3月5日，第十三届全国人民代表大会第一次会议在北京人民大会堂开幕。 新华社记者 饶爱民 摄
Over the past five years
The five years since the first session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) have been a truly remarkable five years in the course of our country’s development.
Over the past five years, economic strength has reached a new high. China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has risen from 54 trillion to 82.7 trillion yuan, registering average annual growth of 7.1 percent; and its share in the global economy has grown to roughly 15 percent, up from 11.4 percent. China’s contribution to global growth has exceeded 30 percent.
Government revenue has increased from 11.7 trillion to 17.3 trillion yuan. Consumer prices rose at an average annual rate of 1.9 percent, maintaining a relatively low level of growth. More than 66 million new urban jobs have been added, and our country, with its population of over 1.3 million, had achieved relatively full employment.
Over the past five years, the structure of the Chinese economy has seen a major transformation and innovation-driven development has yielded fruitful outcomes.
In manned spaceflight, deep-water exploration, quantum communications, large aircraft development, and more, China has seen a stream of major outcomes of innovation.
In high-speed rail, e-commerce, mobile payments, and the sharing economy, China is leading the world.
Over the past five years, significant headway has been made in reform and opening up. In reform, we have made strong moves across the board, secured major advances in many areas, and driven deeper in pursuing progress, making breakthroughs in reforms in important fields and key links.
The Belt and Road Initiative has been making major progress. The composition of both Chinese foreign trade and foreign investment in China has been improved, with volumes ranking among the largest in the world.
Over the past five years, living standards have been constantly improving. We have made decisive progress in the fight against poverty: More than 68 million people have been lifted out of poverty, including a total of 8.3 million relocated from inhospitable areas, and the poverty headcount ratio has dropped from 10.2 to 3.1 percent.
Personal income has increased by an annual average of 7.4 percent, outpacing economic growth and creating the world’s largest middle-income group. Tourist departures have grown from 83 million to over 130 million.
Social old-age pension schemes now cover more than 900 million people, and the basic health insurance plans cover 1.35 billion people, forming the largest social safety net in the world.
Over the past five years, the environment has seen gradual improvement. To address air, water, and soil pollution, we have designed and enforced a ten-point list of measures for each and achieved solid progress.
In the year just passed, all main targets and tasks for economic and social development were accomplished and performance has exceeded expectations.
GDP grew 6.9 percent and personal income rose 7.3 percent, both beating the previous year’s growth rates.
Around 13.51 million new urban jobs were created, and the jobless rate was the lowest in recent years.
Industrial growth began to rebound, and corporate profits increased 21 percent. Government revenue grew 7.4 percent, reversing the slowdown in growth.
The total import and export value rose 14.2 percent. Inward foreign investment reached $136.3 billion, hitting a new all-time high.
The state of play in the economy was good, with growth and quality, structural improvement, and performance each reinforcing the other.
Over the past five years, the ground breaking achievements made on every front and the profound and fundamental changes that have taken place, have attracted global attention and are the pride and inspiration of all of us in China.
With a commitment to the general principle of pursuing process while ensuring stability, we have focused on developing new and better approaches to macro regulation, kept major indicators within an appropriate range, and achieved stable, positive economic performance.
We have adopted measures that are good for the near term and even better for the long term, made strong moves to advance supply-side structural reform, appropriately expanded aggregate demand, and worked for a dynamic equilibrium of supply and demand at a higher level.
We have continued to follow a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy.
Despite a fairly big imbalance between government revenue and expenditure, China has led the way in slashing taxes and fees with the aim of using accommodative measures to strengthen the basis for sustained growth.
We have adjusted the structure of government expenditure, put idle funds to work, and ensured the spending for undertaking major projects and meeting basic public needs. The deficit-to-GDP ratio has been kept within 3 percent.
With a commitment to treating supply-side structural reform as our main task, we have focused on fostering new growth drivers to speed up economic structural upgrading.
We have persevered in relying on reform to overcome economic difficulties and address structural imbalances, made a big push to foster emerging industries, overhauled and strengthened traditional industries, and improved the quality and performance of the supply system.
Solid work has moved us forward in the five priority tasks of cutting overcapacity, reducing excess inventory, deleveraging, lowering costs, and strengthening areas of weakness.
因城施策分类指导，三四线城市商品住宅去库存取得明显成效，热点城市房价涨势得到控制。Thanks to city-specific policies and category-specific guidance, clear progress has been made in reducing commercial residential housing inventory in third- and fourth-tier cities, and the growth of housing prices in the most popular cities has been brought under control.
We have sped up the replacement of old growth drivers.
China’s in-operation high-speed railways have grown from over 9,000 to 25,000 kilometers, accounting for two thirds of the world’s total.
Over the past five years, new growth drivers have rapidly grown in strength. Economic growth, in the past mainly driven by investment and exports, is now being fueled by consumption, investment, and exports. In the past dependent mainly on secondary industry, growth is now powered by a combination of the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries.
Advancing supply-side structural reform demands removing barriers to market based allocation of the factors of production and reducing government-imposed transaction costs.
With a commitment to innovation-driven development, and a focus on unlocking public creativity, we have achieved a remarkable improvement in our general capacity for making innovations and for seeing that innovation delivers.
We have supported Beijing and Shanghai in building themselves into centers for scientific and technological innovation, and set up 14 new national innovation demonstration zones, thus creating a number of regional innovation hubs.
In the global race of scientific and technological innovation, China has shifted place, from following others to keeping pace and even leading the pack in more and more areas. Our country has become a globally recognized fertile ground for innovation and business ventures.
