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All factors point to nation's stable growth

By Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-03-28 08:59
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A view of Beijing's CBD area on Nov 29, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Western narrative of the so-called "China collapse theory "refreshed itself recently, although China achieved GDP of over 126 trillion yuan ($17.4 trillion) and a growth rate of 5.2 percent in 2023.

Some Western media outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, have continued in recent months rolling out reports against the most robust growth engine of the global economy, under headlines such as "China's economic pain worsens" to "What's wrong with China's economy". The Economist magazine has since August been concerned with "Why China's economy won't be fixed".

Despite Western disinformation, talk among some in the United States about decoupling, some European Union "de-risking" and the imposition of numerous obstacles, China has succeeded in upgrading its industrial and supply chains, which has ultimately fostered emerging industries and future-oriented sectors, and promoted innovation and the digital economy.

Last year, China's sales of new energy vehicles reached 9.5 million, an increase of 37.9 percent year-on-year, and the turnover of technological contracts grew 28.6 percent, according to data from the National Development and Reform Commission. Furthermore, National Energy Administration statistics showed that the nation's total consumption of electricity grew 6.7 percent year-on-year in 2023.

Lithium batteries, electric vehicles and photovoltaic products enhanced the nation's exports as well as the added value of strategic emerging industries, and were thus cited as the "new three" products during the two sessions, the annual gatherings held in Beijing this month of China's top legislative and political advisory bodies.

The Government Work Report delivered during the two sessions announced China's economic targets for 2024, projecting that GDP will grow around 5 percent, the consumer price index will rise about 3 percent, over 12 million new urban jobs will be created, grain output will reach 650 million metric tons, energy consumption will stand at 2.5 percent per unit of GDP, and the ratio of deficit to GDP will be 3 percent. These are all achievable, judging from the momentum so far this year.

By announcing the economic achievements and accomplished targets of 2023 and the projected goals for 2024, Chinese policymakers have decoded the real essence of the nation's macro economy, mainly comprising diversification, digitalization, modernization, qualitative industrialization and openness.

Critical statistical economic analysis indicates that 5 percent GDP growth for 2024 is achievable. Europe's Airbus, French multinational software company Dassault Systemes and Germany's Bayer highly appreciated China's GDP targets in 2023 and 2024, vividly reflecting the world's confidence in the Chinese economy despite meaningless statements and misinformation by some Western media outlets.

Evidently a GDP growth target of around 5 percent will permit reasonable and moderate social progress through sustained momentum, qualitative industrialization and consumer confidence.

The two sessions could also be cited as a true reflection of economic transparency, greater social and economic integration, and consolidation of fiscal and monetary targets, and they highlighted the strategic importance of new quality productive forces and new drivers of China's sustainable economy, especially scientific and technological innovations.

China has made technological breakthroughs in quantum computing technology, integrated circuits, artificial intelligence, biomedicine and new energy sectors, and the country's aforementioned "new three" products are expected to maintain robust growth in coming years, which would contribute to achieving the economic targets.

The new forces, coupled with expansion of domestic demand, promotion of big data and the launch of an AI-plus initiative, will give further scope, utility and performance to Chinese growth. These new factors will also help to shift the nation's economic structure from low-cost manufacturing to high-value services.

China's economic structural transformation, green and low-carbon elements, and social and market improvements all showed its real economic strength.

The policymakers of China are also giving more attention to investment in new urbanization and rural vitalization, education, food security and energy security.

Moreover, as Premier Li Qiang told the China Development Forum in Beijing on Sunday, China is committed to expanding opening-up, which will create more opportunities for the rest of the world. Global investors should cheer again for the commitment.

Minister of Industry and Information Technology Jin Zhuanglong told the forum on Monday that the country will implement measures regarding the complete removal of restrictions on foreign investments in China's manufacturing sector.

It is also hoped that market access to the services sectors, such as finance, telecommunications and healthcare, will also be widened.

Thus, contrary to what Western media are suggesting, all factors point to strong Chinese economic growth that will remain stable, sustainable and resilient.

Despite a recent claim in The Wall Street Journal that "China's economic model is crumbling", the effective and sustainable Chinese system is commendable in overall scientific decision-making, management of risks, market regulation, sound economic performance, and democratic social and economic governance, as well as featuring win-win connectivity with related economies elsewhere.

The author is executive director of the Center for South Asia and International Studies in Islamabad, and director of the Global Development and Connectivity Institute in Islamabad.

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