WSJ Headline: China’s Xi Pushing to Beat the U.S. in GDP Growth Despite Covid Lockdowns
WSJ Subheadline: Topping U.S. economy required to demonstrate superiority of China’s one-party system, Chinese leader tells officials
SINGAPORE—Chinese President Xi Jinping has told officials to ensure that the country’s economic growth outpaces the U.S.’s this year, according to people familiar with the discussions, even as its economy sags under its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic began.
In meetings over the past few weeks, Mr. Xi told senior economic and financial officials that ensuring that the economy is stable and growing is important because it is critical to show that China’s one-party system is a superior alternative to Western liberal democracy, and that the U.S. is declining both politically and economically.
In response to Mr. Xi’s call to rev up growth, Chinese government agencies are discussing plans to accelerate big construction projects, especially in the manufacturing, technology, energy and food sectors, as well as to issue coupons to individuals to spur consumer spending, the people said.