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Ambassador Zheng Zeguang: China has all along put the people and their lives above all else and committed itself to ensuring progress in both COVID-19 response and economic and social development
2022-11-24 20:05

On 22 November 2022, Chinese Ambassador to the UK H.E. Zheng Zeguang attended a financial and economic forum in London and gave a keynote speech. At the event, Ambassador Zheng briefed the audience on Chinas COVID response and economic and social development after the conclusion of the 20th CPC National Congress.

Ambassador Zheng noted that in responding to the COVID pandemic, China has all along put the people and their lives above all else. Following the general approach of preventing both imported cases and domestic resurgences and a dynamic zero-COVID policy, we have ensured progress in both COVID response and economic and social development. We have protected peoples health and safety to the greatest extent possible and maintained sustained and stable economic and social development.

In light of recent developments in COVID situation, China has focused on quick response and well-targeted and highly efficient measures. The ninth edition of COVID response protocols and 20 specific measures are in place to contain the spread of the virus as fast as possible. Quarantine for inbound travelers has been cut to five days of quarantine at designated sites plus three days of home quarantine, from the previous seven-day quarantine at designated sites plus three-day health monitoring at home. The circuit breaker mechanism for inbound flights has been canceled, and only one nucleic acid test with a negative result in 48 hours before boarding is required for inbound travelers instead of two. Inbound important business travelers and sports groups will be directly transferred to closed-loop management areas, exempted from quarantine. We are confident that we will be able to achieve the goal of maximising the protection of peoples lives and health and minimising the impact on economic and social activities.

In the first half of this year, facing economic downward pressure, China launched a package of polices to stabilise the economy and put forward 33 measures on six fronts including in the financial sector. These policy measures have put Chinas economy back on the normal course. Not long ago, to help the real estate sector tide over difficulties and challenges, we rolled out a series of new measures. We have reduced the mortgage rate and down payment ratio. Support will be provided for high-quality real estate companies to implement plans to improve their balance sheets and for real estate-related companies to carry out mergers and acquisitions and access financing. Intensified efforts will be made to improve tax refund services for micro and small businesses and self-employed households, to see that all eligible VAT credits are refunded whenever and wherever possible, and that businesses will benefit as early as possible, in a bid to support market entities, ensure job creation and meet people's essential needs. Going forward, greater efforts will be made to implement the policy package for stabilising the economy and the follow-up measures. Efforts will be made to keep employment and prices stable. And policies such as tax refunds and deferrals, fee cuts, and pro-job subsidies will be thoroughly executed.

At a time when many economies are facing the risk of recession, Chinas GDP rose by 3.9 per cent in the third quarter of this year and the growth in the first three quarters of this year was 3 per cent. In the first eight months of this year, China attracted over 20 per cent more investment compared with last year, and its imports and exports grew by 10.1 per cent year on year. We will work to secure better economic performance in the fourth quarter over the third and keep major economic indicators within a proper range.

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