Zhang Xianghua Charge d’ Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Sudan
China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 3 percent year on year to around 121 trillion yuan in 2022, according to data recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS). As one of the best-performing major economies, China contributed 36 percent of the global growth.
It has not been an easy journey for the Chinese economy amidst the growing global economic downturn, sporadic outbreaks of COVID-19 cases worldwide, as well as the unstable geopolitical environment. Against this backdrop, the Chinese economy has kept a good momentum for steady growth. The stability and certainty of the Chinese economy instill confidence and impetus into the global economic growth.
Giving top priority to stability, China has seen an encouraging sign of economic rebound. Confronted with the complex and unpredictable international situation and arduous domestic tasks of continuing reform and development and maintaining stability in 2022, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, thought and planned in big-picture terms. Under the principle of keeping the epidemic at bay, stabilizing the economy and ensuring safe development, it has effectively coordinated COVID-19 countermeasures with economic and social development, creating conditions essential for a stable recovery. The 3-percent growth achieved by China in 2022 is still higher than the GDP increase of about 2 percent by other major economies such as the U.S., Japan and Germany. While striving for a stable recovery, China has ensured that employment and prices remained generally stable. In 2022, 12.06 million urban jobs were created nationwide, surpassing the 11-million target. The fixed-asset investment for the year grew steadily, with investment in infrastructure and in manufacturing both up by over 9 percent. In contrast to the surging inflation worldwide, China’s consumer price index rose only by 2.0 percent year on year in the first 11 months, which is far lower than the inflation level in other major economies like European countries and the U.S. What China has achieved last year has not come easily and deserves to be dearly cherished.
Committed to pursuing progress while maintaining stability, China has made solid strides in its high-quality development. In 2022, the new development philosophy grew deeply rooted in the people’s hearts. Solid progress was made in high-quality development to push forward Chinese modernization. As dynamism of innovation continued to be unleashed, fruitful outcomes have been achieved in the scientific and technological domain, including the launch of the Tianzhou-5 mission for cargo resupply, the Shenhai Yihao ultra-deepsea gas field, the successful completion of the 10,000-meter sea trial of the manned submersible Fendouzhe, and the full operation of Hualong One demonstration project. Also, notable achievements were made in coordinated development. Vigorous progress was made in the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the development of Yangtze Economic Belt and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and integrated development in the Yangtze River Delta. Ecological protection and high-quality development in the Yellow River basin advanced side by side. Moreover, China has shown greater determination to open wider to the world. China has accelerated its efforts to create a double development dynamic with the domestic economy as the mainstay and the domestic economy and international engagement providing mutual reinforcement, and put into full effect the new Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment. The China International Consumer Products Expo, the China Import and Export Fair, the China International Fair for Trade in Services and the China International Import Expo were successfully held one after another. Foreign direct investment in China, in actual use, expanded 6.3 percent year on year to 1.23 trillion yuan in 2022. The wider China opens, the more attractive the Chinese market will be for the rest of the world.
In pursuit of economic stability and sustainability, China has kept the fundamentals sustaining its long-term growth strong. A vessel braving winds and waves on the ocean must have ups and downs. However, it can make it to its destination as long as its base is strong and solid enough. In 2022, China’s total goods imports and exports reached 42.07 trillion yuan, topping the world as the largest trader of goods for six consecutive years. The quality and performance of trade in goods have grown in step with the size. Over the past five years, the Chinese economy has been growing at an average annual rate of 5 percent, higher than the global average. Over the past decade, the Chinese economy has more than doubled, making the biggest contribution to global growth. Facts have shown that Chinese economic fluctuations are merely temporary and that the Chinese economy keeps a good, strategic momentum of steady growth. China today has the world’s most thorough industrial system and largest consumer market and about 220 million people with professional skills. China now has more solid material foundations than ever before, which constitutes a solid base of the Chinese economy to respond to shocks. The Chinese economy is not a pond, but an ocean. Big winds and storms may upset a pond, but never an ocean. A more open and confident China will create more opportunities for the rest of the world through its own development, and advance human progress through the Chinese path to modernization.
Despite winds and storms, China will keep forging ahead. Growth will most likely return to its normal trend, and the Chinese economy will see a significant improvement in 2023, Chinese Vice-Premier Li He recently made these remarks at Davos 2023. Statistics show that 308 million domestic tourism trips were made during the 2023 Chinese New Year holiday, up 23.1 percent compared with last year, and domestic tourism revenue during this period reached 375.843 billion yuan, up 30 percent year on year. Looking ahead, we are more confident that the giant ship of the Chinese economy will voyage across violent tidal waves and sail to a brighter future.