China investors catch option fever, prompting regulator warnings

China investors catch option fever, prompting regulator warnings

Tax and fees cuts, stabilisation of employment and more social services – these were some of the quick fixes pledged by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in his annual work report, to address uncertainties in economic outlook and international relations. And in a rare move, not one delegate opposed the report when the National People’s Congress voted on it on Friday, Trend reports referring to South China Morning Post.

In the ballot on Li’s report, 2,945 delegates voted in favour and three abstained.

Although the NPC, China’s highest legislative body, is often described by observers as a rubber-stamp chamber and has never vetoed a work report, the number of opposing votes is often seen as an indicator of the level of endorsement and popularity for a government leader or a top government agency.

Even the number of abstentions is seen as a subtle indicator of disapproval by carefully selected delegates to the elite assembly.

For example, 378 delegates voted against Li’s first report as premier in 2014. Three years later, when he finished his first term as premier, 180 voted against his report. A small number of opposition votes was considered acceptable to the Communist Party.

The atmosphere at last year’s NPC was especially tense, as delegates cast their votes on whether to amend the constitution to remove the two-term limit for the president – allowing Xi Jinping to remain in the role, although as the party’s secretary general he would have been able to stay in power with or without the title.

On that occasion, careful consensus-building was carried out among delegates before they cast their votes on removing the term limit at the close of last year’s legislative meetings, or “two sessions”. Only two voted against, while three abstained – among the lowest such numbers in Communist Party history.

It is unknown whether any consensus-building was carried out regarding how delegates should vote this year. But the atmosphere this year was more relaxed and some delegates have taken the opportunity to voice mild dissent on government policies such as “Made in China 2025” (MIC2025) and the “Belt and Road Initiative”.

Unlike predecessors such as Zhu Rongji or even Wen Jiabao, Li is more an executor of Xi’s policies, and all of the limelight is usually given to Xi’s speeches and activities. Li himself as a leader does not have obvious support from the NPC delegates. His report represents overall government policies laid down by Xi.

When asked why there was not a single opposing vote on Li’s report, Hu Keming, deputy director of the NPC’s constitution and legal committee, smiled and said: “The reasons? You know well.”

Li did not mention MIC2025 in the report, which observers said was designed to avoid further provoking the West while China and the United States were negotiating a potential deal to end the trade war.

He placed special emphasis on measures to help the economy through difficult times ahead. Unveiling his report at the opening of the two sessions on March 5, Li had said the government was preparing for tough battles, foreseeing “graver and more complex” risks and challenges, both “predictable and unpredictable”.

Li’s most eye-catching pledge was to cut the value-added tax (VAT) rate for manufacturers by 3 percentage points to 13 per cent, a significant reduction.

The VAT rate for construction and transport companies was also cut, by 1 percentage point to 9 per cent, and reductions in various other fees were announced to ease the burden on the business sector.
The government set a lower economic growth target, in a range of 6.0 to 6.5 per cent, and a higher deficit-to-GDP ratio of 2.8 per cent for 2019, from 2.6 per cent in 2018.
Li also pledged to help private companies – addressing a key concern for businesspeople – and to stabilise jobs, improve social services, and step up environmental protection and rural development.

Also presented to the NPC on Friday were the work reports from the supreme court and the top prosecutor. In the ballots on those, 156 and 71 delegates respectively voted against, while 67 and 71 abstained.

Five to 10 years ago it was common for up to 600 of the nearly 3,000 NPC delegates to vote against the two reports to show their disapproval of China’s rampant corruption. Since then, the number of opposing votes has dropped, falling below 200 last year.

But there remained some unhappiness among delegates about the performance of the Supreme People’s Court.

Li Jie, an NPC delegate and chairman of Yichang Renfu Pharmaceutical Industry in Hubei, said some delegates were disappointed that the high-profile scandal in which the supreme court reportedly

lost court documents relating to a mining dispute in Shaanxi province, which provoked a national outcry, was not mentioned in the court’s annual report.

“Even though the supreme court has done a lot of work, it has not mentioned issues people are concerned about in the report,” he said. “For example, some court documents were lost – it disappoints people because it should be the symbol of justice and fairness.”

