Chinese leaders promise tax cuts to boost flagging economic growth

  • China's economy slowed to 6.5 percent year-on-year growth in the third quarter of 2018.
  • Trade skirmishes with the United States are threatening to choke the world's second-largest economy.
  • The Shanghai composite and main Shenzhen index are down more than 20 and 30 percent, respectively, this year, putting Chinese stocks among the worst performers globally.
Chinese President Xi Jinping 
Naohiko Hatta | Pool | Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping 

China's top leaders have ended a vital economic meeting with a fiscal pledge to support economic growth next year.

According to state media, Beijing policymakers will keep liquidity "ample" and cut taxes on a bigger scale in a bid to keep 2019 growth within a "reasonable range."

The world's second-largest economy grew at 6.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018, marking the weakest pace since the global financial crisis in 2008.

"The pro-active fiscal policy should enhance efficiency, implement larger-scale tax cuts and fee reductions, and substantially increase the size of local government special bonds," Xinhua said in a translation provided by Reuters.

The media outlet added that a "prudent monetary policy should be neither too loose nor too tight, keeping liquidity reasonable ample."

The annual Central Economic Work Conference, which ran from Tuesday until Friday, was attended by President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and Chairman of the National People's Congress Li Zhanshu.

China will also reportedly seek to fulfil the trade bargain agreed between Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump in Argentina on December 1. Other commitments announced included an accelerated roll-out of 5G technology and continued policies to dampen property speculation.

The Shanghai composite and the main Shenzhen index are both down more than 20 percent this year, putting Chinese stocks among the worst performers globally.

Now watch: Is China's growth story over?