China's Xi calls for expanding domestic demand amid slower growth

China's Xi calls for expanding domestic demand amid slower growth

Chinese president underscores need to do economic work 'well' in second half of year

By Esra Tekin and Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – China’s President Xi Jinping called Monday for expanding domestic demand to fuel economic growth.

Emphasizing stability and implementing a “new development philosophy across all sectors,” Xi stressed the need to deepen reforms, enhance macro regulation, boost domestic demand and mitigate risks while promoting economic performance, endogenous growth and social stability.

He was addressing a meeting of members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and non-CPC parties in Beijing, Xinhua News reported.

Calling for the need to do the economic work “well” for the second half of the year, Xi also stressed pushing for the “continued improvement of the economic performance, endogenous driving force and social expectations, continuously defusing risks and hidden dangers, and effectively upgrading and appropriately expanding China's economic output.”

The meeting also discussed promoting high-level opening-up, accelerating the development of artificial intelligence and biomedicine and promoting new-type consumption.

Xi’s emphasis on expanding domestic demand comes as China is witnessing slower growth.

The latest economic data released from Beijing shows that China’s economy grew by 6.3% in the second quarter on a yearly basis, below market expectations.

China is targeting 5% GDP growth this year, and the newly announced figures have raised concerns that it may be unable to meet this goal.

On a quarterly basis, GDP rose slightly by 0.8% in the second quarter of 2023, slowing down from a 2.2% rise in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Xi asked the Political Bureau of the CPC to analyze and study the current economic situation and to deploy economic work for the second half of the year.

According to a readout from the meeting, China’s economy is facing new challenges, mainly "insufficient domestic demand, difficulties in some enterprises' operations, multiple risks in key areas, and a complex and severe external environment."

The last meeting of the politburo was held in April.

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