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China orders local officials to watch televised discussion of economy

Main economic indicators fall in April following tough COVID lockdowns

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discussing the economy at a meeting in March. 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discussing the economy at a meeting in March.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China’s government wants its local officials to watch an unprecedented televised meeting about economic stability amid a worsening business climate following Draconian COVID-19 lockdowns, reports said on Wednesday (May 25).

The aim of the meeting is believed to be forcing local authorities to adopt economic measures dictated by the central government, UDN reported. Provincial, city, and county leaders were expected to attend or at least watch and listen to the meeting, scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday.

According to Chinese media, the pressure on the country’s economy has been increasing during the past three months as the Omicron variant of the COVID virus led the government to impose tough lockdowns.

Even official statistics show that the country’s industrial production, exports, investment, and consumption all fell during April, while local unemployment reached its highest level since March 2020.

The new measures include tax concessions, loosening limits on the purchase of cars, and changes benefiting struggling sectors such as restaurants and small businesses.

Wednesday’s televised discussion was intended to increase pressure on local governments to implement Beijing’s policies for economic revival, the Chinese media reported.