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Speeches by Xi Jinping and Li Qiang closing two sessions
Both sessions end with major policy statements. Monday 13 mars, Xi Jinping, unanimously re-elected for a third term as president, as well as the new Prime Minister, Li Qiang, both elaborated on future goals. Le discours de Xi Jinping, available online and in English at Youtube. We summarize here among the most interesting points:
- The Party's "core task" is to push forward the great rebirth of the Chinese nation and build a modern socialist country for the mid-century. Translation: stay focused on the political and economic goals set out in Congress.
- Continue and accelerate Chinese-style modernization. Chinese-style modernization is Xi's 'new' policy agenda. Centralization of power, economic strengthening, technological competition, in short arming China for future rivalries.
- Continue high quality development (less growth related to infrastructure construction, more consumption-related growth), strengthen the attraction of talent and education, strengthen scientific autonomy, industrial upgrading and decarbonization of the economy.
- Strengthen people-centred development, improve basic services (health, security, education). As a reminder, Xi Jinping set a goal from the start of his first term to better serve the needs of the people. This is not just a rhetorical argument.
- On international affairs, we find the classic word for the army “great wall of steel” as well as a mention of Hong Kong & Macau, who “must remain stable to allow prosperity to the country”. Finally, on Taiwan, Xi mentioned the consensus of 1992 and promote peaceful development, while opposing outside interference and separatist activities.
Li Qiang, the new prime minister we had present from October answered questions from the press. The language elements of this question-and-answer session were widely shared by the Chinese media and here are the main themes.
- The Prime Minister acknowledged that it would not be easy for China to achieve its goal of 5 % growth this year. For him, “the people do not have their eyes fixed on the growth figures, but rather on price stability, the creation of jobs and the provision of a large number of dwellings”, which are priorities for the government.
- Li Qiang reaffirmed his “unwavering” support for the non-state economy (Private Economy), official term for the private economy. This message was expected by observers, especially foreigners, as entrepreneurs are going through a phase of doubt..
- However, Chinese press releases put more emphasis on the parts of speech that touch on the spirit of struggle (struggle). Li Qiang thus reaffirmed that a China armed with this spirit would never be oppressed by the difficulties.
- Point important : Li Qiang kicked in touch on a possible increase in the retirement age, hot topic in China.
Finally, according to what we wrote the week past, Li Qiang also reaffirmed the importance of food security.
Composition of the Chinese government
The list of members of the Chinese government is available in Chinese and in English and widely discussed through the media and on social networks. However, a few points should be noted :
- Among the new vice-premiers, we find He Lifeng (previously at the head of the National Commission for Development and Reforms) ; Ding Xuexiang (Xi Jinping's key lieutenant) or Zhang Guoqing, to the long career in the arms industry.
Among the members of the State Council, the name of Li Shangfu did to flow lots of ink. Also Minister of Defense, he is the first in the hierarchy of State Councilors. It is followed by Wang Xiaohong, minister of public security, Wu Zhenglong, Head of the State Council Secretariat, key administrative position ; Shen Yiqin, Governor of Guizhou and finally Qin Gang, Fast-rising foreign minister.