestic conditions, we still face multiple difficulties and challenges in keeping industrial and supply chains safe and stable. This year's work requires extraordinary efforts from us. Next, the NDRC will work with related departments to take effective measures to keep industrial and supply chains secure and stable. We will continue our major work in five aspects as follows:

First, we will continue to shore up weaknesses. The amount of water a bucket can hold is determined by its shortest plank. Major weak links in industrial chains always hinder the healthy development of the economy. We will focus on key areas concerning the economy, people's wellbeing, as well as strategic and security matters. Dealing with bottleneck problems will be our focal point. We will coordinate the efforts to strengthen weaknesses, promote iterative applications, improve the industrial ecology, and make breakthroughs in key and core technologies. We will implement projects for rebuilding industrial foundations, strengthen weaknesses in basic industries, and cement the foundation for industrial and supply chains.

Second, we will continue to build up and harness our strengths. Our strength maintains the core competitiveness and a powerful and effective tool for industrial competition. We should work to build up our strength. First, we will expand strength in upgrading traditional industries. We will step up efforts to implement the Five-Year Action Plan on Enhancing Core Competitiveness in the Manufacturing Sector. We will increase competitive edges throughout the complete industrial chains and in major areas. Second, we will increase strength in fostering emerging industrial chains. We will seize the opportunity to develop cutting-edge industries and deepen our efforts to develop national strategic emerging industrial clusters. Efforts will be made to accelerate the development of new industries, new business forms, and new models.

Third, continue to eliminate bottlenecks and restrictions. Smoothing economic circulation is the key to stabilizing industrial and supply chains. At present, we will focus on solving the chip shortage problem in the automobile and other manufacturing industries. Last year, due to multiple reasons, there was a global shortage in chips supply, which we will tackle this year. We will continue to ensure the stability of supplies and prices for bulk commodities and raw materials; improve the production, supply, storage, and marketing systems; and strengthen effective supervision of futures and spot markets. We will also carry out projects to link the industrial and supply chains in key fields; set up industrial coalitions in collaborative R&D, product development, and experimental verification; and rely on leading enterprises to guarantee and stabilize industrial and supply chains.

Fourth, we will continue to deepen opening-up and cooperation. We will support the development of cross-border e-commerce and overseas warehouses and promote the efficient operation of industrial and supply chains in the foreign trade sector. We will make better use of foreign investment, encourage foreign-invested enterprises to expand investment in high-end manufacturing and high-tech fields, and support the innovative development of foreign-funded R&D centers. We will also implement regional trade agreements such as RCEP, make good use of various multilateral mechanisms, and establish a mutually beneficial cooperation system for industrial and supply chains.

Fifth, we will continue to strengthen risk prevention. We will establish a risk monitoring system for industrial and supply chains and improve mechanisms for risk assessment, early warning and response so as to enhance our capability to identify and accurately handle risks. We will tighten all parties' responsibilities and strive for early detection, reporting, assessment, and response of risks in order to guarantee the stable operation of industrial and supply chains. Thank you.


Beijing News:

In recent years, due to a rapidly increasing elderly population and gradually increasing costs of raising children, many Chinese people feel the pressure of having to take care of both. What policies will be taken to expand the supply of elderly care and child care services? Thank you.

Lian Weiliang:

Thanks for your question. Elderly care and child care are the most popular issues currently concerning people's livelihoods, with topics such as aging population, the three-child policy, and taking care of elderly and young children frequently trending on the internet. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have attached great importance to this issue. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasizes that we should pay high attention to solving the problem of elderly care and child care, accelerate the system of services for the elderly, and support social forces to develop public accessible child care services. In this year's government work report, unveiled during the ongoing "two sessions," Premier Li Keqiang emphasizes the need to improve elderly care in urban and rural areas and publicly-accessible child care services. Increasing the effective supply of elderly care and child care services will be a key task for this year's economic and social development. In this regard, we will focus on three aspects: improving both quantity and quality, ensuring accessible and nearby services, and exercising strict supervision and regulation.

First, we will improve both the quantity and quality of care. At present, the social demand for elderly care and child care, especially high-quality services, is very urgent. By the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), there will be more than 9 million elderly care beds and over 6 million nursery positions for infants and young children in the country. We will expand the scale of high-quality resources to meet the public's needs. For those nursing homes and nursery institutions where it is hard to find a bed or position, the central government budgetary investment will give key support. Relevant policies including fiscal and taxation, credit, land, and talents will be implemented so as to greatly increase the high-quality resources supply of elderly care and child care services.

