Xi urges sound economic development, noting downward pressure
 ( 2016.04.29 )

BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping said Friday that China should ensure sound economic development by sticking to the policies of the Communist Party of China (CPC) amid economic headwinds.

China has had a good start to the year so far following efforts in supply-side structural reform while appropriately expanding overall demand, according to a statement issued after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, chaired by Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

In the first three months, major indicators showed that the economy was operating in a reasonable range, the statement said. The growth of gross domestic product, urban job creation and incomes of urban and rural residents all met the targets.

China's GDP grew 6.7 percent in the first quarter, slowing from 6.9-percent growth in the preceding quarter but still in line with the official target of "a range of 6.5 to 7 percent growth" for 2016.

"There remains relatively high downward pressure on the economy," the statement read, citing difficulty for brick-and-mortar businesses and growing market risks.

Equanimity, targeted measures and preparedness for a long-term battle against the problems are needed, the statement said.

China will adhere to proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy, continue to foster new growth drivers while transforming and upgrading traditional ones, the statement said.

China's three traditional drivers -- investment, consumption and exports -- are losing steam as the country trades quantity for quality in growth. However, innovation and entrepreneurship are thriving across China, offering hope that an economy characterized by quality growth is within reach.

In 2015, 4.4 million new enterprises were registered, or 12,000 every day. China led the world in invention patent applications for the fifth consecutive year last year, with 1.1 million filings, up 18.7 percent.

The service industry is thriving, accounting for 56.9 percent of GDP in the first quarter, improving on 54.9 percent for the same period last year and 50.5 percent for 2015.

To push the economy forward, the five principles of innovation, coordination, green growth, opening up, and sharing should be a guide for action. The five major tasks of cutting overcapacity, destocking, deleveraging, reducing corporate costs and shoring up weak spots should be implemented, according to the statement.

Macroeconomic policies should be more targeted, the statement said, highlighting the need to ensure healthy development of the stock market and protect investors' interests.

The exchange rate of the Chinese currency, the renminbi, should stay basically stable, and an exchange system based on market supply-demand metrics, two-way floating and flexibility will gradually take shape, the statement said.

The statement also highlighted other economic efforts including ensuring workers' reemployment amid China's economic revamping, deepening reform of state-owned enterprises, and attracting more foreign investment by opening China further.