Xi's inspection tours reflect efforts to steer China's economy toward sustainable future
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has conducted in-depth research in multiple localities on issues ranging from economic growth and epidemic control to grain and energy security in the first half of the year, and listened to the frontline voices.
"We have confidence in our ability to coordinate epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development and to bring the country's economic development this year to a relatively good level," Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said during his inspection tour in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei province, in late June.
A month later, Xi presided over a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to analyze the current economic situation and arrange for economic work in the second half of the year. It was stressed at the meeting that the country should maintain the momentum of the rebounding economy, ensure stable employment and commodity prices, and keep major economic indicators within an appropriate range while striving to achieve the best possible results.
COVID-19 prevention, control
Since the beginning of the year, the COVID-19 situation has been complex and volatile. On multiple occasions, Xi has given important instructions on coordinating epidemic control and economic and social development.
During his January visit to north China's Shanxi province, Xi told local authorities to stay alert, adopt science-based and targeted control measures, and ensure people's safety and necessities.
In March, China saw resurgences of COVID-19 cases caused by the highly contagious Omicron variant. Taking note of the situation, Xi emphasized at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee that more effective measures should be taken to achieve maximum effect in prevention and control with minimum cost and to reduce the impact on socioeconomic development as much as possible.
From April 10 to 13, Xi inspected south China's Hainan province, emphasizing the importance of tenacity in achieving success. "We must not drop our guard, lose drive, take chances, or slacken efforts. We should respond to the new features of virus variants and make our response measures more judicious and targeted," he said.
During his visit to Wuhan, Xi said that if China had adopted the "herd immunity" policy or a hands-off approach, given its large population, the consequences would be unimaginable.
He said that with the leadership of the CPC and the grassroots foundation formed by communities, China has the capability and strength to implement the dynamic zero-COVID policy until the final victory is secured.
Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at its core, China has protected people's lives and health to the greatest extent.
Xi noted that China has secured a victory in the battle against the virus in Shanghai, withstanding the most severe test since the outbreak of the epidemic in Wuhan.
The country has adopted targeted and strict epidemic control measures in virus-hit areas and tried its best to ensure people's normal production and life in most areas. Both the incidence rate and the death toll in China are the lowest among major countries at present.
Ensuring economic stability
By effectively keeping the epidemic under control, China has not only guaranteed people's lives and health but also fostered economic growth while restoring normalcy in work and life.
Enabling people to live better lives has always been one of Xi's top priorities among all development aims. During his visit to Shanxi in January prior to the Spring Festival, Xi inspected the quality of the villagers' houses.
Xi inspected the kitchen, bedroom and sheepfold and inquired about the family's income and life when visiting the home of a local.
"The CPC's resolve to ensure all Chinese people live happy lives has remained unchanged for more than a century, and it will not falter," Xi said.
His inspection tours across the country also reflect China's continuous efforts to advance reform and opening up, and to pursue sci-tech innovation.
During his visit to Hainan in April, Xi called for eliminating institutional barriers in all aspects and opening up wider at a higher level.
When inspecting the southwestern province of Sichuan in June, Xi visited XGIMI optoelectronic company to learn about its independent innovation, job generation and local efforts to support the private sector.
Noting the importance of implementing an innovation-driven development strategy, Xi underscored "keeping the lifeblood of science and technology in our own hands" during his visit to Wuhan.
"China must make greater progress in self-reliance in science and technology, work to make its development more independent, autonomous and secure, and nurture more new technologies and industries," Xi said during the Wuhan visit.
Work should be done to open up new fields and new paths for economic development and cultivate new strengths to provide the country an edge in international competition, he added.
Recent data demonstrated the effects of China's endeavors to coordinate epidemic response with socioeconomic development. The Chinese economy expanded by 2.5 percent year on year in the first half of 2022.
In June alone, major economic indicators rebounded, indicating that the strong resilience, huge potential and sound long-term fundamentals of the Chinese economy have remained unchanged.
Safeguarding development security
Since the beginning of this year, the deteriorating geopolitical situation has added uncertainties to the international energy market, putting China's energy security under pressure.
The supply of power and heat is vital to the overall economic development and social stability, Xi said during his inspection tour to Shanxi.
During this tour, Xi inquired about the clean and efficient use of coal and the modernization of traditional industries.
Stressing the importance of ensuring energy security, Xi called for strengthening domestic energy production and ensuring coal supply.
Following his instructions, governments at all levels have ratcheted up support for stabilizing energy prices, balancing supply and demand, and encouraging high-quality production capacity, in a bid to ensure sufficient energy supply.
In the January-May period, the country's raw coal output rose 10.4 percent year on year to 1.81 billion tonnes. Meanwhile, major Chinese oil and gas enterprises saw their inventory of refined oil products operating at a high level.
Food security, a fundamental national concern, has also been constantly prioritized by Xi.
During the inspection in Hainan, Xi visited a seed laboratory in Sanya, accentuating that seed resources must be "firmly held in our own hands" to ensure food security.
Xi reiterated the importance of ensuring grain production on his inspection tour to Sichuan.
While visiting a high-standard paddy field base in the Yongfeng Village in the city of Meishan, Xi hailed the village's continuous efforts in helping safeguard national food security by planting grains.
Efforts should be made to promote and apply modern agricultural science and technology, and advance relevant training, Xi said, calling for developing green, eco-friendly and high-efficiency agriculture.
"We have the confidence and determination to ensure the food supply for the Chinese people through our own efforts," Xi said.