Second, we will ensure accessible and nearby services. After years of development, the total number of nursing homes and elderly care beds has increased significantly. However, the utilization rate of some beds is not high. Apart from the epidemic impact in the past two years, another important reason has been the mismatch between supply and demand or the lack of precise and quality supply. The public's most needs are affordable, convenient, accessible, and nearby services. Therefore, the focus of improving both quantity and quality is to ensure accessible and nearby services. Accessible means that the government should give greater policy support to help service agencies reduce costs and then lower prices for consumers. Nearby means to fully implement the requirements of providing elderly care and child care services in communities. At the same time, we will guide all kinds of elderly care and child care services to extend to communities and families.

Third, exercising strict supervision and regulation. The quality and reliability of elderly care and child care services are currently the most concerning problem. At present, there are indeed a number of problems in this regard. For example, some institutions provide low-quality services but charge unreasonable fees, which brought about consumer complaints. Some institutions lack integrity, or even cheat the elderly out of their money and then make off, which seriously impacts the bottom line of social morality and law. To prevent this, we will strengthen the coordinated supervision and regulation and further optimize standards and norms so as to comprehensively improve the service quality and level of elderly care and child care.

After the epidemic, China will witness a recovery and rapid growth of elderly care and child care services, which ask us to fully prepare for and increase its effective supply. Thank you.

Xinhua News Agency:

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, relevant departments have adopted a series of policies to boost consumption. However, the recovery of consumption is still relatively slow. How do you forecast the consumption situation this year? What other policies will be adopted to promote consumption? Thank you.

Lian Weiliang:

Mr. Hu will answer questions about consumption.

Hu Zucai:

Thanks for your question. Consumption is the final demand, the lasting driving force behind economic growth, as well as an important guarantee to meet people's growing needs for a better life. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have attached great importance to this issue. We have steadfastly implemented the strategy of boosting domestic demand, carried out a series of policies and measures to promote consumption in an orderly manner, and consolidated the fundamental role of consumption in economic development.

In 2021, sporadic COVID-19 cases were reported in China, which affected consumption a lot. We earnestly implemented the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, coordinated pandemic prevention and control with socioeconomic development, and promoted the improving and upgrading of consumption, which have boosted its recovery. China's retail sales of consumer goods totaled 44.1 trillion yuan last year, up 12.5% year on year, with final consumption expenditure contributing 65.4% to full-year economic growth. Driving GDP growth by 5.3 percentage points, China's consumption has re-established itself as the biggest driver of economic growth. At the same time, there are many new hotspots and highlights in the consumption sector. For example, online consumption bucked the trend and grew, and the online sales increased 14.1% year on year. The development of green consumption accelerated, with sales of new energy vehicles increasing 160% year on year. The demand for upgrading consumption became stronger, with retail sales of sports and fitness consumer goods maintaining double-digit growth. Thanks to the momentum from the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the consumption of ice and snow sports-related products continues to grow. Since January, online sales of ski suit and skiing equipment increased by 110.7% and 61.6%, respectively.

China enjoys a huge domestic demand market, with a population of over 1.4 billion and the world's largest and fastest-growing middle-income group. Last year, China's per capita GDP reached around 12,500 U.S. dollars, which is close to the threshold of the World Bank's standard for high-income countries. With the steady increase in personal income, a huge demand for upgrading consumption will emerge, and the momentum of sustained growth in consumption will remain unchanged. At present, consumption is getting more diversified, personalized and high-quality, and intelligent, green, and healthy consumption has become a new trend for residents. The strong domestic market provides solid support for the fostering of a new development dynamic, with the domestic economy and international engagement reinforcing each other and the former as the mainstay. However, due to the epidemic and other factors in the past two years, consumption of some of the services that entail face-to-face contact, population movements and gathering of people has been seriously affected. Last year, the passenger volume in China dropped 14.1% year on year, and the number of domestic tourists and the domestic tourism revenue only recovered to 54% and 51% of that of 2019, respectively. Therefore, the task to promote sustained recovery of consumption is still arduous.

This year's government work report made comprehensive deployments for boosting consumption in 2022. The NDRC will firmly implement the strategy of boosting domestic demand, further unleashing consumption potential, and taking multiple measures to promote sustained recovery of consumption on the basis of targeted and effective epidemic prevention and control. We will focus on the following aspects.

First is to enhance consumption capability. We will strengthen pro-employment policies, implement measures to stabilize employment, support innovation and business startups in creating jobs, and provide targeted employment support for key groups so as to increase workers' incomes through fuller and higher-quality employment. We will further improve social security, optimize income distribution structure, increase incomes of low- and middle-income groups, and further expand the middle-income group, which will lay a solid foundation for expanding consumption.

