MARCH 4, 2016 / NYTIMES.COM
BEIJING — The Chinese government laid out its priorities for the year, when Prime Minister Li Keqiang gave his annual state-of-the-nation report to the legislature, the National People’s Congress. Here are highlights from that report and other government documents released at the legislative meeting in the Great Hall of the People
The Economy: ‘Problems and Risks’
Mr. Li said China’s economy would grow by 6.5 percent to 7 percent this year. He gave a picture of a government facing some trying times, including — implicitly — problems left by his predecessors.
“Domestically, problems and risks that have been building up over the years are becoming more evident,” he said in his report. “Downward pressure on the economy is increasing.”
Still, with the right changes, Mr. Li said, it would be possible for China to achieve an average annual growth rate of 6.5 percent from 2016 to 2020.
Pain for Failing Industries
Mr. Li devoted a big part of his report to the potentially painful adjustments to industries that will be needed to shore up growth.
Gluts of coal, steel, cement and other industrial commodities have been generating heavy pollution but dwindling profits. Mr. Li indicated that China would need to lay off millions of workers in failing factories and mines. But the government will set aside about $15.3 billion to support laid-off workers, he said.
“We will focus on addressing the overcapacity in the steel, coal and other industries facing difficulties,” he said. “We will address the issue of ‘zombie enterprises’ proactively yet prudently by using measures such as mergers, reorganizations, debt restructurings and bankruptcy liquidations.”