China's National People's Congress: Key highlights of the government's work report

Premier Li Keqiang delivered a government work report on behalf of the State Council to the legislature for deliberation.
Premier Li Keqiang delivered a government work report on behalf of the State Council to the legislature for deliberation.PHOTO: REUTERS

China's national legislature opened its annual session on Friday morning (March 5) in Beijing, with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders attending the opening meeting of the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress.

Premier Li Keqiang delivered a government work report on behalf of the State Council to the legislature for deliberation.

These are the key highlights of the work report:

Numbers for 2021

1. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth:

- Over 6%

2. Jobs:

- 11 million new urban jobs

- Surveyed urban unemployment rate of around 5.5%

3. Consumer price index (CPI) growth:

- Around 3%

4. Budget deficit goal:

- 3.2% of GDP

5. Defence spending:

- 1.36 trillion yuan (S$280 billion), an increase of 6.8%

6. Research and development spending:

- Increase by more than 7% annually over the next five years

7. Climate:

- Cut energy intensity (a ratio that measures how much energy is used in driving economic growth) by around 3% in 2021

- Cut energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon intensity - a ratio measuring how much carbon is emitted in growing the economy - by 18% over the 2021-2025 period

Trade deals

- Speed up negotiations on a free trade agreement with Japan and South Korea

- Promote the signing of an investment treaty between China and the European Union

- Push for the swift implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement

- Give positive consideration to joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

Hong Kong

- Ensure the implementation of law and enforcement mechanisms to safeguard national security in Hong Kong

- Improve the systems related to implementing the Constitution and Hong Kong's Basic Law

- Reaffirm China's commitment to continue to "fully and faithfully" implement "one country, two systems"

Cross-strait ties with Taiwan

- Promote exchanges, cooperation and integrated development across the Taiwan Strait

With input from Xinhua, Bloomberg and Reuters