Shanghai and Beijing hold, if not strict, many cove-related restrictions on business and travel. In this photo, workers disinfect a residential community in Beijing, China, on May 11, 2022.
Beijing Youth Daily | Visual China Group | Getty Images
BEIJING – Bringing the epidemic under control is a prerequisite for a “normal” functioning economy, a senior Chinese official said Thursday.
Officials’ comments reflect Beijing’s emphasis on its zero-quad control policy – officially marked as “dynamic” to indicate some flexibility – and even the latest outbreak lockdown has hit businesses across the country. Investment banks have consequently lowered their forecasts for China’s GDP growth this year.
Han Wenxiu, deputy director of the office of the CPC Central Committee for Finance and Economic Affairs, told a news conference that the virus must be contained, the economy stabilized and the country’s development must be secured – not just one direction. Thursday.
“The epidemic is a ‘location’ for economic and social development,” Han said in Chinese, translated by CNBC.
“The epidemic needs to be effectively prevented and controlled with scientific accuracy,” he said, adding that it would create a “basic prerequisite” for the economy as well as society to function normally.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on officials to “fight hard” against those who question the zero-quad policy.
Since March, mainland China has struggled to control its worst covidian outbreak since the initial outbreak of the epidemic in early 2020.
The number of daily cases dropped significantly in the past week, while schools and businesses reopened in previously lockeddown areas. However, Shanghai and Beijing hold, if not strict, many restrictions on business and travel.
Han also called for speedy implementation of economic aid policies on Thursday – ideally in the first half of the year. He said the country’s revenue and monetary policy, among others, has ample space and various tools with which to work. He did not elaborate.
The country will take another step towards strengthening the relevant system, he said. “We’ll act when it’s time to act.”