AT the beginning of 2021 encouraging news arrives from China. According to the preliminary calculation of the National Bureau of Statistics of China, China’s GDP in 2020 reached 101.6 trillion yuan (around 14.7 trillion USD), increased by 2.3% from 2019. For the first time, China’s GDP exceeded the 100-trillion-yuan threshold, achieving a historic leap.
This Leap Is Significant
For China, this leap marks the milestone in the journey of Chinese national rejuvenation. The GDP of 100 trillion yuan and the per capita GDP of 10,000 USD for the second consecutive year indicates a new height in the overall national strength and people’s living standard.
It has laid a solid foundation for China in implementing the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and embarking on a new journey towards fully building a modern socialist country. It has also created ample space for China to follow a new development philosophy and foster a new development paradigm with domestic circulations as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other.
For the world, this leap is a ray of warm sunshine amid economic gloom. The world economy has been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. China is the first and the only major economy to achieve positive growth in 2020, injecting impetus into the global economic recovery.
China’s share in the world economy is anticipated to rise to around 17%. China’s growing economy will further enhance its potential of foreign trade and investment, strengthen the interconnection and mutual promotion of the markets of China and the world, and make greater contributions to the improvement of global economic governance, the building of an open world economy and a community with a shared future for mankind.
This Leap Is Hard-Won
This leap is attributed to the wise leadership of the Communist Party of China(CPC). In the face of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the turbulent external environment, the CPC has united and led all the Chinese people to respond calmly and rise up to challenges.
The CPC Central Committee with President Xi Jinping as its core assessed the situation from the long-term perspective while taking both the domestic and international situations into consideration, coordinated pandemic control and socioeconomic development, and resolutely adopted a series of significant measures.
CPC organizations at all levels strictly implemented the decisions and instructions of the CPC Central Committee. The majority of CPC members actively responded to the Party’s call by rushing to the front-line in fighting against pandemic and played a leading role in every field. The judgment, decision, and action were taken by the CPC are decisive in helping China to take the lead in controlling COVID-19 pandemic, resuming work and production, and achieving positive economic growth.
This leap is attributed to the unique advantages of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. First, this system guarantees the whole nation acts in a coordinated way. Both in COVID-19 response and economic development, China gives the full play to the initiative of both the central and local governments.
The local governments cooperate with the central government and the central government assists the local governments. At the local level, governments also support each other under the coordination of the central government. Second, the socialist system with Chinese characteristics ensures that we concentrate efforts on major tasks.
Faced with arduous development tasks, China, following the belief that “good steel is used for the cutting edge”, concentrates on the most important tasks with the best resources, and has achieved progress in poverty alleviation, research and development of a vaccine, and technological innovation. Third, the socialist system with Chinese characteristics ensures that we make cohesive planning to achieve consistent development.
2020 was the last year of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan. China maintained its strategic focus, overcame the impact of COVID-19, stuck to its goals, and completed the development tasks specified in the 13th Five-Year Plan on schedule. These advantages are the institutional basis for the resilience of China’s economy.
This leap is attributed to China’s adherence to reform and opening up. China is not swayed by the historical counter-currents of unilateralism and protectionism and does not fear the threat of decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions. We uphold that the development quality and market vitality should be enhanced by deepening reform and opening up. China has taken the initiative to maintain the stability of the global supply chain, industrial chain, and value chain.
With both the goods trade and the actual use of foreign investment growing against the trend, China has maintained its status as the largest trading nation and has become the largest host country for foreign direct investment (FDI). Besides, the “Belt and Road Initiative” continued to advance steadily, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was successfully signed, and the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment completed negotiations on schedule. Reform and opening-up is the source of China’s economic vitality.
This Leap benefits China-Pakistan Cooperation
The new leap of China’s economy is the result of China’s adherence to self-reliance and opening-up, the hard work of the Chinese people, as well as the support and contributions of friends from various countries including Pakistan. Therefore, the expansion of China’s economic volume will not only benefit the Chinese people but also have a positive impact on the international community, especially create more development opportunities for Pakistan, China’s all-weather strategic cooperative partner.
With the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the implementation of the Second Phase Protocol of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, China’s new economic leap will bring a larger market and deeper cooperation potential for Pakistan and lays a more solid material foundation for upgrading China-Pakistan practical cooperation.
China’s good economic performance can boost the determination and confidence of the two countries to join hands in fighting the pandemic. At the just-concluded World Economic Forum “Davos Agenda” dialogue, President Xi Jinping stated that China will continue to take an active part in international cooperation on COVID-19 and continue to implement a win-win strategy of opening up. China is still facing a tight anti-pandemic situation, and there is a severe supply and demand gap in vaccine production.
Even so, China, as a responsible major country in the international community, and a reliable partner who withstands the test in the face of danger, will do its best to make safe and effective Chinese vaccines available and affordable for the Pakistani people, and to boost Pakistan’s economy to full recovery at an early date.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. China will take this opportunity to speed up the high-quality development of CPEC.
The two sides are in close communication and serious preparation for the upcoming 10th meeting of the CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee.
In the next stage, the two countries will take well-targeted steps in developing Gwadar Port, industrial parks, agriculture, science and technology, assisting Pakistan’s development towards industrialization, urbanization, digitization and agricultural modernization.
We also welcome friends from all walks of life in Pakistan to get a more comprehensive understanding of contemporary China, promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation, and give new momentum to this time-tested friendship!