Would China's economy continue to grow or collapse: Let the Numbers speak for themselves!


As the world's second largest economy and the most important engine of global economic growth, China's economy has always been the focus of global attention. For some time, the international community's views on China's economy have been different and even polarized. The IMF has recently adjusted upwards its forecast on China's economic growth in 2024, putting faith on the potential and resilience of the China's economy. This is a rational and objective observation. Meanwhile, some western politicians and newspapers with ulterior motives have been predicting in a loud voice a collapse of China's economy. Those ill-conceived talks and viewpoints, though not new at all, have been approved wrong time and again. They intend to politicize economic and technological issues and link them to national security with an aim to impede China's efforts to attain scientific and technological progress and economic development.

Early March, the annual National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (Two Sessions) were held in Beijing. It is a major event in China's political life and an important window for rest of the world to observe China. In late March, the relevant departments of China release some key economic data for the first quarter of 2024. What is China's economy heading? Is the economy about to collapse as predicted? I think actions speak louder than words, let the numbers speak for themselves!

The government work report adopted at the Two Sessions offers a ‘Score Card’ of the economy in 2023, which is the focus of attention by the international media. In the past year, Chinese economy has unleashed some new driving force for innovation and growth. The total GDP reaches $18 trillion, with a growth rate %5.2. Again China is one of fastest-growing major economies in the world, with an increment standing at over 833 billion USD, which is equivalent to a medium-sized economy. A total of 12.44 million urban jobs have been created. Per capita disposable income grows by 6.1 percent. Total imports and exports of goods is $5.8 trillion last year, and foreign exchange reserves exceeds $3.2 trillion at the end of the year. By contributing 32% of global economic growth, more than the G7 countries combined, China is both an anchor and a driver for global economic recovery. The export of the "New Trio" products (new energy vehicles, battery, and renewable energy) exceeds $138 billion, both the production and sales of NEVs account for over 60% of the global total, and the number of exported automobiles ranks No.1 for the first time in the world. In the first two months of this year, China's economy maintains a robust upward momentum, evidence of which is showed by latest statistics. According to a report released by China Customs recently, the total value of China's trade in goods in January and February reached $918 billion, an increase of 8.7% year on year, among which exports is $520 billion, up 10.3%, and imports $398 billion, up 6.7%.

Given complex and volatile domestic and international circumstances, this brilliant "Score Card" indicates that our economy has strong resilience, great potential and full of vitality. The economic growth remains on a solid positive trajectory. A sustainable growth can be achieved despite some uncertainties ahead.

I believe the China's economy enjoys a bright future. There are good reasons for it. First, China enjoys an institutional edge being a socialist market economy, in which a decisive role of the market force is given a full play in terms of resources allocation. And the role of the government is appropriately exercised. China would not be heading for a total collapse in spite of the financial crisis and severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead China is still a strong driving force to regional and global economic recovery through its prudent financial and monetary policies based on solid economic fundamentals. Second, we have a huge domestic market. China's per capita GDP stands at $12,000, and middle-income population exceeds 400 million, creating a big demand. In the year of 2023, contribution of consumption to China's economic growth reached 82.5%, total use of electricity 9 trillion kWh, and annual package volume 120 billion, all of which reached a record high. China's comprehensive national transport network, power generation capacity, state power grid and 5G network all rank first in the world. Third, we have a full industrial supply chain. China has developed a system consisting of 41 major industrial categories with 207 medium categories and 666 subcategories. China is the only country in the world encompassing all industrial categories in the United Nations industrial classification, and the size of its manufacturing industry has been ranking first for last 13 years. Last year alone, China's manufacturing increment accounts for one third of the world's total, and exported products for one seventh of total. Fourth, new-quality productive forces have gained first-mover advantage. Today, nearly half of the world's installed photovoltaic power generation capacity is in China, our new energy vehicle production and sales account for over 60% of the global market, our digital payment scale accounts for nearly half of the global total, our high-speed railway mileage exceeds the rest of the world combined, 5G user penetration rate exceeds 50%, and incessant emerging of high-tech like quantum science. Of the 153 "lighthouse factories" representing the most-advanced level of smart manufacturing and digitalization, China got 62, another No.1 in the world.

It’s fair to say that fundamentals in our economy have not changed and it would maintain a momentum of steady growth. The economic landscape in China is by all means in good shape. Those betting on China’s collapse are doomed to lose again. Predictions on a collapse of China are actually collapsing.

As the biggest driver of global economic growth, the second largest economy and a major trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions, China has always been committed to opening-up at a high level to share development opportunities with the world and work with global partners to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. In recent years, China's efforts to promote a Belt and Road cooperation have injected new energy into world economic growth and created a new platform for international economic cooperation, which has galvanized nearly one trillion USD of investment globally and created more than 3,000 projects and 420,000 jobs for participating countries, and lifted nearly 40 million people out of poverty. These remarkable results are perfect evidences that China is a big and responsible member of international community.

China and Iraq are strategic partners with a time-honored history of long-term friendship and partnership. The two countries signed an agreement on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation in 2015, and programs involving the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is certainly an indispensable part of the overall bilateral relationship. In January this year, the Consulate General officially launched full consular services, a big step forwards to facilitate people in the KRI to visit China. Meanwhile, China has implemented an unilateral visa-free policy for visitors from many countries, and taken actions to help foreign visitors in mobile payment in China. We hope that bilateral economic and trade relations will be further deepened and the BRI programs would yield more results. China’s economic success will always be an opportunity for others to grow and develop.