(ATF) China signed off on a healthy economy in 2019, part of a programme of window dressing before legislators gather for their annual congress.
The State Council trumpeted the nation’s achievements in reaching all 38 of its economic targets last year, including alleviating poverty, employment growth, tax reduction and infrastructure investment.
In its annual work report, the top government office said 13.52 million new jobs had been created, the unemployment rate in urban surveys remained between 5% and 5.3%, and that people's livelihood indicators all exceeded the target set at the beginning of the year.
The National People’s Congress (NPC) meets this week, two months later than planned after the coronavirus crisis forced its postponement. The rubber-stamp parliament offers the outside world insights into the thinking of the ruling Communist Party.
This year’s is being even more closely watched as tensions between Beijing and Washington intensify and after China’s economy suffered its first quarterly contraction since its economy was opened up in the early 1980s.
“Great achievements have been made” in reducing taxes and fees to the tune of 2.3 trillion yuan ($326.7 billion), the largest in history, the State Council said.
It also boasted that transportation investment had exceeded expectations, with 803bn yuan put into railways, 235bn yuan in road and water transportation, and 290,000 kilometers of new and rebuilt rural roads.