China's growing economy is capable of navigating through headwinds

China Plus Published: 2019-08-14 22:36:16
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Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs".

Despite the slowdown evident in some economic indicators, newly-released data from China's National Bureau of Statistics shows that China's economy is progressing steadily within a reasonable range, despite the backdrop of increasing trade tensions and uncertainty provoked by the United States.

According to the figures released on Wednesday, industrial output (officially called industrial value added), which is used to measure the activity of large enterprises with an annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about 2.8 million U.S. dollars), climbed 5.8 percent in the first seven months of this year, compared with the same time last year. The services producer price index, an indicator of price changes in the service sector, was up 7.1 percent. Consumer prices rose by 2.3 percent year-on-year, a mild increase. At the end of July, 8.67 million new jobs had been created so far this year, and 79 percent of the annual economic plan had been completed ahead of schedule.

5G technology and artificial intelligence are some of the innovative technologies playing a growing role in driving China’s economic development. [File photo: IC]

5G technology and artificial intelligence are some of the innovative technologies playing a growing role in driving China’s economic development. [File photo: IC]

What's even more eye-catching is the continuous optimization of the country's economic structure. The services producer price index came in 1.3 percentage points higher than industrial output, and the growth rate of the added-value high-tech manufacturing industry was 2.9 percentage points higher than industrial output. Investment in the high-tech manufacturing and high-tech service sectors grew at a rate of at least 5.4 percentage points higher than overall investment. These results reflect the good growth momentum in the service sector and the trend towards industrial upgrading.

These achievements come at a time that international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have revised down their forecasts for global growth for this year and next year due to rising economic uncertainties. Countermeasures taken by China's government in response to the global slowdown, including tax and fee reductions, have generated positive outcomes. Between January and July, China's imports and exports recorded an annualized growth of 4.2 percent, a result of the government's policy of trade diversification and facilitation. This demonstrates that the impact of the China-U.S. trade frictions can be managed. The actual use of foreign capital rose 7.3 percent and the capital used by the high-tech sector soared by 43 percent, a sign that China remains an attractive investment destination thanks to its continually improving business environment and strengthened intellectual property protections.

China's economic growth is still among the best of the world's major economies, and the country remains a powerful engine driving global growth. The voices you used to hear talking down China's economy have largely fallen silent, as time has revealed them to be malicious scaremongers.

China has 129 companies in the latest Fortune 500 list, which was released last month. For the first time, China has overtaken the United States in terms of the number of companies on the list since the Global 500 debuted in 1990. The growing international competitiveness of China's companies is a result of the government's economic structural reforms. As some 200 American China experts pointed out in a joint letter released last month, China's economic development cannot be halted by the opposition of the United States. Washington can't prevent China's companies from expanding their share of global markets, nor can it hinder China's increasingly important role in international affairs. With the government's steady hand on the tiller, China is capable of navigating through any global headwinds.

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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.