With cut in defence budget, China’s focus on modernising military


Over the next 10 days or so, the NPC delegates, along with some 2,200 members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, will be poring over Mr Li’s government work report.

Chinese President Xi Jinping joins a group deliberation of deputies from Shanghai to the annual session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2016.
In his report, Li called on all Chinese to “rally closer around the CPC Central Committee headed by General Secretary Xi”.
China’s economy has slowed steadily as the ruling Communist party tries to replace a model based on trade and investment with self-sustaining growth driven by domestic consumption.
“We have taken into consideration the need to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the need to advance structural reform”, he said of the estimated growth rate.
Such growth might help ensure employment and people’s welfare, he said.
Li says that GPD and per-capita personal income in 20-20 is set to double that of 2010, and the annual economic growth is expected to be at least 6.5 percent in next five years. It is also the first time in two decades that it has set a growth range – instead of a specific target – reflecting its leaders’ desire for policymaking flexibility as they push for longer-term economic reforms.
He assured the crowd China can reach minimum economic growth of 6.5 to seven percent and sustain a similar rate through 2020, allowing the country to bounce back from cuts made by President Xi Jinping to state-supported industries. Earlier this week, when asked about what they want to hear from China’s parliamentary session, 40 percent of respondents said they are most concerned about the country’s pollution control.
China would continue dialogue with president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration on the basis of “peaceful development” and “familial affinity”, and if the party rejects independence, China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) said yesterday. “There is no difficulty we can not get beyond”, he said.
There also is concern over rising unemployment as Beijing seeks to gradually shift its economy from overdependence on manufacturing and industry towards more services and consumer spending.
Li’s report listed a package of pragmatic policies to address economic weakness, including tax cut, flexible monetary policy, cut of overcapacity, and business creativity.
The premier announced a draft goal of running a fiscal deficit equivalent to 3 percent of GDP, up from last year’s 2.3 percent, and proposed to raise the growth of M2 – a broad measure ofmoney supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits – to 13 percent, one percentage point higher than last year’s figure.
In lead up to parliament, the government flagged major job losses in key coal and steel industries. About 100 billion yuan will be spent on resettling laid-off employees in these industries.
A Japanese colony for 50 years, Taiwan was reabsorbed by China in 1945, but then split apart again after Chiang Kai-shek’s defeated Nationalists moved their government to the island in 1949 after the Communist seizure of power on the mainland.
“Pursuing development is like sailing against the current: you either forge ahead or drift downstream”, he said.