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Sinopec gets first LNG cargo under new deal with Qatar
Sinopec gets first LNG cargo under new deal with Qatar
Brent to breach $100/bbl as demand weathers virus surge- Goldman Sachs
Brent to breach $100/bbl as demand weathers virus surge- Goldman Sachs
Russia documents 31,252 daily COVID-19 cases, highest number since December 6
Russia documents 31,252 daily COVID-19 cases, highest number since December 6
Loading Bars
Latest
Sinopec gets first LNG cargo under new deal with Qatar
Brent to breach $100/bbl as demand weathers virus surge- Goldman Sachs
Azerbaijan ranks among top aviation fuel exporters to Georgia
I'm on deserved rest in capital and haven't left anywhere - first president of Kazakhstan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 18
Russia documents 31,252 daily COVID-19 cases, highest number since December 6
USAID supports Turkmen government and local partners to improve securities market
Websites that will make the work of Graphic Designers easier
UNHCR discloses number of Azerbaijani refugees provided with legal assistance before Second Karabakh War (PHOTO)
Production of Iran's Khorasan Steel Company increases
National Iranian Oil Company to take steps on development of North Pars gas field
Azerbaijan fils lawsuits against Armenia to European Court of Human Rights
Non-OPEC crude oil supply to continue upward trend by 2023
Visitors from Azerbaijan to Georgia spend less in 2021 - NBG
Europe to see increase in jet fuel demand – JP Morgan
Iran’s NISOC announces date for launch of extraction from Kish gas field
Israel sticks with 4th vaccine shot, sees Omicron wave waning in a week
Uzbek Central Bank shares data on volume of reserve assets and gold reserves
Azerbaijani public representatives send appeal to French President
Iran's economic growth improves - CBI
Oil demand set to rise by 2023, says JP Morgan
Central Bank of Iran discloses amount of loans issued for agricultural sector
Azerbaijan increases wine imports from Georgia
Epsilon obtains industrial gas inflow from new well at field in Uzbekistan
AFAB Cataract Campaigns on Int’l Day of Elderly in Niger (FOTO)
JP Morgan expects Azerbaijan’s oil output to decline in 2022-2023
Amount of loans issued by Iranian banks soars
NIOC intends to extract gas from Iran-Saudi Arabia joint Farzad B gas field
Azerbaijani FM leaves for Austria on working visit
Iran sees increase in trade turnover with ECO member states
UAE bourses open in red after Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi
Time of market test for Greece-North Macedonia gas pipeline announced
Azerbaijan holding talks on regular flights to Fuzuli Int’l Airport – deputy minister
Georgia reveals wine export growth dynamics in strategic markets
Azerbaijan reveals procedure of buying tickets for bus trips to liberated lands
Trips to Azerbaijan's liberated areas on all routes to be carried out in one day - ministry
At first stage only Azerbaijani citizens allowed to visit Karabakh – deputy minister
Citizens can visit liberated districts of Azerbaijan once a year - agency (PHOTO)
Police cars to accompany passenger buses through Azerbaijani liberated lands
Azerbaijan discloses cost of bus trips to liberated areas (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan to launch regular bus trips to Karabakh soon
Kazakhstan to keep inflation in energy sector within set borders - ministry
President Ilham Aliyev unveils monument to philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev in Baku (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran’s NIOC interested in increasing gas exports
Azerbaijan discloses loans of banks being liquidated by Deposit Insurance Fund
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan affirm commitment to Afghanistan
Azerbaijani Express-C company’s bonds included in listing of Baku Stock Exchange
Azerbaijan Airlines to present new “Azal Club” loyalty program
Kazakhstan to amend supply chain of petroleum products
2021 enters Azerbaijani history as year of social reforms - Analysis
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan see significant increase in mutual trade
Georgia’s trade turnover figures grow – TBC Capital
2022 budget for Ighdir-Nakhchivan gas pipeline disclosed
Georgia publishes COVID-19 data for January 18
Azerbaijan, Turkey discuss co-op on restoration projects in Karabakh
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for January 17
New school built in Azerbaijan's Gazakh on Heydar Aliyev Foundation's initiative (PHOTO)
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 18
Kazakh Gas Processing Plant opens tender to buy spares for pumps
Azerbaijan shares data on prices of various food products for 12M2021
Money transfers from Kazakhstan to Georgia triple
Kazakhstan eyes to build fish factory in Mangystau region
Iran shares data on cooking oil imports
Iranian currency rates for Jan. 18
Water supply in several villages of Azerbaijan's Karabakh restored (PHOTO)
Brent climbs above 7-year high on Mideast tensions, tight supply
Turkmenistan discloses amount of products sold via local commodity exchange
Global problem of rising food prices - causes and solutions - ANALYSIS
Washington Post publishes article of Portugal-based traveler on Azerbaijan's Khinalig (PHOTO)
NATO looks forward to continued broad practical cooperation with Azerbaijan in coming period
Brent oil reaches $87 per barrel on ICE for first time since 2014
Turkey confirms 64,935 daily COVID-19 cases
Number of detained rioting, looting suspects in Almaty exceeds 2,700
5.0-magnitude quake jolts central Turkey
U.S. Senate panel to debate app store reform bill
United Airlines warns 5G plan would impact 1.25 mln passengers a year
Bayern striker Lewandowski awarded Best FIFA Men's Player of Year 2021
Yellen says U.S. economy "has never worked fairly for Black Americans"
North Korea confirms tactical guided missile test on Monday - media
4th Pfizer, Moderna shot less effective against Omicron: Israeli study
Kuwait's justice minister tests positive for COVID-19
Passenger traffic at Frankfurt airport picks up in 2021
Israel reduces COVID-19 quarantine to keep economy going
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe exceeds 325 million - WHO
Kazakhstan discloses data on mutual trade with top CIS partners
Israel's unemployment rate drops to 6, lowest since plagued by COVID-19
Turkey supports Georgia's participation in 3+3 peace talks
Solar power excels in Turkey's rapid shift to green energy sources
Azerbaijan FM receives delegation led by Chairman of Parliament of Montenegro (PHOTO)
Thousands of flights canceled in eastern U.S. as winter storm heads north
Shavkat Mirziyoyev hosts Deputy PM of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov
Magnitude 5.6 quake hits western Afghanistan, killing more than 20
US Joint Chiefs chairman and Marine Corps chief have COVID-19
Six servicemen returned by Azerbaijan arrested in Armenia
Approval of U.S. pandemic response hits new low: poll
Georgia exports 107 mln bottles of wine in 2021, record high in 9 years
Turkey condemns drone attack targeting Abu Dhabi
Nearly 60% of voters support amendments to Serbia’s constitution — electoral commission
Azerbaijani Prime Minister talks bilateral agenda with Chairman of Montenegro's Parliament
Turkmenistan, Afghanistan agree to resume TAPI construction
All news