The Chinese leadership has decided to focus on ensuring stable economic growth in 2023 by prioritizing the recovery and expansion of consumption, state-run media said Friday, as the world's second-largest economy has been slowing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

An annual meeting to craft economic plans for next year pointed out that, at present, the foundation for China's economic recovery is "not yet solid" and vowed to implement support measures, such as "a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy," according to China Central Television.

President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang were among the participants of the closed-door Central Economic Work Conference.

Although China's strict "zero-COVID" policy involving lockdowns has affected the nation's economy, leaders did not mention it. They only called for better coordination in epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development.

The radical COVID restrictions were significantly eased last week following rare nationwide protests amid public frustration.

"We must focus on stabilizing growth, employment and prices to keep the economy operating within a reasonable range," the leaders were quoted as saying, highlighting the need to address difficulties college graduates face finding employment.

For this year, China had earlier set its growth target at around 5.5 percent. But the economy logged a 3.9 percent expansion from a year earlier in the July to September period, following a two-month lockdown of Shanghai through May.

The leaders also said it is necessary to provide maximum convenience for foreign businesspeople to come to China to engage in trade and investment negotiations.

Science and technology policies should focus on self-reliance and self-improvement, the leaders said, amid intensifying competition between China and the United States over cutting-edge technology.

Amid a rapid spread of infections in Beijing following the lifting of stringent COVID restrictions, the annual economic meeting was held for two days instead of the usual three days.