China’s Xi downplays need for rapid growth, proclaims Covid achievements

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Chinese President Xi-Jinping has affirmed the country’s recent shift away from rapid growth and greater focus on national self-sufficiency, especially in technology.

The Chinese President, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the ruling Communist Party of China’s 20th National Congress, mentioned how the country’s Covid policy has achieved “positive results” in coordination with economic development.

China’s Covid controls helped the country quickly return to growth in 2020. But the controversial “zero-Covid” policy has become increasingly stringent this year, prompting investment banks to repeatedly slash growth estimates for China.

Looking ahead, Xi emphasized the country needed a solid technological foundation in order to achieve its modernization goals. Some areas he mentioned included boosting the quality of China’s manufactured products, the country’s capabilities in space transportation and digital development.

“Without solid material and technological foundations we cannot hope to build a great modern socialist country,” Xi said in Chinese, according to an official English translation.

Since the party’s 19th National Congress, the U.S. has increased its pressure on China. The Biden administration has called China a strategic competitor and this month announced new export controls on semiconductors — in an effort to maintain a U.S. edge in tech over China.

Xi did not mention specific countries in his nearly two-hour-long speech.




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