SCIO press conference on promoting high-quality development to set the stage for building a modern socialist country in all respects

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Mr. Zhao Chenxin, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

Mr. Li Chunlin, vice chairman of the NDRC

Mr. Yang Yinkai, vice chairman of the NDRC


Ms. Shou Xiaoli, director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


March 6, 2023

Shou Xiaoli:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). This is the 10th briefing in the series "Embarking on the New Journey — A Government Perspective." We are honored to have invited Mr. Zhao Chenxin, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC); Mr. Li Chunlin, vice chairman of the NDRC; and Mr. Yang Yinkai, vice chairman of the NDRC, to brief you on promoting high-quality development to set the stage for building a modern socialist country in all respects, and take your questions.

Now, I'll give the floor to Mr. Zhao Chenxin for a brief introduction.

Zhao Chenxin:

Friends from the media, good morning. It is a pleasure to attend today's press conference with my two colleagues and speak with you. First of all, on behalf of the NDRC, we would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to friends from the press and all walks of life for their long-term care, support and assistance regarding the development and reform work.

Over the past year, China has encountered various challenges, including a turbulent global environment, and the complex and demanding domestic reform, development and stability agendas. However, with the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, our nation has responded effectively to these uncertainties and achieved remarkable progress in economic and social development. We have basically met our primary objectives and tasks for the year. Yesterday, the Report on the Implementation of the 2022 Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the 2023 Draft Plan for National Economic and Social Development, drafted under the efforts led by the NDRC, was submitted for review to the first session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). The report presents a comprehensive overview of the implementation of the 2022 national economic and social development plan, and a summary of the previous year's performance can be condensed into a few key points. The first noteworthy point is the overall strong performance of the economy. We reached a new level of GDP at 120 trillion yuan, which was an increase of 6.1 trillion yuan, equivalent to the annual GDP of a medium-sized country. Despite global inflation hitting a new four-decade high, China's consumer price index (CPI) only rose by 2%. China created 12.06 million new urban jobs in 2022, exceeding the government's annual target, and our balance of payments maintained a basic equilibrium. By the end of last year, our foreign exchange reserves exceeded $3.1 trillion. Overall, China's economy has performed exceptionally well among major economies. Achieving such remarkable progress amid numerous uncertain factors is a significant accomplishment that we should cherish. The second point is the steady improvement in the quality of our development. Innovation has played a vital role in leading our progress, and for the first time, China's investment in research and development (R&D) surpassed 3 trillion yuan, with the proportion of GDP rising to 2.55%. Our ranking in the global innovation index rose to 11th place. We have accelerated the pace of structural adjustments in various fields, such as industries, regions, investment, consumption and trade, while also promoting green, circular and low-carbon development. Additionally, we have also consolidated our gains in poverty elimination, improved the social security system, and enhanced the level of public services. Lastly, we have continued to consolidate the foundation of our secure development. Fiscal and financial operations remain stable, and our balance of payments is sound, providing a crucial foundation for our safe development. Grain production has achieved "19 consecutive bumper harvests," with a stable output of over 650 million metric tons for eight consecutive years. The building of the energy production, supply, storage and marketing system has accelerated, and the overall energy supply has been stable. The security and guarantee capabilities of important industrial and supply chains have been continuously improved.

The achievements during the year can also be viewed in a longer time frame, which can provide a more comprehensive, profound and objective understanding of our country's progress. Looking back over the past five years, it has been an exceptionally unusual and extraordinary period for our country. During this time, our nation has consistently adapted to the global and domestic situations, social conditions and public opinion to promote economic and social development. We have effectively and efficiently responded to multiple challenges, including the accelerating changes unseen in a century, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the domestic economic downturn. As a result, we have achieved an average annual economic growth rate of 5.2%, significantly higher than the global growth rate of around 2.3% over the same period. China's position as the world's second-largest economy, largest manufacturing country, and largest trader in goods has been further consolidated and improved. We have also made sustainable and healthy progress in various undertakings, resulting in a significant improvement in the people's sense of gain, happiness and security. Especially in the past three years, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we have achieved major and decisive victories in epidemic prevention and control. Furthermore, looking at the last 10 years in the new era, the country has achieved historic achievements and undergone historic changes in economic and social development. It was a decade marked by a turn toward high-quality development. The economic output of China has continuously surged to new heights, and its contribution to world economic growth ranked first. In particular, we have secured a historic success in eradicating absolute poverty, achieving a miracle in humankind's history of poverty reduction. We have built a moderately prosperous society in all respects on schedule, providing a more comprehensive institutional guarantee, a more solid material foundation, and a more vibrant spiritual force for Chinese modernization.

This year marks the first year of implementing the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, a crucial juncture to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), and an important period to lay the foundation for building China into a modern socialist country in all respects. Therefore, it is of great significance to ensure economic performance. We will uphold the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and the Central Economic Work Conference, and follow a unique Chinese path to modernization. We will adhere to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, accelerate the creation of a new development pattern, and work hard to pursue high-quality development. We will better balance both domestic and international situations, coordinate epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, and development with security. We will comprehensively deepen reform and opening up to strongly boost market confidence. We will make sure that our implementation of the strategy to expand domestic demand is integrated with our efforts to deepen supply-side structural reform. We will make more efforts to stabilize economic growth, employment, and prices and effectively fend off and defuse major risks. We will strive to achieve an overall upturn in economic performance and effectively upgrade and appropriately expand China's economic output. We will continue to improve the people's well-being and ensure social stability, making sure our efforts to build a modern socialist country in all respects get off to a good start and making new and greater contributions with our concrete actions.

That's my introduction. Next, my colleagues and I would like to answer your questions.

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