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China's New Development Pattern will inject impetus into global recovery
2020/11/14

2020 has been extremely unusual. The unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak came along with severe disruptions to countries all over the world and heavy blows to the global economy. Though much of the world is looking on the U.S. presidential election, we still have to face an old issue once the White House locates its next resident: Where is the world economy heading?

As the second-largest economy in the world, China will certainly play a crucial role in the answers.

Over the past 6 months, the Chinese Government, like many other governments, has been trying to find the sweet spot that perfectly balances COVID-19 containment and economic recovery. So far, China has seen remarkable results on both fronts. In the Q3, China reported a 4.9% GDP growth year-on-year with the GDP exceeding 72 trillion RMB, up 0.7% year-on-year for the first nine months of the year; foreign trade of goods increased 7.5% year-on-year to 8.88 trillion RMB; and the actual use of foreign capital grew by 5.2% year-on-year to 718.81 billion RMB. In 2020, the concluding year of the 13th Five-Year Plan, China's GDP is expected to exceed 100 trillion RMB.

The reason why China was able to weather the pandemic storm with a relatively rapid economic restoration is because of the implementation of a series of comprehensive measures which have been highly targeted:

----Tax and fee relief projected to exceed 2.5 trillion RMB for the whole year;

----A direct 1.7 trillion RMB fiscal transfer for pandemic control to the grassroots level in cities and towns across the country;

----The improved business environment with specific measures to cut the red tape;

----The expansion of domestic demand by fostering new forms of consumption driven by the internet, big data, artificial intelligence and more;

----A higher level of opening-up with shortened negative lists for foreign investment market access.

Recently, China put forward the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Long-Range Objectives through 2035 which, for the first time, set the achievement of more notable and substantial progress in Common Prosperity of the entire population as a long term goal.

This is not only an example of the people-centered approach by the Communist Party of China, but more importantly a realization that Common Prosperity is the unceasing inherent driving force for the country to achieve economic growth and social development.

I am aware many foreign politicians and scholars are particularly interested in the New Development Pattern China proposed this year, in which the domestic market plays a leading role while domestic and international markets reinforce each other. Some also concern that this means China is favoring unilateralism and protectionism over multilateralism and opening-up. I am pleased to take this opportunity to explain what this New Development Pattern entails.

The proposal is made against the backdrop of growing suspicion of the globalization, industrial and supply chain reshuffle, the sluggish international markets and resource circulation, as well as the new reality China faces domestically. It is an adjustment that addresses China's over-reliance on foreign markets and resources and neglect of tapping into the potential of domestic demand. In fact, since the 2008 global financial crisis, China's economy has already started the shift toward internal circulation. From 2008 onwards, the contribution of domestic demand to China’s economic growth exceeded 100% in seven years.

The proposed Domestic Circulation is an umbrella term that summarizes the concepts of “expanding domestic demand”, “supply-side structural reform” and “high-quality development”, reaffirming the existing priorities of China's economic development. The goal of Domestic Circulation cannot be achieved without ensuring the Domestic and International Dual Circulation. Therefore, China will by no means regress to unilateralism and protectionism; on the contrary, China will drive its opening-up to an even higher level where more people around the world can benefit from it.

I’d like to emphasize that maintaining policy continuity has been one of the driving powers of China's steady growth and development over the past 40 years. China is committed to opening its market since it has benefited from opening-up and has the capability to expand its opening-up with the ever-firmer win-win philosophy. In fact, the foreign businesses that have embraced the Chinese market and put trust in China's credibility have all succeeded over the past few decades.

The economies of China and Canada are highly complementary. There is a solid, realistic and objective foundation for the two sides to further expand economic and trade cooperation. The rest depends on whether the parties are willing to do so.

(By Chinese Consul General in Calgary Mme LU Xu)

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