Second, we will cultivate new growth areas of consumption. We will better meet the needs of conducting pandemic prevention and control on an ongoing basis, actively develop online consumption, and promote the deep integration of online and offline consumption. We will also cultivate and expand new consumption forms and models such as smart retail, smart tourism, digital culture, and smart sports. We will vigorously develop ice and snow tourism and ice and snow consumption, and promote the implementation of the action plan for the development of ice and snow tourism. We will work harder to promote the consumption of services such as nursing care for the elderly and children, and develop elderly-friendly technologies and products and products safe and healthy for infants. We will upgrade and expand domestic services. And we will further expand county- and township-level consumption, and speed up the integration of e-commerce and express delivery systems in counties, townships and villages. At the same time, we must implement relief and assistance measures to support industries in difficulties, such as catering, retail, tourism, and transportation; promote recovery in consumption of consumer services; and steadily increase major consumption.

Third, we will vigorously develop green consumption. We will fully carry out the implementation plan for promoting green consumption recently issued by the NDRC. On the one hand, we must promote the expansion of the supply and consumption of green and low-carbon products. We will comprehensively promote green and low-carbon building materials, continue to support the consumption of new-energy vehicles, and encourage local governments to promote spending on green and smart home appliances in rural areas as well as the replacement of old home appliances. On the other hand, we will advocate a simple, moderate, green and low-carbon, civilized and healthy lifestyle and consumption model, and make green consumption a new fashion. We will enhance the national awareness of resource conservation, carry out in-depth food conservation campaigns such as the "Clear Your Plate" campaign, promote the greening, reduction, and recycling of commodity packaging and commodity distribution, and strengthen the recycling of waste and old materials.

Fourth, we will create a safe and secure consumption environment. We will optimize the urban consumption network under the framework of domestic circulation, promote the cultivation and construction of international consumption center cities, and promote the creation of regional consumption centers. We will improve community commercial supporting facilities, build a convenient urban living circle, and improve consumption infrastructure and service environment. We will strengthen the building of the consumer credit system and the quality standard system, improve the diversified consumer rights protection mechanism and dispute resolution mechanism, increase the quality and safety supervision of consumer goods, crack down on counterfeit and shoddy products, strengthen the protection of consumers' rights and interests, and strive to improve people's consumption experience and their willingness to consume. Thank you.


Zhinews of Shenzhen Satellite TV:

In recent years, the NDRC has taken the lead in establishing a business environment evaluation system, and has carried out multiple rounds of evaluations, covering hundreds of cities across the country. What achievements and progress have been made in China's business environment assessment work? What are the priorities for optimizing the business environment this year? Thank you.

Lian Weiliang:

Mr. Lin Nianxiu, please answer the questions.

Lin Nianxiu:

Establishing a business environment evaluation system that conforms to China's national conditions and conducting business environment evaluation is an institutional arrangement made by the Regulations on Optimizing Business Environment. Since 2018, the NDRC has led the establishment of China's business environment evaluation system in accordance with the deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. So far, six batches of evaluations have been carried out. A total of 98 cities across the country have participated in the evaluations, covering 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities. In this process, we have formed three "1+N" working mechanisms in systems, indicators, and reports for optimizing the business environment, which have effectively promoted the optimization and upgrading of business environment nationwide.

Regarding these three "1+N" mechanisms, the first is the system "1+N". "1" is China's "Regulations on Optimizing Business Environment", and "N" is the supporting regulations and policies issued by various regions. For the indicator "1+N", "1" is the evaluation indicator system of China's business environment, including 18 major items and 87 small items, and "N" is the indexes added by local governments in accordance with local situations. As for the report "1+N" mechanism, "1" is the "China Business Environment Report" issued by the NDRC every year, and "N" is the local self-assessment reports. Each region has carried out targeted reforms in line with the national indicator system. At present, 28 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have formulated local regulations. Many cities' plans for optimizing business environment have been upgraded from version 1.0 to version 5.0, while all regions are showing enormous enthusiasm to compete with each other to optimize their business environment.

You all know that business environment is the soil for the survival and development of enterprises, and the quality of the "soil" is directly related to the vitality of market entities and the driving force of economic development. The NDRC will conscientiously implement the deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, focus on key points, continue to make efforts, and strive to create a market-oriented, law-based, internationalized, and convenient top-class business environment to better cultivate and stimulate the vitality of market players. To sum up, the next key measures can be summarized in five words, namely, "fairness, justice, openness, convenience, and satisfaction."

