China’s singularity

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DURING a year when many economies registered negative growth due to Covid-19, China demonstrated singularity among major economies by registering positive economic growth during 2020.

The data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Sunday showed that despite the grave and complex challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, China managed to bring its economic growth back to a pre-pandemic rate, the only major economy in the world that pocketed positive economic growth. Its full-year GDP exceeded 100 trillion Yuan ($15.45 trillion) for the first time.

The achievement is a glowing tribute to the leadership qualities of President Xi Jinping whose Government took prompt and comprehensive measures to not just contain the virus but also shield the economy against large-scale adverse impact.

This is despite the fact that China was the first country to have been hit hard by the pandemic and had to handle the crisis single-handedly but the strategy adopted by President Xi became a role model for other countries of the world to address the challenge.

The positive growth in China is also manifestation of the reality that the country’s economy was robust enough to sustain serious shocks and emerge unscathed during extraordinary situations.

The enormity of the challenge posed by the Coronavirus and dexterity of Chinese leadership in tackling the situation is evident from the economic curve during the year.

The country’s GDP dipped 6.8 percent year on year in the first quarter before making a comeback of 3.2 percent in the April-June period.

It then secured a gain of 4.9 percent in the third quarter and extended the rising streak from October through December by moving upward 6.5 percent.

A breakdown of the data showed the output of the primary industry went up 3 percent in 2020, overshadowing a 2.6-percent ascent in the secondary industry and a 2.1-percent rise logged in the tertiary sector.

China added 11.86 million new urban jobs nationwide in 2020, exceeding the target of creating over nine million urban jobs. By the end of 2020, the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.2 percent while its foreign trade rose 1.5 percent to $4.65 trillion in 2020, helped by its recovered manufacturing production sector.

The stimulus packages announced by the Chinese Government contributed a lot to improve economic indicators in the backdrop of daunting challenges.

It was because of this that instead of shrinking, the economy expanded, offering new employment opportunities to people.

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