China will find it difficult to realize its projected GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate of around 5.5 percent set for 2022, which was planned and approved by the country's top legislature, state media said on Sunday.
China last month announced that the country's GDP is expected to grow at 5.5 percent in 2022, the lowest in more than 30 years. China's GDP growth target for 2022 is sharply lower than the 8.1 percent expansion in the economy achieved in 2021.
The annual official growth target was revealed by Premier Li Keqiang in the Government Work Report that was delivered to the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC).
In an editorial published on Sunday, the Global Times said China needs a relatively faster economic growth rate to provide sufficient employment opportunities for tens of millions of Chinese workers and new college graduates to maintain social stability.
"It is becoming an increasingly arduous job for China to realize its projected GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate of around 5.5 percent set for 2022, which was planned and approved by the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature, in earlier March," the editorial said.
"Also, continued expansion of the economy is needed to lift China toward its goal of becoming a fairly affluent society in the world and keep a larger distance from the so-called middle-income trap," it added.
Unwavering commitment to stamping out COVID-19 cases in big cities such as Shanghai threatens to deal a huge to its vast economy, CNN reported. The stringent measures, China's leading financial center, also add to strain on global supply chains and further fuel inflation.
"The surging cases in Shanghai convinced top leaders that there is no middle ground between zero-COVID and living with COVID. From now on, snap lockdown could be the prevailing strategy," said Larry Hu, chief economist for Greater China at Macquarie, in a research report this week.
The United States on Saturday said it would allow for the voluntary departure of non-emergency staff to leave its Shanghai consulate amid a surge of infections in the locked-down megacity.
In an advisory, the US raised concerns regarding the outbreak and China's control measures directly with government officials.
The US mission said, "American citizens are asked to reconsider travel to the PRC due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws and COVID-19-related restrictions."
(With ANI inputs)