How should one look at the Chinese economy? Check the numbers

Updated: Jan 18, 2024 Xinhua Print
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China's gross domestic product (GDP) posted a growth of 5.2 percent year on year in 2023, beating the whole-year target of around 5 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday.

Against a world economy in the doldrums, China is managing to regain its vigor - much like the northeast tourist city of Harbin, where the bitter cold cannot shadow its warm hospitality.

How well is China's economy faring? Here are some numbers you need to know.

Solid fundamentals

The Chinese economy cannot navigate ups and downs without solid fundamentals.

Regarding industrial infrastructure, China stands unique as the only nation with industries across all categories in the UN industrial classification.

The country's manufacturing industry, contributing about 30 percent of the global total, has maintained the top global position for 14 consecutive years.

It is also home to over 200 well-established industry clusters, demonstrating its vast industrial capacity in line with its rising social productivity.

Concerning production factors, China is seeing a talent dividend. It now boasts the world's largest talent pool, particularly in science and technology, and leads in the total number of researchers.

Additionally, about 30 percent of the world's annual capital formation is attributed to China. The nation's substantial data output and rich data resources position it as the world's second-largest data repository.

Innovation in China is also on the rise. The country's investment in R&D and the high-tech sector has been increasing at double-digit rates for several years. This surge has led to the emergence of new products and business models, including intelligent terminals, robots and telehealth services.

With around 400,000 high-tech enterprises, it ranks second globally in the number of unicorn companies.

The dynamic environment is set to accelerate the development of new growth drivers in China.

Supersize market

As the market becomes the most scarce resource, the growing depth of the Chinese market is proving more popular.

China currently has over 400 million individuals in the middle-income bracket, a number projected to double in the next decade or so.

With this demographic shift, a growing preference for quality over quantity will be a powerful catalyst for consumption upgrades.

The urbanization rate in China still trails the average of developed countries by more than 10 percentage points, indicating significant potential for infrastructure enhancement in urban renewal, transportation and telecommunications.

Furthermore, about 300 million rural migrants are on the path to obtaining permanent urban residency. The transition is expected to create substantial demand for housing, education, healthcare and elderly care services.

China is committed to sustainable development and accelerating its shift towards green and low-carbon growth. The country houses nearly half of the world's installed photovoltaic capacity, illustrating its leading role in solar energy. Additionally, over half of the world's new energy vehicles (NEVs) run on roads in China, with the country's NEV ownership exceeding 20 million units. China also contributes to a quarter of the global increase in afforested areas.

The country is actively fostering large-scale new growth drivers in sectors like green energy, green transportation and green lifestyles. This will generate investment and consumption markets with an estimated size of 10 trillion yuan annually, underscoring the vast potential of China's market.

More opportunity than risk

China's economic rebound benefits not just itself but also its global partners. Engaging with the Chinese market is increasingly seen as an opportunity rather than a risk.

China is a key trading partner for over 140 countries and regions. Its overall tariff level has been reduced to 7.3 percent, aligning closely with the developed members of the World Trade Organization.

Multinational corporations have long leveraged the Chinese market and have expanded their global production by utilizing China's manufacturing strength, achieving rapid growth and substantial returns.

Over the past five years, foreign direct investment in China has yielded an impressive return of about nine percent, a highly competitive figure on the global stage.

China welcomes investment from companies from across the globe and is committed to creating a market-oriented, law-based and world-class business environment.

Regardless of global changes, China will open its door even wider to the world.

Such a panoramic perspective, highlighted by a series of positive indicators, bodes well for China, with a rising Chinese economy becoming a substantial pillar for a global economic recovery.

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