China promises economic stability as G20, parliament loom
Chinese policymakers emerged from the Lunar New Year hiatus with one collective message for nervous investors at home and abroad – Beijing will put a floor under the slowing economy, keep its currency steady and ensure employment remains stable even as bloated industries undergo restructuring.
The string of assurances comes ahead of two high-profile political events for China: a meeting of G20 finance chiefs in Shanghai later this month and next month’s annual gathering of China’s legislature – where the next five-year economic development plan will be finalised.
A rout in Chinese stocks last summer and its unexpected devaluation of the yuan CNY=CFXS in August have rattled global markets, raising concerns about the health of the world’s second-largest economy and Beijing’s ability to steer it simultaneously through both a protracted slowdown and radical restructuring.
“China’s economic fundamentals have not changed,” Zhao Chenxin, a spokesman for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner, told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday. “The economy will maintain a medium- to high-rate growth.”
“China’s status as the world’s largest holder of foreign exchange reserves has not changed, the large-scale trade surplus has not changed and the steady progress in the yuan internationalization has not changed,” Zhao said. Read more