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Xi Jinping Calls for Efforts to Stimulate Market Vitality as COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Economy

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Tuesday called for efforts to stimulate market vitality to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Chinese and global economy.

Xi made the remarks while presiding over a symposium with entrepreneurs in Beijing.

Entrepreneurs present at the meeting included Chairman of Hikvision Digital Technology Chen Zongnian, Chairman of Sinochem Group Ning Gaoning, Chairman of Wuhan Gaode Infrared Co., Ltd. Huang Li, Chairman of GoerTek Inc. Jiang Bin, senior Vice President of Microsoft Hong Xiaowen and President of Panasonic China Zhao Bingdi.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy economic blow to China and the rest of the world, with a slew of market players in the country facing unprecedented pressure. Market entities now act as the carriers of economic power, hence ensuring the vitality of market players is equivalent to stimulating social productivity, Xi said.

“We must unleash the dynamics of market players, carry forward an entrepreneurial spirit, and push enterprises to play a greater role in pursuing development, thus accumulating strengths for further economic growth,” Xi noted.

Xi said hefty inroads have been made in pandemic prevention and control, and China’s economic development has embraced a stable turn for the better. It is now at the forefront of the world in pandemic control and economic recovery, delivering better-than-expected outcomes.

“We must beef up our confidence to overcome the difficulties and strive to make up for the losses caused by COVID-19, so as to notch up impressive full-year economic growth,” he added.

China’s economy returned to modest growth in the second quarter of 2020 and reverted from the first contraction on record in the first quarter this year, as COVID-19 eases and policymakers proclaimed economic packages. In the first half of 2020, China’s economy declined by 1.6 percent year on year.

The world’s second-largest economy grew by 3.2 percent between April and June from a year earlier, reversing a 6.8-percent decline in the first quarter – the first contraction since at least 1992 when official quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) records started, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The reading beats the median 1.1 percent forecast by economists surveyed by Nikkei and coincides with an AFP poll which projected the economy would claw its way back into growth territory in the second quarter of this year.

Policy support 

Xi expressed his gratitude to state-owned, private and foreign-funded enterprises, Hong Kong-, Macao- and Taiwan-funded companies, and the self-employed businesses for their contributions to socio-economic progress and pandemic control.

He then stressed to inject more dynamism into market entities and enlarge policy support via more proactive fiscal policies and moderate monetary policies, so that the majority of market entities can not only survive, but also obtain greater development.

Meanwhile, he called for creating an international and marketized business environment building on rule of law, including fully applying the negative list for market access and barring trading power for money.

Xi also urged local governments to provide more quality public services for enterprises, listening more to entrepreneurs’ opinions and suggestions when formulating policies related to enterprises.

In addition, more weight should be assigned to self-employed businesses, according to Xi, namely, the government should actively help them solve problems in the fields like rent, tax, social insurance, and financing with more direct and effective policy assistance.

Entrepreneurship advancement 

“Entrepreneurs should advance patriotism, integrity, as well as innovation and social responsibility to become a driving force for creating a new development pattern, building a modern economic system and promoting high-quality development in the new era,” Xi noted.

He said patriotic entrepreneurs should integrate the development of enterprises with national prosperity and people’s happiness to share the burdens of the country.

Xi also encouraged entrepreneurs to be bold in innovation and focus on technological research and human capital investment. Entrepreneurs should also bear more social responsibility, step up efforts to stabilize jobs and care about employees’ health to go through the tough situation together with employees.

President Xi also urged entrepreneurs to upgrade international vision through improving international market development capability and strengthen ability to withstand international market risks so as to drive enterprises to achieve better development during the higher-level opening-up.

China must make good use of the strength of the country’s market and push forward technological innovation in the face of rising protectionism and a volatile global economy, the Chinese president stressed.

Noting that in the long term, economic globalization is still a historical trend and win-win cooperation is the trend of the times, Xi said China would continue to deepen reform and opening-up, strengthen cooperation in the field of science and technology, promote the construction of an open world economy and push for building a community with a shared future for mankind.

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Peng Liyuan Calls for Global Efforts in AIDS and TB Prevention and Treatment

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Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, called on people from all walks of life in all countries to join hands and take action to strengthen the prevention and treatment of AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), in order to benefit all mankind and build a global community of health for all.

Peng, also World Health Organization (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, made the remarks via video link on Monday at the opening ceremony of a special high-level event on the sidelines of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on AIDS.

The event aimed to provide a platform for WHO member states to reassert their commitment to ending TB deaths among people living with HIV and deliberate on how they will intensify the response to HIV-associated TB in the context of COVID-19.

Peng said the global fight against AIDS and TB has achieved remarkable results in recent years thanks to the concerted efforts made by the international community.

China has gradually established a cooperation mechanism between prevention and control institutions of AIDS and TB, she said. The country has kept the prevalence of AIDS at a low level, and in the past 20 years, the incidence of TB has dropped by more than 40 percent and the mortality rate by more than 70 percent.

