“Two Sessions” 2024: China Aims for 5% Growth

“Two Sessions” 2024: China Aims for 5% Growth

Key Points

  • China’s “two sessions” event in Beijing underlines strategies for managing economic hurdles.
  • The property sector crisis, government debt, and US tech friction pose significant challenges.
  • Xi Jinping’s third term marks a leadership focused on loyalty amidst economic and political trials.
  • Economic growth target set at “around 5%” for 2024, emphasising cautious support over large stimulus.
  • Tightened control and ideological enforcement shadow discussions on economic and foreign policy.

In the heart of Beijing, the Great Hall of the People buzzes with anticipation as thousands of delegates converge for the annual “two sessions.” This pivotal political gathering is more than a ceremonial event; it indicates China’s economic and political blueprint for the coming year. Tasked with projecting confidence amid myriad challenges, the sessions spotlight the Communist Party’s strategies for steering the world’s second-largest economy.

Tackling Hurdles: Property Crisis to US Tech Tensions

China faces a constellation of economic challenges. The landscape, however, is fraught with hurdles, including a lingering property sector crisis and escalating US tech tensions. The economy grapples with deflation, a stock market downturn, and a hefty debt load shouldered by local governments. Amid these trials, the leadership aims to uphold economic growth without resorting to substantial stimulus measures, adhering to a state-led development ethos.

Xi’s 3rd Term: Loyalty Over Experience Amid Trials

At the helm is Xi Jinping, embarking on an unprecedented third term. His leadership period has been marked by significant political reshuffling, emphasising loyalty over experience. Despite the lack of a complete post-Covid economic recovery, Xi’s position remains robust, underscored by a crackdown on dissent and a tightening grip on ideological control. However, this strategy has not been without consequence, as public trust wanes in the face of persistent economic difficulties.

Policy Platform: Setting a Cautious 5% Growth Target

The National People’s Congress, with nearly 3,000 members, congregates to deliberate on key issues. Although their power is limited, the sessions are crucial for announcing the economic growth target, budget deficit limit, and military spending. This year, the expected growth target hovers around 5%, a cautious figure that reflects the government’s strategy to support economic growth while avoiding aggressive stimulus measures.

Navigating Turmoil: Economic Strategies and US Relations

Amidst turmoil, China’s “two sessions” reveal the government’s strategy for facing domestic and global challenges, offering insight. The sessions are a critical platform for broadcasting China’s strategic direction, from economic policies to stabilising the market to potential shifts in foreign relations, particularly with the US. Amidst tightened control, the Communist Party’s crackdown on dissent highlights its commitment to its course, facing economic and political challenges.