Fairness means continuing to relax market access, allowing enterprises to enter and compete on an equal footing. We will focus on implementing list-based management and fully implement administrative systems such as the negative list for market access and the list of items requiring administrative licensing. The most urgent task is to speed up the removal of hidden barriers in the market, break down the "glass door", clean up and abolish regulations and practices that hinder a unified market and fair competition, and ensure that various market players can equally use various production factors and public service resources in accordance with the law.

Justice means implementing scientific and effective supervision, enhancing corporate investment confidence, and stabilizing market expectations. We will focus on promoting the "three meticulous implementations." The first is to meticulously implement the "Regulations on Optimizing Business Environment" and solve the "last-mile" problems in the implementation of laws and regulations. The second is to meticulously implement supervision system rules, strictly regulate administrative law enforcement, and implement "double randoms, one disclosure" supervision (i.e. randomly select inspection objects and inspectors, and disclose the results timely), credit supervision, smart supervision, remote supervision, and mobile supervision. The third is to meticulously implement the regulations and procedures for formulating enterprise-related policies, allowing entrepreneurs to actively participate in policy formulation so that policy measures are more grounded, operational, and effective.

Openness means treating domestic and foreign enterprises equally and promoting the stable development of foreign investment and foreign trade. On the one hand, we will focus on the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law and supporting regulations, implement the catalog of industries that encourage foreign investment, and promote the implementation of major foreign investment projects. On the other hand, we will intensify our efforts to serve and guarantee foreign-funded enterprises and make every effort to coordinate and resolve the reasonable demands of foreign-funded enterprises so as to make China an attractive investment destination in the long run.

Convenience means improving the quality and efficiency of government services and making it more convenient and efficient for enterprises and the people to proceed with their businesses there. The emphasis is on "three pushes". The first is to push forward the quality and efficiency of window services, enhance the "one-stop" service function at government service halls, and promote the integrated handling of more government affairs. The second is to push forward the deep integration of online and offline services, and strengthen the coordination between the physical government service hall and the online government service platform, so as to facilitate enterprises and the people to handle their procedures there. The third is to push forward the optimization of the technology empowerment process, develop more digital service scenarios, and realize a broader range of online and cross-province one-stop services.

Satisfaction means playing the role of evaluation in guidance and supervision, stimulating local governments to introduce stronger and more practical measures recognized by market entities. Whether the business environment is good enough should be judged by enterprises. We will continue to improve the evaluation mechanism that focuses on the satisfaction of market players and the public, promote the evaluation of China's business environment in an orderly manner, guide and support more cities to make up for their shortcomings and weaknesses in line with advanced practices, and actively carry out reforms and innovations. For example, we will introduce a new measure to establish a "collection and notification system for cases that damage business environment." We will collect the problems that damage the business environment in different places and take the collected problems and rectification progress as an important part of China's business environment evaluation so as to promote solutions one by one. Thank you.

Market News International:

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate, and international oil and gas prices continue to rise further. Does China have any plans to ensure the supply of energy? Will you consider increasing imports? What are the appropriate import channels that China can utilize? Thank you.

Lian Weiliang:

Thank you for your questions. The recent escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has had an impact on the global energy market, and international crude oil and natural gas prices have risen greatly. Due to the high proportion of China's crude oil and natural gas being from outside its border, we will definitely be affected, and the import cost will rise. But overall, the impact is controllable. This is because, on the one hand, China is a big energy consumer and also a big energy producer, so the overall energy supply is guaranteed. The sources of China's crude oil and natural gas imports have been diversified, and long-term contracts account for a high proportion. As long as all parties comply with the contracts, imports can remain generally stable. At the same time, China is vigorously promoting the high-quality development of renewable energy and accelerating the implementation of renewable energy substitution. The rapid increase in clean energy will also effectively hedge and mitigate external impacts. In the past year, the proportion of clean energy in our total energy consumption has increased by 1.2 percentage points; in the national power generation in the past year, the proportion of power generation from wind power and photovoltaics increased by 2.2 percentage points. In addition, our current CPI is at a low level. Just now, Mr. Hu Zucai introduced the situation. We will take comprehensive measures to alleviate the impact of imported inflation.

As for how to ensure energy security and stabilize supply, we will make efforts in the following four aspects, as I mentioned just now. This includes expanding production capacity, increasing energy reserve, ensuring supply and stabilizing prices, and resolutely working to meet people's basic living needs of energy. These measures center on two keywords, namely "increasing" and "stabilizing." We need to increase the capacity and volume of production, the reserve, and the supply of energy. In the meantime, we also need to stabilize energy imports, prices, and relevant expectations. With the implementation of these measures, we have the confidence to ensure energy security and reliable supply, and meanwhile promote the green and low-carbon transformation of energy in an orderly manner.