These achievements have been made due to the attention paid by the Chinese government, the efforts of the medical personnel and the silent contributions of the volunteers, she said.

Peng also shared some touching stories and expressed her respect for people and volunteers worldwide who have contributed to the prevention and treatment of the diseases.

Major communicable diseases are among the common challenges facing mankind, and it is people’s common wish to end the threats of AIDS and TB, said Peng.

She added that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought more challenges to the containment of the diseases, calling for global efforts to protect lives and forge ahead.

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Xi Jinping’s Qinghai Tour: Developing Special Industries, Improving Community-Level Governance

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Development of special industries and improvement of community-level governance were highlighted on the first day of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inspection tour of northwest China’s Qinghai Province on Monday.

Xi, who is also the general secretary of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, visited a company that makes Tibetan carpets and learned about the design and production processes. Noting the unique features of the carpets, he praised the locals for aptly combining traditional and modern crafts to meet diversified market demands.

The Tibetan carpet industry in Qinghai has helped people out of poverty and promoted rural vitalization and ethnic unity, he noted, adding that he hopes Qinghai will develop more such characteristic industries and achieve better development through innovation.

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Later on, Xi visited a residential community in provincial capital Xining to learn about its efforts in strengthening Party building, improving community-level governance and advancing ethnic unity.

“Whenever I go on an inspection tour, I would visit rural villages and urban communities to see how people’s lives are going,” said Xi.

He stressed strengthening primary-level CPC organizations, calling on them to offer high-quality community services in all aspects.

(Cover: Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting a carpet company in Qinghai Province, northwest China, June 7, 2021. /Xinhua)

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China Outlines Four-Point Proposal on Global Fight Against Corruption

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China made a four-point proposal on international cooperation against corruption on Wednesday, calling for a zero-tolerance attitude toward corruption and respect for differences between countries.

Zhao Leji, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC (CCDI), made the remarks during a special session of the United Nations General Assembly on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation.

“China is an active participant in and contributor to global anti-corruption governance,” Zhao said. The country contributed to the adoption of the Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption by APEC and the High-Level Principles on Cooperation on Persons Sought for Corruption and Asset Recovery by the G20, and put forward the Beijing Initiative for the Clean Silk Road to deepen Belt and Road cooperation, he noted.

China’s anti-graft chief Zhao Leji addresses a special session of the UN General Assembly on fighting corruption via video link, June 2, 2021. /Xinhua

Outlining China’s proposal on global anti-corruption cooperation, he called for extensive efforts to uphold fairness and justice.

“The international community needs to forge broad political consensus, take a zero-tolerance attitude toward corruption, build zero-loophole institutions, carry out zero-barrier cooperation, and press ahead with cooperation on persons sought for corruption and asset recovery and on foreign business bribery,” he said.

Meanwhile, countries should respect differences between them and promote equality and mutual learning, he stressed.

“We need to respect the sovereignty and political and legal systems of each country, respect their right to choose their own ways of fighting corruption, and foster an international partnership for anti-corruption cooperation that is based on equality, respect for differences, exchanges and mutual learning, and common progress.”

China’s anti-graft chief called on the international community to “pursue mutually-beneficial cooperation through extensive consultation and joint contribution.”

He also urged countries across the world to “honor commitments and put action first.” Signatories to the UN Convention against Corruption should “honor their solemn commitment of fighting corruption together.”

China’s ‘sweeping victory’ against corruption

Zhao reviewed China’s anti-corruption drive, stressing that the CPC and the Chinese government “stand unequivocally against corruption.”

“We have adopted a holistic approach to address both symptoms and root causes of corruption, and combined law-based punishment, institutional checks, and education and guidance to made our anti-corruption governance more effective,” he said.

In 2020, disciplinary inspection commissions and supervision agencies across the country investigated about 618,000 corruption cases, leading to the punishment of 604,000 people, a report by China’s top anti-graft body said. A total 1,421 fugitives were brought back to China last year, the CCDI report showed.

With “multi-pronged measures” to tackle all acts of corruption, China has secured and consolidated a “sweeping victory” in the fight, Zhao said.

According to a recent survey by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, 95.8 percent of the Chinese people are satisfied with the country’s anti-corruption efforts, he noted.

‘We cannot allow corruption to continue’

The UN General Assembly convened its first ever special session on combating corruption on Wednesday. The special session will conclude on Friday.

President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir addresses a special session on fighting corruption in New York, June 2, 2021. /Xinhua

Addressing the special session, Volkan Bozkir, president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, said Wednesday the effects of corruption are “detrimental to all of society” and that it should not be allowed to continue unchecked.

“Transnational financial crime and corruption are unfortunately commonplace in our interconnected, interdependent world,” Bozkir said, adding that corruption affects decision-making processes and “remains one of the most critical challenges for states, institutions, and communities.”

“We cannot allow corruption to continue. We will not,” he stressed.

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