By Hong Lefeng
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, China’s governments at various levels have issued a package of emergency measures, which have guided expectations of the society and boosted people’s confidence in the Chinese economy.
To cope with the epidemic, relevant authorities have unveiled supportive financial policies, and multiple local departments have promptly issued policies to support finance and taxation, customs, and social security so as to help small and micro businesses.
While inspecting epidemic prevention and control work in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping demanded resolute efforts from Party committees and governments at all levels to win the people’s war against the epidemic and urged them to strive to achieve this year’s economic and social development goals and tasks.
The President also required efforts to stabilize employment, the financial market, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and expectations.
Epidemic prevention and control is not only a battle in the field of medicine and healthcare, but also an all-round battle associated with economic work.
Therefore, while doing a good job in prevention and control, the country must also coordinate the work of reform, development, and stability. It must make great efforts to finish key tasks for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and winning the battle against poverty.
To cope with complex and severe risks and challenges, the country must not slow down or hesitate. Only by taking the initiative and making overall planning can it overcome difficulties and minimize the impact on economic development.
To be objective, the epidemic outbreak has exerted different degrees of impact on relevant industries and public consumption. But the influence is temporary and periodical.
As relevant supportive policies are gradually taking effect, China is fully confident in and capable of defeating the epidemic and boosting economy. Compared with 2003 when it fought against the SARS epidemic, the country’s economy has improved significantly today in terms of size and quality, material basis, emergency response capabilities, and macro-control system.
This is the source of the resilience and potential of China’s economic development, as well as the country’s the confidence in winning the battle against the epidemic.
To stabilize employment, the financial market, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and expectations, the most urgent task on the supply side is to take concrete efforts to maintain normal economic operations and social order.
The supply of medical materials on the front line of epidemic prevention and control must be guaranteed, and urban and rural residents shall be provided with adequate supplies of daily necessities.
Besides, sufficient energy supply in urban and rural areas must be ensured so as to avoid secondary problems caused by anxiety over insufficient supply of living materials.
In addition, the country will also help enterprises resume production, as well as recommence and start projects while guaranteeing safety. It is suggested that the country properly handle labor-capital relationship, so as to ease corporate burden and safeguard the legitimate interests of the employees. Only by taking the interests of all parties into consideration and motivating all sides can general stability of the industrial chain be maintained.
To contain the epidemic while promoting development, stable consumption must be kept at the demand side, which is key to offsetting the impact of the epidemic.
During the Chinese New Year holiday, huge consumption potential has been accumulated by people across the country who stayed home to avoid massive infection, such as the demand for healthcare products and services and online services. Once this potential is released, a new driving force will be created for industrial development.
In addition, new driving forces will also be forged by the accomplishment of the key tasks in securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and winning the battle against poverty.
As a big consumer market, China has ample room of maneuver in economic development. The country is seeing an urgent demand of ideas and actions that are able to stimulate urban and rural consumption and turn crisis into opportunities.
China’s momentum sustaining sound economic development remains unchanged. Amidst internal and external challenges and risks, the country must also do a good job of macroeconomic monitoring and early warning, so as to keep a close eye on economic operation and the possible impacts of the epidemic on the economy.
To continue forwarding against headwinds and withstand downward pressure in the epidemic, China must follow the requirements of the meeting held by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, stabilize employment, the financial market, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and expectations, and prepare for all kinds of complex and difficult situations.
As long as the country coordinates its efforts nationwide, gives full play to the institutional advantage of concentrating resources to accomplish large undertakings, and ensures timely analysis and actions, it can properly handle the impacts of the epidemic, coordinate and balance epidemic control and economic development, and promote sound and stable development of its economy.