Thank you.


21st Century Business Herald:

The Report on the Work of the Government notes that China will continue expanding effective investment this year. In this regard, new infrastructure is one of the key aspects. For example, the east-to-west computing resource transfer project launched in February has caught the attention of many market players. What progress has China made in the construction of new infrastructure facilities? What are the key tasks this year? Thank you.

Lian Weiliang:

Mr. Lin will take these questions.

Lin Nianxiu:

Accelerating the construction of new infrastructure facilities is a major decision made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and also a key task stipulated in the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development. It is of paramount significance to the promotion of the digital transformation of economy and society and realizing high-quality sci-tech self-reliance. The new infrastructure we proposed mainly consists of three categories concerning information technologies, integrated development, and sci-tech innovations. In recent years, the NRDC has worked with relevant government bodies to carry out a series of projects focusing on these three categories. We have seen sound progress and made new achievements in the following three aspects.

First, a new development foundation has been built for the digital economy. In recent years, China's construction of information infrastructure has sped up remarkably. We established the world's largest and most advanced network of information and communication. China's 5G network has covered all of its prefecture-level cities, the majority of counties, and most townships and villages. The gigabit fiber-optic networks have been rolled out across the country, which is able to cover 300 million households. The overall layout for the national integrated big-data center system has also been completed. Since 2021, the NDRC has approved the construction plans of eight national computing hubs and has comprehensively launched the east-to-west computing resource transfer project. The project aims to give full play to the respective advantages of the east and west regions and translate the demand for computing capacity in the east into a growth momentum in the west so as to further realize nationwide coordination of energy and computing capacity. The civil space infrastructure has also witnessed rapid development. Currently, China's remote-sensing satellite system has realized global observation. In major fields, the self-sufficiency rate of data collected by domestic satellites exceeds 90%.

Second, new pillars have been created to support high-quality development. Regarding the construction of infrastructure that promotes integration, China's capacity of using information technologies has been greatly enhanced in advancing the intelligent transformation of traditional infrastructure facilities, facilitating economic upgrading and transformation, and improving people's livelihood. For instance, in terms of smart transport, we have seen remarkable progress in the intelligent transformation of ports and freeways. Digital map achieved full coverage, and the e-tickets have been rollout out comprehensively. Electronic waybills have been applied to more than 90% of express delivery services. People's traveling experiences and other logistic services have been greatly facilitated. In terms of the intelligent transformation of the energy sector, China introduced the world's first high-reliability 5G network for coal mines. After renovation, these coal mines have extensively adopted unmanned operating systems, and the number of employees working at high-risk posts has been reduced by more than half. This has effectively safeguarded people's possessions and lives. In terms of industrial internet, more than 2,000 "5G plus industrial network" projects have been carried out across China, which became a crucial pillar supporting the recovery of work and production and maintaining stability of industrial and supply chains. To sum up, 5G network not only facilitates online shopping activities but also improves the efficiency of industrial manufacturing and makes it more intelligent.

Third, new advantages have been fostered for high-level self-reliance. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China has made many breakthroughs in the innovation of infrastructure. In terms of the number of projects, China has already made plans and established a total of 57 major sci-tech infrastructure facilities. With a group of high-level infrastructure projects set to be built in the next five years, the number of large-scale infrastructure projects in China will rank among the top globally. Compared with the rest of the world, China's major sci-tech infrastructure has seen remarkable improvement. We were mostly left behind five years ago, but the gap nowadays keeps narrowing down, and we have even become a world-leading force in certain fields. For instance, our Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), also dubbed the "China Sky Eye," has made many important astronomical discoveries. China's experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST), or the Chinese "artificial sun," has achieved a reproducible, stable, and continuous plasma operation for the first time. It achieved a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds, which is truly remarkable.

Regarding the application of sci-tech achievements, a group of strategic industrial technologies has been developed in recent years, and a number of major issues associated with society and people's livelihood have been addressed. For example, the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility has explored new solutions for the efficient use of natural gas and shale gas, which provides a strong basis for our future exploitation work of the two resources. The Heavy Ion Research Facility in Lanzhou has developed a heavy ion device for cancer treatment, which is a major breakthrough in high-end medical instruments. In this sense, these seemingly highly-advanced major sci-tech infrastructure facilities are actually closely associated with us and are profoundly changing the way of production and life.

