On Italian TV, TgCom24, we talked about the constitution change in China. Electoral Democracy or Good Government? Among the many things discussed, I stress the following points of view:
Geraci was a guest speaker at CGTN dialogue to comments on the issue.
G7 did not achieve its main goal because it was squeezed in between the Silk road summit in Beijing and forthcoming G20 meeting in Germany, and of course it was of the interest of Germany to make sure that the G7 held in Italy was not going to be successful so that Germany could get all the credit for any international agreement during her G20.
Alberto Bagnai said that there should be a controlled end to the euro. He is a professor at Pescara University who is one of the leading Italian advocates of leaving the euro. My main comment is that if Italy remains in the Eurozone, it will be very difficult, almost impossible, for Italy to escape the current economic crisis. Indeed, things may get worse over time. If however, Italy decides to exit the Eurozone, there is a chance. It does not mean that Italexit will bring prosperity, but it will give Italians a chance.
Since last year, I have argued that economic growth in China would take a less and less important role in China’s political agenda. My view is that Chinese policymakers are well aware that growth cannot be sustained for the foreseeable future and are therefore looking for new objectives and for a new narrative that can maintain social stability. It is a bit like an ex-post rationalization of a problem: “Given that GDP growth cannot be sustained, let’s play down the importance of the economy and focus on other goals so that we can continue to meet those – new – objective”. The output from the Two Session seems to go in this direction.
Premier Li on the CPPCC published the Government Work Report, setting the key growth target for 2017. GDP growth target is expected to be 6.5%, government deficit target to be 3%, CPI to be 3%., and the unemployment rate to be 4.5%.
Last year, the GDP growth rate was 6.7%, with total GDP reached 74.4 trillion yuan. CPI increased by 2%. Industrial profitability turned positive from -2.3% in 2015 to 8.4% in 2016.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the Fifteenth Central Leading Group on Finance and Economic Affairs, which is often regard as an important reference for the National People’s Congress in March. At this meeting, he pointed out to speed up reform this year, along three main axis. In my view, reforms should always be carried out carefully and the timing and depth of such reforms is key.