China completes navigation network Beidou

Can street vendors save China from the employment crisis? Differences in Beijing

Last month, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang-the second highest-ranking official in China after President Xi Jinping-praised the city of Chengdu and began to attract attention. By setting up thousands of street stalls, creating 100,000 jobs overnight, these stalls usually sell food, fresh vegetables, clothes and toys.

The government needs to “break the stereotypes” to create new jobs. Said At a major political gathering in Beijing every year. “China has 900 million laborers. There is no work, and 900 million people need to be supported. With work, 900 million pairs of hands can create huge wealth.”
The suggestion that street vendors can solve China’s unemployment problem is not limited to Li’s speech at the meeting. “Mobile Provider” is also mentioned in his annual report government working report Since taking office seven years ago, this is the first time Beijing has set priorities for this year. After the meeting, Li Guangyao continued to express his appreciation to the street vendors in eastern Shandong Province.
Li’s information did not come easily. Second largest economy. From January to March, China’s GDP First shrink In decades. Ever since Coronavirus pandemic Initially, informal analysis showed that as many as 80 million people It may be out of work this spring. Before the outbreak, the authorities stated that they needed to create about 11 million new jobs each year in order to maintain the normal pace of employment.
However, in China’s official media, the sales response to Li Peng was rapid and fierce. The national broadcaster CCTV wrote that the influx of street vendors in large cities will be “civilized.” Commentary Published online earlier this month. It criticized the idea without mentioning the prime minister, which is similar to “a whole night that dates back decades.”
The Beijing Municipal Government’s official newspaper “Beijing Daily” published several articles, Blasted street vending stall Noisy, hindering and damaging the “capital city and country image” ability.

Promote technology

The idea of ​​suppliers on the streets of high-tech cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen has caused controversy in China, partly because Beijing has spent years building China’s image as an advanced global superpower. ‘S An iconic policy project “Made in China 2025” promotes the country’s competitive influence with the United States through billions of dollars of investment in future technologies.

Professor Zeng Zhiwei, director of the SOAS China Research Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said: “The hawker does not like street vendors because it destroys the successful and beautiful image of China he likes to project.”

Xi Jinping himself reiterated in recent weeks that he has long been committed to providing high-tech solutions to China’s economic difficulties. He recently called on the country to invest in 5G networks and next-generation satellites as part of a plan to promote economic growth and employment.

During a meeting with political advisers last month, Xi Jinping said: “We must strive to promote innovation in science and technology and accelerate the development of strategic emerging industries.” According to the state broadcaster CGTN.
Huawei smartphones will be displayed in Huawei stores before opening in Shanghai this month.

Grim political reality

But Lu Xiaobo, An Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, said that Li’s ideas have some truth. China has set a goal End poverty by the end of this yearLu pointed out that street vending and other modest jobs are places where people living above the poverty line can “find a way of survival.”

In addition, he said, solving large-scale, expensive infrastructure projects as a solution to Beijing’s economic difficulties may not be as good as before.

China’s response to the last major economic shock (ie, the 2008-2009 global financial crisis) involved substantial investment in roads, airports and high-speed rail lines. This time, the stimulation line is saturated.

Zhu Ning, a professor of finance at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a faculty member at Yale University, wrote: “In many ways, even in terms of per capita holdings, China has achieved a global leading position in infrastructure.” research report Earlier this year. “Therefore, compared to 2008, its demand for infrastructure has changed a lot.”

He added that the last financial crisis also made China bear a lot of debt, so this time it is important to focus on private consumption.

Tang Min, a Chinese government consultant, recently told reporters in Beijing that street vendors not only create jobs, but also address people’s concerns about indoor crowding during a pandemic.

Tang said: “However, it cannot replace the’conventional’ economy, and there are very limited things that can be bought and sold on the street.” “The government cannot let it develop uncontrolled-we must continue to experiment and explore it, so we must Supervise.”

At the annual political gathering in May, Li Peng was outspoken about China’s problems and the extent to which some people may not be able to participate in China’s high-tech future. About 600 million Chinese (about 40% of the population) can earn an average of only 1,000 yuan (US$141) per month.

After the launch of the last satellite, China’s GPS competitor Beidou is now fully operational
Li said that this makes street vendors “an important source of employment.” Said During his visit to Shandong Province this month, he added that these jobs make China as active as a high-end industry. A news report in official media suggested that removing restrictions on street stalls (such as allowing roadside business in urban areas) may create up to 50 million new jobs.

“Li Zheng is trying to solve pressing problems in a…realistic way,” Lin Liwei, an adjunct professor at the Chinese Studies Center of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said. He said that although street vendors may not be perfect, there may be no better option to create a large number of jobs in a short period of time.

“Employment is a very important issue, and it may cause political unrest… Li Pengfei is clearly worried about the disastrous consequences of mass unemployment.”

In 1999, a Uyghur man sold traditional flat bread to female shoppers on Xinjiang Street in Beijing.

Zeng Yinquan, president of the SOAS China Research Institute, said that Li Guangyao is probably just trying to monitor the country’s main economic policies.

Zeng Yinquan said: “The pandemic allowed him to play more established roles as prime minister in economic operations, and for most of Xi Jinping’s time, he was in a narration.” “He understood that Covid-19’s economic impact will A pragmatic and more emphasis on attitude is needed to allow and even encourage those who are fired on the streets to be fired because of the pandemic.”

Local government enterprising

In recent days, public discussions about Li’s promotion of street vendors in China have gradually faded out, as major cities including Beijing and Shenzhen have made it clear that they do not welcome the policies there.

However, other local governments in less wealthy areas are quietly promoting this idea. Lanzhou, the capital of northwestern Gansu Province Published plan Build nearly 11,000 street vending stalls-the plan hopes to create at least 300,000 jobs.
Changchun, the provincial capital of northeast Jilin Province, also promoted this idea. The provincial Communist Party boss visited a street food stall in Changchun earlier this month and praised the business as having a “low threshold” for those who only want to find a job. Jilin Provincial Government.

Professor Lin of the Chinese University of Hong Kong said: “Street stalls will not completely disappear in reality.” He predicts that as long as unemployment remains the top priority, local governments can advance the plan.

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