The Central Economic Work Conference for 2022 proposed that infrastructure investment should be implemented in advance in a moderate manner. In accordance with relevant arrangements and requirements, the NDRC will ramp up efforts in the following three aspects:

First, the NDRC will speed up the construction of projects in major fields. To begin with, efforts will be made to accelerate the improvement of internet facilities. We will work to carry out the project that improves basic internet facilities in small and medium-sized cities in central and western China as well as the demonstration projects featuring 5G integration and application. By doing so, we can narrow the digital divide and strengthen weak links in application. We will also unify the efforts in rolling out the construction of node-like facilities. We will accelerate the building of ten national data center clusters and implement, in a stable and orderly manner, the construction of the new National Internet Exchange Center and key junctions of direct internet connection. In addition, we will deploy forward-looking facilities in advance. We will accelerate the efforts to implement the preparatory work of projects, speeding up the launch, execution and construction of major sci-tech infrastructure projects that are stipulated in the 14th Five-Year Plan. We will also launch a group of pre-research projects in a timely manner and continuously enhance China's capacity of the original innovation.

Second, the NDRC will fully mobilize the initiative of investment among market entities. We need to make sufficient efforts in three aspects. For starters, we will leave enough room for private capital. Since new infrastructure facilities are invested and established mainly by market entities, we will further expand market access and lower the entry threshold of investment in a bid to fully leverage the role of private capital in the sector. We will also provide sufficient policy support. We will boost credit support for the construction of new infrastructure, innovate financial tools, and expand the channel of financing, providing more favorable conditions especially for private businesses that participate in the construction of new infrastructure. In addition, we will ramp up efforts to accelerate the reform in relevant sectors, support enterprises to carry out technical and business model innovation, create a market environment featuring fair competition, and foster new growth momentum for the economic and social development.

Third, we will realize our carbon peak and neutrality goals and advance green development. The period covered by the 14th Five-Year Plan will be the first five years since China set its carbon peak and neutrality goals. In line with the deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the NDRC issued an implementation plan for the green and high-quality development of new infrastructure such as data centers and 5G at the end of last year. The implementation plan made comprehensive arrangements for improving computing power and energy efficiency, optimizing energy-saving models, facilitating innovations in energy efficiency technology, and promoting economic transformation and upgrading. We will focus on the plan and step up efforts in energy conservation and emission reduction in the next step. In terms of energy conservation, we will support breakthroughs in high-efficiency energy conservative technologies, improve energy efficiency standards for ultra-large data centers, and carry out demonstration projects for energy-saving in 5G networks. In terms of emission reduction, we will promote the coordinated development of 5G facilities, computing resources, and renewable energy, support the transfer of more data centers to the western regions rich in renewable energy, and gradually reduce carbon emissions while increasing the supply of computing capacity. Thanks!

China Development and Reform News:

My questions are about new urbanization. According to the 2021 statistical communiqué, China's urbanization rate of permanent residents registered 64.72%. Will the previous rapid growth rate be sustained? What are the key tasks for new urbanization this year? Thanks.

Hu Zucai:

Thank you for the questions. Urbanization is essential for modernization and holds the greatest demand potential in China. It plays a vital role in promoting steady and healthy economic and social development, fostering a new development paradigm, and building shared prosperity. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that a uniquely Chinese approach to urbanization will continue to guide the people-centered new urbanization process. Over the past year, we have implemented the plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and achieved fresh progress in new urbanization. Improvements have been made in five aspects.

First, the level and quality of urbanization have steadily improved. By the end of 2021, China's urbanization rate of permanent residents reached 64.72%, and the rate of the registered population rose to 46.7%, a year-on-year increase of 0.83 and 1.3 percentage points, respectively. The gap between the two rates narrowed for the first time since the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Second, the provision of public services for migrant workers has steadily improved. We worked across the board to ensured that children living with their migrant worker parents in cities have access to compulsory education. As a result, 81.8% of such children studied at public schools of mandatory education, increasing 1.8 percentage points over the previous year. When considering those studying in private schools with their tuition fees covered by the government, the figure was 90.9%, a year-on-year increase of 5.1 percentage points. In addition, we organized extensive vocational skills training for rural migrant workers. Third, the carrying capacity of city clusters and metropolitan areas has steadily improved. Solid progress has been made in the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the integrated development in the Yangtze River Delta, and the development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The development of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle maintained powerful momentum. The development of city clusters in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River picked up the pace. Plans for developing metropolitan areas, including Nanjing, Fuzhou, and Chengdu, were issued. Fourth, the quality of urban development has steadily improved. We began the renovation of 56,000 old urban residential communities and accelerated the development of elderly and child care service systems. Fifth, the integrated development of urban and rural areas has steadily improved. As a result, the gap between urban and rural areas has been narrowed. The ratio of urban income to rural income per capita dropped to 2.5 from 2.56 in the previous year.

