China remains a driver of growth for a delicate global economy

China Plus Published: 2019-04-11 20:50:54
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Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs".

China's National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday that the country's consumer price index (CPI), a measure of price changes in consumer goods and services, was up by 2.3 percent in March compared to the same time a year ago, the largest rise since last October. And the country's producer price index (PPI), a gauge of producer profitability, rose 0.4 percent, picking up for the first time in nine months. The figures have eased deflation fears and added to the anticipation that the world's second-largest economy is turning a corner.

The Port of Nantong in the city of Nantong, Jiangsu Province, May 20, 2017. [File photo: VCG]

The Port of Nantong in the city of Nantong, Jiangsu Province. [File photo: VCG]

These latest figures come just two days after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its 2019 growth forecast for China by 10 basis points to 6.3 percent. China was the only major economy whose growth rate was revised up by IMF. In comparison, the growth forecast for the United States was trimmed by 20 basis points to 2.3 percent. For the Euro zone, it was cut 30 points to 1.3 percent.

The new figures come at a time the IMF describes as "a delicate moment for the global economy". They provide further evidence that China's economy, with its expanding domestic demand, remains a major engine driving global growth.

Since last year, China's government has introduced new measures to deepen its economic reform and open the country's economy wider to the world. Those include large-scale reductions of taxes and fees for enterprises, a shortened negative list to lower market access barriers for foreign investors, the introduction of a new foreign investment law to treat all businesses equally, revised patent laws to better protect intellectual property rights, and the start of an annual import expo to boost imports to meet domestic demand.

These measures have greatly built up internal and external confidence in China's economic growth. Last year, China's actual utilization of foreign capital reached a record high of almost 135 billion U.S. dollars, up 3 percent on the previous year. Speaking at the China Development Forum in Beijing last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said "we are grateful that you have opened your doors and allowed us to be a part of the community here."

Apart from its domestic economic development, China has also played its part in helping boost liquidity while the global economy remains sluggish. Last year, China's overseas investments totaled 130 billion U.S. dollars, staying at the leading position in the world.

China is on its way to meeting the projections of the IMF. But its growth alone isn't enough for the world economy to fully recover. All countries need to do their bit to promote development, especially when trade protectionism and unilateralism pose an increasing challenge to global growth. As the IMF has pointed out, there is a need for greater multilateral cooperation to resolve trade conflicts so as to improve the effectiveness of international taxation. Each country needs to develop its own program of fiscal stimulus that, complemented by an accommodating monetary policy, will improve market confidence.

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LU Xiankun Professor LU Xiankun is Managing Director of LEDECO Geneva and Associate Partner of IDEAS Centre Geneva. He is Emeritus Professor of China Institute for WTO Studies of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Wuhan University (WHU) of China and visiting professor or senior research fellow of some other universities and think tanks in China and Europe. He also sits in management of some international business associations and companies, including as Senior Vice President of Shenzhen UEB Technology LTD., a leading e-commerce company of China. Previously, Mr. LU was senior official of Chinese Ministry of Commerce and senior diplomat posted in Europe, including in Geneva as Counsellor and Head of Division of the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO and in Brussels as Commercial Secretary of the Permanent Mission of China to the EU. Benjamin Cavender Benjamin Cavender is a Shanghai based consultant with more than 11 years of experience helping companies understand consumer behavior and develop go to market strategies for China. He is a frequent speaker on economic and consumer trends in China and is often featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Channel News Asia. Sara Hsu Sara Hsu is an associate professor from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a regular commentator on Chinese economy. Xu Qinduo Xu Qinduo is CRI's former chief correspondent to Washington DC, the United States. He works as the producer, host and commentator for TODAY, a flagship talk show on current affairs. Mr. Xu contributes regularly to English-language newspapers including Shenzhen Daily and Global Times as well as Chinese-language radio and TV services. Lin Shaowen A radio person, Mr. Lin Shaowen is strongly interested in international relations and Chinese politics. As China is quite often misunderstood in the rest of the world, he feels the need to better present the true picture of the country, the policies and meanings. So he talks a lot and is often seen debating. Then friends find a critical Lin Shaowen criticizing and criticized. George N. Tzogopoulos Dr George N. Tzogopoulos is an expert in media and politics/international relations as well as Chinese affairs. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre International de Européenne (CIFE) and Visiting Lecturer at the European Institute affiliated with it and is teaching international relations at the Department of Law of the Democritus University of Thrace. George is the author of two books: US Foreign Policy in the European Media: Framing the Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism (IB TAURIS) and The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press (Ashgate) as well as the founder of, an institutional partner of CRI Greek. David Morris David Morris is the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commissioner in China, a former Australian diplomat and senior political adviser. Harvey Dzodin After a distinguished career in the US government and American media Dr. Harvey Dzodin is now a Beijing-based freelance columnist for several media outlets. While living in Beijing, he has published over 200 columns with an emphasis on arts, culture and the Belt & Road initiative. He is also a sought-after speaker and advisor in China and abroad. He currently serves as Nonresident Research Fellow of the think tank Center for China and Globalization and Senior Advisor of Tsinghua University National Image Research Center specializing in city branding. Dr. Dzodin was a political appointee of President Jimmy Carter and served as lawyer to a presidential commission. Upon the nomination of the White House and the US State Department he served at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. He was Director and Vice President of the ABC Television in New York for more than two decades.