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The Financial Daily | National People’s Congress meeting kicks off in Beijing

Friday,Mar 09, 2018

 

BEIJING: The National People’s Congress (NPC) meeting kicked off here Monday. For the next two weeks, more than 2,100 national political advisors and about 3,000 legislators will move on to pass major bills, approve the budget and endorse personnel nominations. As top social and independent think tank in China, The Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and its Expert Advisor members have participated the event.

China will continue to pursue stable economic growth this year, setting its GDP growth target at around 6.5 percent. The growth target is unchanged from last year’s despite China’s achievement of a higher-than-expected 6.9 percent GDP growth in 2017, the first acceleration in seven years. Premier Li Keqiang struck a confident note as he went over "historic achievements" made in the past five years, despite an "extremely complex" environment both at home and abroad.

China is seen having an edge in artificial intelligence (AI), which may shift the landscape of manufacturing of tomorrow. During the conference, Robin Li, CCG Senior Vice Chair and the founder of search engine Baidu indicated that "AI makes our life easier." Today, Baidu and its partners gained a good start as AI industry leader thanks to China’s favourable business climate.

On Monday, the market is assured with a promise of tax cuts. Government work report expects the sum of reduced taxes on businesses and individuals in 2018 to amount to 800 billion yuan. CCG Expert Advisor and Tsinghua University Professor David Daokui Li submitted positive proposal regarding to tax cuts during CPPCC meetings.

Beside, China will raise its defence budget by 8.1 percent in the 2018 fiscal year?equivalent of US $175 billion in total, to further advance an ambitious modernization drive for its armed forces. Western media consider it as "extremely alarming" to many countries for developing a whole next-generation battery of weapons, especially rattling the nerves of some neighbours, but this amount actually only one fourth of USA budget.

China has been basically completed the task of reducing the armed forces by 300,000 troops, China is committed to a path of peaceful development and pursues a military policy that is defensive in nature and its defence input is actually still lower than that of other major countries per capita terms.

Today China has never been more politically and economically assertive, such a scenario does not just pose challenges for rest of major world leader, including Donald Trump, Theresa May, Angela Merkel who are in the position of relative political weakness by busying themselves with troubles at home.

And China’s success, however, will definitely lead to a reversal of control over global trade that were once dominated by the West.

Earlier, China have planned to amend presidential term limit from the Chinese constitution that may cause excessive attention from some observers, but this new model of leadership is likely to lead to a more assertive and confident China, this could means to future stability in the world’s most populous country as long term economic and foreign policy could be guaranteed into extra period beyond 2023, China name it as "The Belt and Road initiative" which will stretch from East Asia through Central Asia into parts of Africa and Europe. For Pakistan, it is called "China Pakistan Economic Corridors", or CPEC.

CPEC is just beginning to attract more attention as an ambitious cross-border project and a classic investment package for research. Today a number of big projects have come online, and a critical mass of electric power and infrastructure projects will be operational within coming year, Pakistan domestic rivalries and inter-provincial disputes may add some uncertainty to CPEC from time to time, but China has quite confidence on its "Iron" ally, as political consensus forged in Pakistan in past decades not matter who will come to power after general election 2018.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi believe: "Pakistan-China bilateral ties are time tested; our relationship has attained new heights after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that is a game changer for the region and beyond".

 

From The Financial Daily,2018-3-7

 

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