Xi Jinping recently met with people outside the CCP to listen to their suggestions on economic development issues.

State media Xinhua reported that the meeting occurred on December 2 in Zhongnanhai. Xi presided over the symposium and delivered a speech. Li Kequiang, Wang Yang, and Han Zheng, who were not re-elected members of the Standing Committee of the 20th National Congress of the CCP, attended the meeting.

During the meeting, Li Keqiang notified the situation of economic work this year and introduced relevant considerations of the incoming year’s economic one. After the speeches of Party members, representatives of non-party figures spoke successively at the meeting.

After listening to the discussions and speeches, Xi said the government would study them carefully and incorporate them actively.

On December 6, the Politburo of the CCP held another special economic meeting, aiming to analyze and study the economic work in 2023.

It released signals to further relaxation of COVID-19 prevention and control measures and to promote economic recovery with reform and opening up.

Ken Cheung, a chief Asian foreign exchange strategist at Mizuho Bank in Hong Kong, believes the CCP’s current policy is in line with market expectations of the accelerated opening of the Chinese economy. However, restrictions will remain in place, there will still be considerable liquidity constraints, and a full opening is still some way off.

Zhang Zhiwei, a chief economist at Hong Kong-based Pao Yin Asset Management (Pinpoint), said this policy change is a big step forward. He expects China to fully reopen its borders no later than mid-2023, and quarantine requirements for international travelers may soon be shortened.

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