At present, China's urbanization is already in the middle and late stages of rapid development and entering a new stage of comprehensive quality improvement. Nevertheless, the driving force behind urbanization is still strong, promising substantial domestic demand and development momentum. We will advance a new people-centered urbanization strategy featuring high-quality development for some time to come. This year, we will steadily improve the quality of new urbanization and fully play its role in stimulating consumer spending and effective investment. We will focus on the following four aspects.

First, we will improve residency status for rural migrants who were granted permanent urban residency, which is the top priority of urbanization. We will continue deepening the reform of the household registration system, widening channels for rural migrants who have stable jobs and have lived in urban areas for a long time to gain urban residency, and at the same time protect their rights in rural areas. We will move faster to ensure that all urban residents access essential public services. With the new generation of migrant workers as the focus, we will ensure that children who moved from rural to urban areas along with their parents receive compulsory education. We will also improve employment service and vocational skills training. In 2022, we plan to offer at least 6 million subsidized training opportunities for migrant workers.

Second, we will promote the coordinated development of large, medium-sized, and small cities and towns. We will transform the development model of megacities. These cities should solve urban maladies; relieve their central areas of non-essential functions; appropriately control the scale, development intensity, and population density; promote multi-center, multi-level, and cluster development; and drive the growth of surrounding cities and counties to form a modern metropolitan area. We will advance the integrated development of urban clusters and metropolitan regions; accelerate the construction of highly connected rail transit in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area; promote the development of Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle; move faster to build modern metropolitan areas; and release development plans for Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan, Xi'an, and Chongqing metropolitan areas. We will promote county-level urbanization by supporting a group of counties with favorable conditions to speed up development and taking targeted measures to shore up weak links in counties. We will better meet the growing demand of rural residents to work and settle in counties. We will improve urbanization in border areas and promote characteristic towns' standardized and healthy development.

Third, we will improve livability and working conditions in cities. China's urban population has exceeded 900 million, and the number is expected to increase year by year. Therefore, we should make our cities more attractive and function better. We will create high-quality living spaces and provide more inclusive and convenient public services for urban residents. We will increase the supply of education, healthcare, childcare, elderly care, domestic, sports, and public culture services and create 15-minute community-life circles. We will promote urban renewal in an orderly manner, improve public facilities to cope with storms and droughts, initiate the upgrading of urban pipelines, including those for gas supply, improve living conditions for 8.4 million households living in old residential areas and increase urban safety and resilience. We will pay more attention to the urban ecological environment and support Chengdu in building into a demonstration park city that follows the new development philosophy. We will strengthen the conservation of historical and cultural heritage, put an end to large-scale demolition for grandiose projects, and prohibit large-scale migration and felling of old trees.

Fourth, we will drive the integrated development of urban and rural areas. Even when China basically achieves its urbanization goal, around 400 million people will still live in rural areas. We will take coordinated measures to promote urban and rural modernization, channel more urban public services to rural regions by taking counties as the basic units, promote the extension of urban utilities to rural areas according to local conditions, advance modernization of agriculture and rural areas, and provide a better living environment for rural residents. Thank you.


Shanghai Securities News:

China still faces some difficulties and challenges in developing the real economy. What measures will be taken to promote the high-quality development of real-economy sectors, including a new type of real economy-based enterprises? Thank you.

Lin Nianxiu:

The real economy is a cornerstone of our country and a wellspring of wealth. Attaching high importance to the real economy, General Secretary Xi Jinping gave important instructions on various occasions, pointing the way forward and providing guidelines to carry out related work.

Through years of effort, major advances have been made in China's real economy in terms of size, scale, structure, and quality, which is an outstanding achievement in the world's history. Our added value of the manufacturing sector has ranked top worldwide for 12 consecutive years. China has become the world's largest producer of over 220 categories of industrial products, and the only country in the world to have all the industrial categories listed in the United Nations' industrial classification. The influence of Chinese manufacturing on global industrial and supply chains has been increasing. All these are the biggest source of inspiration that will enable us to achieve the transformation from a major economy to an economic powerhouse.

However, compared with the world's industrial powerhouses, there are still some deficiencies and weak links in our work on developing the real economy, that have caused us to fall short of the requirements of high-quality development. To accelerate remedying these deficiencies, we will double our efforts and take coordinated action that covers all sectors and focus on two priorities to promote the high-quality development of the real economy.

