With higher quality development, China fears no headwinds
Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs."
Data released by China's National Bureau of Statistics on Friday shows that the country's GDP expanded by 6.2 percent in the first nine months of the year over the same period last year, reaching almost 70 trillion yuan (nearly 10 trillion U.S. dollars). This means that China remains the fastest growing economy among the world's major countries. Other macroeconomic indicators, such as the urban employment rate, Consumer Price Index, and per capita disposable income, all remain within a reasonable range.
A high-speed train runs past Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on October 18, 2019. [Photo: IC]
The data released on Friday also shows that China's economy has improving structures of supply and demand. According to the statistics bureau, in the first three quarters of the year, the value added of the tertiary industry accounted for 54 percent of GDP, contributing 60.6 percent to GDP growth. The strategic emerging industries and high-tech industries maintained their fast growth. And the contribution of final consumption to GDP growth was 60.5 percent, much higher than that of other factors such as investment and exports. Taken together, these figures reflect the growing momentum that's been unleashed in domestic markets.
These achievements were made despite the slowdown in global growth and trade caused by increasing unilateralism and trade protectionism, and were thanks to the government's timely introduction of countercyclical policies, including a proactive fiscal policy, a prudent monetary policy, and cuts in taxes and fees. In the first eight months of the year, the government pared back 1.5 trillion yuan (around 200 billion U.S. dollars) of taxes and fees, in line with the pledge it made earlier in the year.
Other measures, such as adopting a new foreign investment law and establishing and expanding pilot free trade zones, helped to further open up the country's markets. In the first three quarters of this year, foreign investment in China was 6.5 percent up on what it was a year ago. And according to the latest figures released by the World Trade Organization, China outperformed countries including Germany, Japan, and South Korea in terms of the growth of foreign trade, and remained the world's largest trader of goods.
These achievements were also helped along by the efforts of China's enterprises to reinforce their capability for innovation. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, more than two-fifths of the country's industrial enterprises with annual main business revenue of 20 million yuan (close to 3 million U.S. dollars) or more have carried out technological innovation projects. More than 70 percent of all research and development investment in China was made by enterprises. In June, when MIT Technology Review unveiled its list of "50 Smartest Companies for 2019", 38 of the companies listed are from China.
China has been the top contributor to global growth since 2006. And it will remain an important force driving the world economy forward with resilience thanks to its continuous efforts at economic restructuring.