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Cablegate: China's Central Economic Work Conference Concludes

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DE RUEHBJ #4418 3421134
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081134Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2887
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1488

UNCLAS BEIJING 024418

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STATE PASS USTR STRATFORD/WINTER/MCCARTIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CH ECON EFIN ENRG ETRD SENV
SUBJECT: CHINA'S CENTRAL ECONOMIC WORK CONFERENCE CONCLUDES
WITH FOCUS ON DEVELOPING A MORE BALANCED ECONOMY

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1. (SBU) Summary: A National Development and Reform
Commission (NDRC) Macroeconomic Policy expert told econoff
December 8 that the concluding emphasis of the Central
Economic Work Conference was on continued economic expansion
that promotes stability while at the same time conserving
resources and improving China,s &quality8 of growth. The
conference, which concluded on December 7, was convened to
set economic goals for 2007. A state-run media report listed
specific objectives arrived at by conference participants,
including: reduction of the balance of payments surplus
through promotion of imports and overseas investments;
development of the rural economy; strengthening of energy
conservation; boosting of technological progress and
innovation; balancing of regional economic development; and
continuing reforms in China,s state sector and financial
system. End Summary.

Focus on Balance in the Economy
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) Xinhua reported a move away from the emphasis on
rapid growth rates that dominated previous years, meetings.
There was increased attention to bringing balance to the
economy on multiple fronts. Conference participants
concluded that China should strengthen its promotion of
imports and overseas investments to reduce its balance of
payments surplus. There were also calls for China to raise
domestic consumption and to achieve greater balance in
investment and consumption across different sectors of the
economy. Other economic concerns addressed included the
relatively weak agricultural sector and investment that
creates a risk of financial market volatility. The
government,s major goal is to continue the country,s
economic growth without experiencing huge boom-busts cycles.

Emphasis on Economic Stability
------------------------------

2. (SBU) Zhang Haiyu, Director for the Macroeconomic Policy
Department of the NDRC,s Institute of Economic System and
Management, told econoff December 8 that the Central Economic
Work Conference,s major goals are to continue growing with
economic stability, but at the same time, preserve resources
and improve China,s quality of growth. Specifically, the
government will continue strengthening its macroeconomic
controls, promote rural economic development, conserve its
natural resources, proceed with economic structural reforms,
promote government administrative reforms, and balance
regional economic development between China,s east and west.
Randt

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