To open up or to close? To advance or go back? The global economy is currently at the crossroads and it is in desperate need of sufficient courage, wisdom and responsibility from around the world to chart a clear direction and path for sustainable economic growth. The upcoming World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 has drawn extensive attention for putting the focus on responsive and responsible for effective global economic governance.
President Xi Jinping will attend the meeting and deliver a speech, offering Chinese remedies for the world’s economic ailments. It will be the first time the top Chinese leader has attended the event.
The Chinese economy is undergoing unprecedented and profound changes. The “innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared” development concepts put forward by President Xi not only offer solutions for China’s current outstanding economic problems, they also point out a clear direction for its long-term development. Supply-side structural reform has sparked a new development dynamic and raised the quality and effects of the country’s economic development. The strengthened efforts to promote deepened overall reforms, the simplifying of administrative procedures and the delegating of central government power to lower levels of government, along with innovation-driven development, the rule of law, and the fight against corruption, are all contributing to the establishing of a governance system that can ensure China’s sustainable and healthy economic development.
The Chinese word for “economy” means “for society to prosper and benefit the people”, an aim of governance advocated by Chinese sages in ancient times. It is also an important governance concept cherished by the Communist Party of China. In the first three quarters of 2016, China’s economy grew by 6.7 percent year-on-year, and its per capita disposable income registered a growth of 6.3 percent. In the first 11 months of the year, China created 12.49 million new jobs in cities and townships and lifted more than 10 million people out of poverty, further raising Chinese people’s sense of well-being and happiness. Against the backdrop of the global economic slowdown, it has really not been easy for China to make these achievements.
And, in recent times, remarkable progress has also been made in China’s infrastructure, such as the railway extension to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the building of a comprehensive highway network throughout the country, the construction of the Three Gorges Dam and multiple ports that better connect the country with the ocean. A set of complete industrial sectors have been established and China has realized a bumper agricultural harvest for many years in succession. At the same time, China has achieved new breakthroughs in its aerospace development and further built up its national defense capabilities.
While realizing its own development, China has also made important contributions to world economic growth. According to an estimate by the International Monetary Fund, China contributed 39% to world economic growth in 2016, a rise of 14.2 percentage points from 2015. The 11th G20 Summit China hosted in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in September once again highlighted China’s unremitting efforts for robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global growth. Chinese people no longer hope to rebuild the “Great Wall”, but are instead devoted to rebuilding the Silk Road. The “common consultation, common construction and shared benefits” that are the defining concepts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative have won extensive endorsement from the international community.
China is the world’s largest developing country with a huge economic size, but its development is still uneven. The country’s ongoing economic transformation is confronted with numerous difficulties and challenges, but it also boasts unique advantages and favorable conditions. With a strong and people-supporting leadership core, with a population of 1.3 billion dream-cherishing and hardworking people, with a stable, harmonious and vigorous society, with policies to encourage innovation and spark creativity, with a domestic market full of robust demand and huge potential, and with an open, cooperative, mutually beneficial and win-win business environment, it is by no means empty talk to say that China’s economy will continue to advance.
The Outlook for 2017
China is expected to have good economic prospects in 2017. The convention of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China due to take place later this year will formulate and implement some major policy measures, which will bring the market and society positive and stable expectations. Economic globalization and trade liberalization remain the general global economic trends. China is scheduled to host an international cooperation summit forum on the Belt and Road Initiative and the ninth leaders’ meeting of BRICS countries as part of its efforts to push for the building of an innovative, open, interactive, and inclusive world economy. All these mean China will inject into the world economy “Chinese dividends” that are full of hope in 2017.
In his 2017 New Year address, President Xi Jinping stressed that Chinese people have long believed that “the world is a commonwealth”. Chinese people not only hope to live better lives themselves, they also hope people in the rest of the world can as well.
President Xi Jinping’s attendance at the upcoming World Economic Forum Annual Meeting will inevitably facilitate China working with other countries to promote the building of a community of shared destiny and the recovery of the world economy, so the fruits of global development can benefit the people of every country.
The article is originally published on People’s Daily. The author is Minister of the State Council Information Office, Government of the People's Republic of China.