Xi chairs leadership meeting on COVID-19 response, economy

2020-03-28 06:14:14 GMT2020-03-28 14:14:14(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday chaired a leadership meeting to analyze the COVID-19 response and economic performance.

The meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee made new arrangements on coordinating the COVID-19 response and economic and social development.

It also deliberated on two reports on poverty eradication.

The meeting came two days after Xi presided over a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, also on epidemic response and economic situations.

"Major changes are taking place in the epidemic control and economic situations at home and abroad," according to a statement released after Friday's meeting.

Overseas, the coronavirus outbreak has been spreading at an accelerated pace, seriously impacting world economic and trade growth, the meeting noted.

"China is facing an increasing pressure of imported cases as well as new challenges in terms of economic development, especially the industrial chain recovery," the statement said.

The meeting underscored focusing on preventing infections influx from abroad and epidemic rebound at home to ensure that the epidemic situation in China keeps moving steadily in a positive direction.

The meeting stressed the implementation of priorities in epidemic response to every detail to consolidate and sustain the positive trend in containing the epidemic.

It said major affected regions should continue containment measures and treatment of patients while taking steps to gradually restore people's normal work and life, and low-risk regions should make it a regular mechanism to swiftly detect, cope with and treat new cases so as to resolutely prevent a resurgence of the outbreak.

Calling for more care for Chinese nationals overseas, the meeting required efforts to closely follow and analyze the development of the global COVID-19 epidemic situation and quickly identify and control risks.

Health checks at ports of entry must be strengthened and inbound passengers are subject to quarantine in designated facilities, the meeting said.

China will deepen exchange and cooperation with the World Health Organization and continue to provide assistance as its ability permits to other countries, according to the meeting.

The meeting also called for speeding up the return to normal work and life after epidemic containment measures become regular practices.

The damage caused by COVID-19 should be reduced to minimum, said the meeting, urging efforts to achieve this year's economic and social development goals.

A package of macro policies and measures will be introduced, the meeting noted, and China will appropriately raise the fiscal deficit ratio, issue special treasury bonds, increase the scale of special bonds for local governments, and guide the interest rate to decline in the loan market.

The meeting underscored financial policies such as reloan and rediscount quotas, as well as deferring repayment of capital with interest, in a bid to provide targeted financial services for epidemic control, work resumption and development of the real economy.

The meeting urged efforts to release demands in domestic market, orderly crank up resumption of malls and markets, and ensure normal operation of the service sector, with effective prevention and control measures in place.

Efforts should be made to expand household consumption, reasonably raise public consumption, activate brick-and-mortar businesses while maintaining the prevailing trend of new online consumption.

Meanwhile, international economic cooperation should be strengthened to accelerate the construction of global logistics supply chain system and ensure the smooth flow of international freight transportation, the meeting said.

The meeting also stressed efforts to ensure agricultural production, stabilize supply and prices of key non-staple food, organize spring plowing and further support the farmers.

China will continue to restore hog production, and tackle difficulties faced by animal husbandry and aquaculture sectors.

The country will also help impoverished people return to their posts and get employed, and take timely measures to support those slipping back to or falling into poverty due to the epidemic.

Noting that China's tasks of poverty relief remained complicated, the meeting called for enhanced endeavors to win the battle against poverty as the COVID-19 outbreak has brought new difficulties and challenges.

Local governments were urged to adopt a targeted approach towards poverty relief, keep anti-poverty policies stable and improve rural weak links in a bid to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects as scheduled, said the meeting.

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