The Sunday Mail
China’s Xi Jinping Begins Third Term
About five months after his election as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Xi Jinping won his third term as China’s president at the annual session of the national legislature, which concluded on Monday. At the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC), Xi was also elected chairperson of the country’s Central Military Commission. Assuming the top posts in the party, the state and the armed forces, Xi leads China for a third term, which has never been done since Mao Zedong. Wrapping up the session, Xi delivered a closely-watched speech to a gathering of nearly 3 000 lawmakers stating that the people’s trust is his biggest motivation and announcing that the central task of the entire party and all Chinese people, from this day forward to the middle of the century, is to build China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advance national rejuvenation on all fronts.
China’s New Premier Pledges Greater Opening Up
China’s new Premier Li Qiang voiced full confidence in the country’s economic outlook despite challenges and pledged to further expand opening up regardless of external changes.
In his first remarks after his appointment, he pledged that China would stick to the direction of socialist market economic reform, promote higher-level opening up and inject stronger vitality into development by deepening reform and opening up.
Li also vowed that the private sector will enjoy a better environment and broader space for development and stressed that China’s commitment to the development of the private sector is unequivocal and steadfast.
Li Qiang previously served as Party Secretary of Shanghai from 2017 to 2022.
China’s Retail Sales Up
China’s retail sales of consumer goods, a major indicator of the country’s consumption strength, increased 3,5 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2023, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Wednesday. The growth reversed declines in the previous three months. The country’s retail sales of consumer goods totalled 7,7 trillion yuan (about US$1,12 trillion) in the January-February period. In February, the country’s retail sales dipped 0,02 percent on a monthly basis.
China’s Coal Output Up
China’s raw coal output posted a stable expansion in the first two months of this year, according to official data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The country produced 730 million tonnes of raw coal in the period, up 5,8 percent year-on-year. The pace of growth was 3,4 percentage points faster than that of December last year. China’s coal imports stood at 60,6 million tonnes during the same period. In 2022, the country imported 290 million tonnes of coal.
China Resumes Visas for Foreigners
China’s visa authorities have resumed issuance of all categories of visas to foreigners according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Long-term visas issued before March 28, 2020, which had been suspended, are still valid and will allow foreign visitors to enter China. In addition to the resumption of visa issuance, some visa-free policies for foreign tourist groups from Hong Kong and Macao entering South China’s Guangdong Province, tourists from some countries entering South China’s Hainan Province and cruise ships passing through Shanghai ports have resumed. These adjustments to China’s visa issuance policy went into effect on Wednesday.
Manyika Kangai has over 15 years of experience facilitating and advising on China-Africa trade and investment deals. He is dedicated to helping African businesses and governments realise the full potential of the vast opportunities China presents.