Translator: Kyan

Since discovering the Omicron variant of the new coronavirus in Communist China, the Chinese government has insisted on a “zero-Covid” policy such as strict lockdowns, large-scale testing, and border restrictions. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has expressed immediate concern about the policy’s impact on the Chinese economy.

According to official reports, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced measures to boost economic growth in a conference call with more than 100,000 officials across the country and urged local leaders to build on them to do more to keep the economy running.

Li Keqiang said that China is at a critical moment in determining the economic trend of the whole year. We “must seize the time window and work hard to get the economy back on track.”

The two-month-long lockdown in China’s commercial capital, Shanghai, and sporadic lockdowns elsewhere have hampered assembly lines, trapped workers, created logistical chaos, and locked millions of consumers at home. In the first three months of the year, China’s gross domestic product grew by 4.8%, below the official annual target of 5.5%. Analysts are skeptical that China can meet the growth targets set by the government.

Slowing economic growth in China has also raised other issues. Fresh graduates have reached a record 11 million, and the youth unemployment rate has reached 18.2%.

Representatives from the Japanese, American, and European chambers of commerce attended the meeting in Beijing, some by video. Foreign executives told industry groups they were lowering investment and slashing revenue forecasts because of China’s lockdown.

China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, has been calling for stricter enforcement of the “zero-Covid” policy. Li Keqiang did not mention Xi Jinping at the meeting, sparking speculation that the two leaders were clashing over China’s anti-epidemic policy.

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Edited by: Lish
Published by:tianzhihuan

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