The first priority is to continue boosting the industrial economy to increase the size of the real economy. The Central Economic Work Conference required us to seek steady progress in economic work this year. To stabilize the economy, I think we should first stabilize the industrial sector by maintaining its growth at a certain pace. At the end of last year, in accordance with the plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the NDRC worked together with relevant departments to issue an implementation plan to invigorate the industrial economy and promote high-quality industrial development. Recently, with the approval by the State Council, another document was issued on several policies for promoting steady growth of the industrial economy. In order to accelerate the implementation of relevant policies, the NDRC and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) jointly held a national teleconference recently to make concrete plans to maintain the stable growth of the industrial economy. Next, relevant departments and local governments will continue efforts to implement the above two documents to ensure our policies bring benefits to enterprises as soon as possible and to promote the steady and healthy development of the industrial economy.

On the one hand, we will provide vital relief to businesses and reduce their burdens to help them survive and achieve better development. Enterprises are market entities. The stable performance of enterprises will help maintain market confidence with better economic prospects. To achieve this, we will truly ease the tax burden on businesses, strengthen financial support, and make an all-out effort to ensure supply and price stability of important raw materials and primary products. We will also stabilize the production and business operations of big enterprises, relieve the burden on small and medium enterprises, and increase the vitality of high-tech enterprises. By keeping market entities of all kinds fully motivated, we will boost market confidence as well as development expectations.

On the other hand, we will invigorate enterprises by solid investment and strengthen the basis for sustained growth. Investment in manufacturing plays an important role in stabilizing current economic growth, as well as affecting future industrial structure and development momentum. With manufacturing investment high on our agenda, we will work to facilitate transformation in traditional industries and foster new growth drivers. Upholding a principle of ensuring all projects follow the planning and all production factors follow the projects, we will speed up preliminary work for major projects listed in the outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan and other major strategic planning to help them begin construction as soon as possible. You may have noticed that recently there have been a lot of major projects starting construction all over the country. Meanwhile, we will make efforts on the planning, reserve, and construction of major projects in various fields to help them become higher-end, smarter, more eco-friendly, giving full play to the key role of investment.

The second priority is to advance industrial restructuring to strengthen the quality of the real economy. To effectively carry out this year's economic work, we should remain committed to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability. Stability is the basis of our pursuit to further progress. In regard to the real economy, specifically, we will attach more importance to increasing its quality while keeping a certain growth pace. We will continue to promote industrial restructuring and move faster up to the medium-high end of the global value chain to realize high-quality development of our economy.

First, we will work to transform and upgrade traditional industries. Making full use of a dynamic domestic market, we will focus on traditional industries with enormous upgrading and market potential and step up efforts on technological transformation and equipment upgrading. We will expand supply based on good quality to better satisfy the needs of investment and upgrading consumption and ensure smooth flow of production, sale, and reserve. We will also promote industries with extensive energy consumption to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions through transformation and upgrading, strengthen breakthroughs in and deployment of green technologies, and improve the level of technique in steel, non-ferrous metals, construction materials, and petrochemical industries.

Second, we will work to increase the core competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. We will take concrete actions to increase core competitiveness of the manufacturing industry, encourage enterprises to put advanced and applicable technologies into practical use, enhance equipment upgrading and large-scale applications of new products, and accelerate breakthroughs in and industrial application of core technologies in key areas, including new-energy automobiles and high-end equipment to develop new advantages over manufacturing competition. We will also support enterprises to improve brand-building, achieving a growing popularity and influence of Chinese brands.

Third, we will work to boost the integrated development of manufacturing and service industries. We will continue trials to integrate the development of advanced manufacturing and modernized services, guide local governments and enterprises to explore new models and a new path, review typical experiences and successful models and apply them on a broad scale. We will also optimize the allocation of production factors and resources, and improve the quality and efficiency of supply to support the development of high-quality manufacturing.

Xing Huina:

Today's press conference is hereby concluded. Thanks to the three speakers as well as our media friends. Goodbye.

Translated and edited by Wang Yiming, Wang Qian, Zhou Jing, Lin Liyao, Liu Sitong, Zhu Bochen, Zhang Rui, Zhang Liying, Li Huiru, Li Xiao, Wang Yanfang, Chen Xia, He Shan, Zhang Lulu, Jay Birbeck, David Ball and Tom Arnstein. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

/5    Xing Huina

/5    Lian Weiliang

/5    Lin Nianxiu

/5    Hu Zucai

/5    Group photo