With a commitment to deepening reform across the board, we have taken major steps to remove institutional barriers, thus steadily boosting the driving forces powering development.
Solid progress has been made in the reform of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and state assets; the reform to convert SOEs into standard companies has now basically been completed; and efforts to merge and restructure, reduce the organizational levels in, and improve the quality and efficiency of SOEs have made good progress.
We have established unified basic pension and health insurance schemes for rural and non-working urban residents, and brought government office and public institution pension schemes into line with enterprise schemes.
We have carried out coordinated medical service, medical insurance, and pharmaceutical reforms. We have introduced a comprehensive reform in all public hospitals, rescinded the policy, long in effect, of allowing hospitals to profit from higher priced medicine, and made breakthroughs in the reform of approval systems for medicine and medical devices.
With a commitment to China’s fundamental policy of opening up, we have focused on promoting win-win cooperation, and significantly improved the performance of our country’s open economy.
We have launched and worked with other countries in the Belt and Road Initiative. We initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, set up the Silk Road Fund, and launched a number of major connectivity and economic and trade cooperation initiatives.
Beginning with the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, we have established 11 pilot free trade zones. A number of successful outcomes from pilot reforms are now being applied nationwide.
We have moved forward with international cooperation on production capacity; high-speed rail, nuclear power, and other types of Chinese equipment have entered international markets.
With a commitment to implementing the coordinated regional development and new urbanization strategies, we have promoted more balanced development, and seen new growth poles and belts developing faster.
We have actively pursued coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, and the development of the Yangtze Economic Belt, drawn up and implemented related plans, and undertaken a number of key projects.
We have unveiled a whole series of reforms and innovative measures to see the western region develop, northeast China revitalized, the central region rise, and the eastern region spearhead development.
We have stepped up support for old revolutionary base areas, areas with large ethnic minority populations, border areas, and poor areas, and strengthened aid work in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Qinghai.
The vast majority of cities in China have eased restrictions on permanent residency. A residence card system has been put into effect nationwide, and basic urban public services now cover all permanent residents. Development between urban and rural areas and between regions has become better coordinated.
With a commitment to a people-centered development philosophy, we have endeavored to ensure and improve living standards and seen the growing satisfaction of the people.
Despite fiscal constraints, we have consistently increased spending on improving people’s living standards.
Government subsidies for basic medical insurance schemes have been increased from 240 to 450 yuan per person; the serious disease insurance system is basically in place, and has already benefited more than 17 million people; the costs of hospitalization can now be settled where incurred; and the development of tiered medical diagnosis and treatment and healthcare consortiums has picked up pace.
With a commitment to achieving harmony between human and nature, we have taken major steps to address pollution, and achieved notable progress in ecological conservation.
We have established the notion that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and acted with resolve and intensity as never before to strengthen environmental protection.
We have struck out hard against air pollution, thus achieving a drop of over 30 percent in the average density of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in key areas.
We have improved fuel quality, and taken over 20 million high-emission and old vehicles off the roads.
With a commitment to fully performing government functions in accordance with law, we have focused on enhancing and developing new forms of social governance, and ensured social harmony and stability.
We have submitted proposals to the NPC Standing Committee on formulating or revising 95 laws, formulated or revised 195 sets of administrative regulations, and revised or rescinded a large number of government department regulations.
Lists of powers and obligations have been formulated and released by provincial, city and county government departments. We have introduced State Council accountability inspections and special inspections, and commended and created policy incentives for those working proactively and doing an outstanding job, while holding strictly to account those failing to fulfill their duties.
Over the past five years, under the leadership of the Party Central Committee and the Central Military Commission, we have embarked on a new stage in strengthening and energizing the armed forces. With the cooperation of all those involved, we have basically completed the task of reducing the armed forces by 300,000 troops.
Over the past five years, we have pursued distinctively Chinese major country diplomacy on all fronts. We successfully hosted the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, the G20 Hangzhou Summit, the BRICS Xiamen Summit, and other major diplomatic events at home.
President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders have visited many countries and attended major events including United Nations summits, Climate Change Conferences, World Economic Forum meetings, and the East Asian Leaders Meetings on Cooperation. China’s diplomatic agenda has been further advanced on every front.
With a deep sense of responsibility to our country and people, with courage in the face of adversity, and with determination that won’t be broken, we must give our work everything we’ve got, to make sure that the people’s government does not let the people down.
The overall requirements and policy direction for economic and social development in 2018.
GDP growth of around 6.5 percent
CPI increase of around 3 percent
Over 11 million new urban jobs, the surveyed urban unemployment rate within 5.5 percent, and the registered urban jobless rate within 4.5 percent.
Basic parity in personal income growth and economic growth
A steady rise in import and export volumes, and a basic equilibrium in the balance of payments
A drop of at least 3 percent in energy consumption per unit of GDP, and continued reductions in the release of major pollutants
Substantive progress in supply-side structural reform, basically stable macro leverage, and systematic and effective prevention and control of risk
The proactive direction of our fiscal policy will remain the same, and we will concentrate efforts to increase efficiency.
Our prudent monetary policy will remain neutral, with easing or tightening only as appropriate.
For government to deliver this year, we must act on Xi Jinping’s economic thinking for new-era socialism with Chinese characteristics, continue following the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, and regard stability and progress as being indivisible. Specifically, we will do the following:
First, we will strongly promote high-quality development.
Second, we will be bolder in reform and opening up.
Third, we will ensure success in the three critical battles against potential risk, poverty, and pollution, battles that are important for decisively bringing to completion the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.