As a developing country with 1.4 billion people, it is only by overcoming enormous difficulties that China has been able to contain COVID-19 in such a short time while also ensuring our people's basic needs. Our success has come at a great price. The economy posted negative growth in the first quarter of this year, and daily life and work have been greatly affected. However, life is invaluable. This is a price we must pay, and a price worth paying.
While continuing to advance epidemic control, we have also promoted economic and social development and lost no time in resuming work and production when appropriate. With 90 policy measures in 8 categories, we have provided assistance to enterprises to stabilize employment, cut and exempted taxes and fees, exempted all tolls on highways, reduced the costs of energy use, and granted subsidized loans. We have approved the early issuance of special bonds by local governments according to due procedures. We kept up with the spring farming schedule, and continued the critical battle against poverty. We have provided assistance to people working on the front lines of COVID-19 control and to people in difficulty, and doubled temporary price subsidies.
These policies have benefited hundreds of millions of people, and ensured stable supplies and prices and the resumption of work and production in a timely and effective way. Indeed, the Chinese economy has shown great resilience and enormous potential.