China has postponed a key financial gathering set for this week in its financial hub of Shanghai, authorities said on Tuesday, adding that they were aiming for deeper discussion of the topics to be considered.
The delay comes amid a fresh wave of COVID-19 outbreaks in cities such as Shenzhen and Chengdu, at a time when China is gearing for a five-yearly congress of the ruling Communist Party on Oct. 17, where President Xi Jinping is poised to secure a historic third leadership term.
The Lujiazui Forum has been delayed from the initial dates of Wednesday and Thursday, the Shanghai Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau said in a statement, without giving new dates or saying if the recent outbreaks were a factor behind the move.
"This year's Lujiazui Forum is being delayed due to the need to deepen the (event's) topics," it added.
The annual event is co-hosted by the city government and top financial regulators, such as the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) and the China Securities and Regulatory Commission.
First held in 2008 and traditionally scheduled in June, this year it was delayed by Shanghai's two-month long lockdown over COVID-19.
Last year's speakers included the head of the CBIRC, Guo Shuqing, and Pan Gongsheng, a PBOC vice governor and head of the foreign exchange regulator.
This year's theme was the role of finance in the steady growth of the world's economy, with topics ranging from financial opening-up to regulation, the forum website showed.
Late last month, Shanghai authorities urged organisers to postpone or scale down conferences and exhibitions, so as to boost COVID prevention efforts.
The Beijing auto show and sports tournaments, such as the Diamond League athletics meet, are among the events in China postponed or cancelled this year due to COVID-19. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)