On July 28, Xi Jinping chaired a meeting of the Politburo of the CCP Central Committee to evaluate the epidemic prevention and economic development. For the first time, he mentioned: “ensure the real estate market’s stability and address the risks of rural banks.” It is worth noting that the meeting did not mention any GDP growth target, instead emphasizing “striving for the best results.”

According to a press release from the CCP’s Xinhua News Agency, the Politburo of the CCP Central Committee held a meeting on the 28th to analyze and study the current economic situation and arrange economic work for the year’s second half. Xi Jinping presided at the meeting.

When talking about the economic work implementation in the last six months of the year, congress said that it is necessary to fully fulfill the requirements of preventing epidemics, stabilizing the economy, ensuring development safety, stabilizing prices and employment, maintaining economic activity at a reasonable level, and “striving for the best results.”

The outside world noticed that the CCP did not mention the GDP growth target at this meeting, and used vague wording.

The recently released official CCP economic data for the second quarter shows that China’s real GDP grew by only 0.4 percent year-on-year, down 4.4 percentage points from the previous quarter. Many experts believe this number has been “diluted,” to hide the seriousness. The CCP’s initial goal of 5.5% economic growth by 2022 will be challenging from the current perspective.

Due to the epidemic lockdown control and other reasons, China’s economy has seriously declined, making the CCP elite uneasy. In May this year, the CCP’s State Council convened a rare meeting of 100,000 officials nationwide to discuss ways to save the economy.

President Xi Jinping said at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Forum on June 22 that more measures need to be taken to achieve this year’s economic growth target. When he visited Wuhan on June 28, he said he would try to achieve a better economic development level this year.

Last week, Li Keqiang also said at the World Economic Forum that China would strive to achieve good economic development results for the whole year.

Both Xi and Li appear to have lowered their tone regarding economic growth goals.

However, this Politburo meeting still emphasized the “zero covid” policy with the motto of not wavering.

The Voice of America (VOA) reported on June 29 that the zero covid policy’s effectiveness had been significantly reduced with the emergence of the more contagious strain of Omicron, especially the enormous economic and social costs of implementing a lockdown in an economically important city like Shanghai are beyond the tolerance of many people.

During the two years of the epidemic, the Beijing government maintained a “zero covid” policy, applying an extreme anti-epidemic model:

  • Locking down cities
  • Implementing nucleic acid testing for all people and isolating on a large scale
  • Leading to widespread secondary humanitarian disasters

The Politburo meeting also focused on stabilizing the real estate market and, for the first time, mentioned “guaranteeing the handover of houses and stabilizing people’s livelihood.”

According to Xinhua, the meeting required local governments to ensure the handover of real estate projects, correctly handle the risks of some town banks, and fight against financial crimes.

Recently, unfinished construction works in many parts of mainland China have attracted much attention, more and more owners of unfinished buildings are choosing to stop paying property mortgages, and even China’s financial system is facing a risk that cannot be ignored.

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