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The Virus Changed China's Big Political Event. Here's How

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You China today begins a week of high level political meetings it's called the two sessions and authoritarian one party state makes a show of inclusiveness holding the thoroughly choreographed meeting of the national people's Congress China delayed this meeting by almost three months because of the coronavirus now the meeting signals the party's confidence that the epidemic is under control and that it's time to save the economy here's NPR Beijing correspondent Emily fact at the heart of this year's two sessions is a number specifically what China's annual economic growth target will be or even whether China will set a target GDP at all see teamviewer a political analyst at Panvel institution a Chinese think tank explains why the growth target is especially important this year people need a clearer idea here L. concept or blueprint for the next half of this year or even next year if the virus stays around with us because it's a centrally planned economy China decides what they want the year's GDP to be and local governments scramble to make that target at all costs but this year code nineteen because China's economy to shrink six point eight percent in the first quarter the first recorded contraction and more than forty years given the growth target will be announced nearly three months late others of the se it's pointless to subpar gate because it's already in the middle of the year all I can to do to ensure that the target will be materialized the name two sessions refers to the concurrent annual meetings of China's legislature and the country's top advisory body the two sessions that demotion China's centrally planned economy each year that's why her away the fiscal policy analyst at Beijing research firm gather Kell dragon onyx thinks there will be a growth target announced around three percent GDP growth far short of the six percent China was originally aiming for see if your abruptly say saying that there will be no goal this year I will be very harmful accounting to tell it what to do and they will be up or is it will be very hard for them to you know achieve the unemployment rate targets set by the central government because they don't know what exactly target for them to be so without targets local governments overseeing China's one point three billion people would be left without guideposts making it likely there will be a growth target announced away is also looking for any sign chinaman announced a fiscal stimulus to boost economic activity like it did from two thousand eight to two thousand nine but says that's unlikely China has much more corporate and local government debt now and doesn't want easy credit to oversee its property market the overall policy tool has been relativity of ash and they are not willing to do a big stimulus at two then eight because the major constraint basically at the top high debt level and also the high housing prices tomorrow Chinese premier Li could tell announces China's economic targets most journalists will not be allowed into the legislative hall this year due to the corona virus only one diplomat per and this you will get to attend and will be given a covert testing be bused to a special government hotel each day after meetings with the two sessions underway China is signaling has the epidemic under control but it's still not taking any

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