Under the new wave of COVID infections and economic downturn, China has issued measures to boost domestic consumption. Chinese tabloid Global Times reported on December 15 that China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released an action plan to foster the nation’s economic recovery and promote its long-term development.

On December 14, the State Council, or China’s cabinet, released a sweeping guideline on expanding internal demand. With long-term goals extending to 2035, the guideline seeks to see the scale of consumption and investment reach new heights and a sound domestic demand system fully established. 

According to data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics on December 15, retail sales dropped 5.95% year-on-year to 3.86 trillion yuan ($554 billion) in November. This decline is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.

Retail sales for the first 11 months of the year reached nearly 40 trillion yuan ($5.7 trillion), down 0.1% year-on-year.

Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, said, “To achieve the consumption rebound, China’s ‘Dynamic zero-COVID policy’ must be enforced swiftly to bring the latest outbreak of COVID-19 under control.”

However, many media outlets reported that due to China’s rapid easing, the fever among citizens surged 16 times within a week. Some said they saw more than half of their friends and relatives infected.CBS News commented China’s strict zero-COVID policy “has been replaced by chaos, confusion and risk.”

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