With COVID-19 rampant in the world for 3 years, some pundits are pessimistic about China’s economy while some others go even further, spreading rumors of China Collapsing. However, official data show China’s economy has withstood multiple pressures from domestic and international factors beyond expectation of onlookers, sustaining recovery momentum and performing within the reasonable range. It has maintained resilient growth in the first 11 months of 2022, seeing a steady expansion in many areas. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, in the January-November period, the fixed-asset investment went up 5.3% year on year, total added value of industrial enterprises above the designated size registered 3.8% growth, on-line retail sales went up 4.2%, and so on.
What are the reasons that make the economy resilient under the circumstance of challenges posed by domestic COVID-19 outbreaks and a complex global environment? In my opinion, the following factors have worked.
First, the capability of the Communist Party of China(CPC) is dominant. China’s Constitution stipulates that leadership by CPC is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Over the past hundred years, CPC has united and led the Chinese people in writing the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation, embodying the dauntless spirit that Mao Zedong expressed when he wrote, “Our minds grow stronger for the martyrs’ sacrifice, daring to make the sun and the moon shine in the new sky.” Over the past decade, CPC has stayed committed to Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and fully implemented the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as well as CPC’s basic line and basic policy. CPC has adopted a number of strategic measures, developed a range of transformative practices, and made a series of breakthroughs and landmark advances. We have withstood risks, challenges, and trials in the political, economic, ideological, and natural domains, secured historic achievements and seen historic changes in the cause of the Party and the country, and taken China on a new journey toward building a modern socialist country in all respects. Over the past five years, CPC has rallied the people and led them in solving a great number of problems that had long gone unsolved, securing many accomplishments that hold major future significance, and achieving impressive advances in the cause of the Party and the country.
Second, China implements the workforce development strategy. With a population of 1.4 billion, China is a major country of human resources. The recently-concluded 20th National Congress of the CPC attaches great importance to talent and regards talent as the primary resource. CPC believes that cultivating a large workforce of high-quality talent who have both integrity and professional competence is of critical importance to the long-term development of China and the Chinese nation, and a wealth of talent is vital to the success of a great cause. According to the Congress, we will follow the principle of the Party managing talent, and respect work, knowledge, talent, and creativity. We will adopt more proactive, open, and effective policies on talent and encourage our talent to love the Party, dedicate themselves to the country and contribute to its cause, and serve the people. We will improve the strategic distribution of human resources and make concerted efforts to cultivate talented people in all fields, so as to create a large, well-structured, and high-quality workforce. We will move faster to build world hubs for talent and innovation, promote better distribution and balanced development of talent across regions, and strive to build up our comparative strengths in global competition for talent. We will speed up efforts to build a contingent of personnel with expertise of strategic importance and cultivate greater numbers of master scholars, science strategists, first-class scientists and innovation teams, young scientists, outstanding engineers, master craftsmen, and highly-skilled workers. We will increase international personnel exchanges and make the best use of talent of all types to fully harness their potential. We will further reform the systems and mechanisms for talent development and ensure we value talented people, nurture them, attract them, and put them to good use. No effort should be spared and no rigid boundaries drawn in the endeavor to bring together the best and the brightest from all fields for the cause of the Party and the people.
Third, China pursues correct economic policies. In each and every year, the CPC Central Committee convenes a working conference on economy, studying the economic situation, setting tone and making plans for next year’s economic development, the latest of which was held last week. Since the beginning of this year, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has taken into account both domestic and international imperatives, responded to the COVID-19 pandemic while promoting economic and social development, pursued development while ensuring security and strengthened macro regulation, ensuring economic and social stability. The CPC Central Committee has made several important judgements such as China has entered a new normal in economic development, having shifted from high-speed growth to high-quality development, made the important decision of having an accurate understanding of this new stage of development, fully applying the new development philosophy, and creating a new development pattern to promote high-quality development, and rolled out major plans such as building a modernized economy, deepening supply-side structural reforms, and expanding domestic demand as a strategic priority. According to above-mentioned last week’s Conference, China will continue to implement proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy and intensify macro-control and coordinate various policies to form synergy for high-quality development next year. We have the confidence, conditions and capacity to turn China’s economy for the better as a whole.
With its GDP exceeding 16 trillion US dollars, China’s economy is like a colossal vessel sailing steadily in the ocean. With a population of more than 1.4 billion, a labor force of over 900 million, a talent pool of 220 million people, and an urbanization rate of permanent residence of 64.7%, China boasts a huge market, a huge talent dividend and a magnet for business ventures. China will continue to be one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world.
Chu Maoming, China’s Consul General in Lagos