Aerial photo taken on Dec. 5, 2021 shows the sunrise scenery of Yangpu International Container Port in Yangpu Economic Development Zone, south China’s Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)
BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) — China pledged steady economic growth for this year in its government work report as national lawmakers and policy advisers gathered in Beijing for the annual “two sessions.”
With a GDP growth target of around 5.5%, well above the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s global growth forecasts, the world’s second-largest economy is shaking off the impact of the pandemic and will once again bring certainty and vitality to a world in the midst of conflict and COVID-19.
The resilience and sustainability of the Chinese economy rests on its difficult but determined transformation over the past decade.
An examination of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks at the “two sessions” – which meet annually to set development priorities – sheds light on the country’s economic restructuring and decodes its recipe for success in fostering new engines of growth.
In 2012, China’s economy was trapped in a slowdown and structural imbalance, with traditional industries numbed and new driving forces yet to take shape.
On March 5, 2013, Xi, also a national lawmaker, joined a group deliberation with other Shanghai lawmakers at the first session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC). He said China’s economy had moved into single-digit growth after a long double-digit period, and at this stage, innovation, basically the power of science and technology, was fundamental to breaking the barriers. bottlenecks and resolve deep rooted issues.
Xi called for major technological breakthroughs and faster strategic adjustments in economic structure.
With the direction set, the reforms moved forward at full speed.
Since then, China has accelerated its transition to an innovation-driven growth model, placing less emphasis on speed while placing greater emphasis on quality.
“New Normal” has become a new buzzword to describe this phase of development.
In adapting to the “new normal,” the key is to change the growth momentum through scientific and technological innovation, Xi said during deliberations with Shanghai NPC deputies on March 5, 2015. , emphasizing that innovation is the “main engine” of development.
Later that year, China announced its new development philosophy with innovative, coordinated, green, open, and inclusive growth, and decided to initiate supply-side structural reform to reshape the economy.
Old and saturated industries, from steel smelting to coal mining, have been reduced, while promising and booming sectors have received stronger political support.
Joining deliberations with lawmakers from south China’s Guangdong Province on March 7, 2018, Xi said decisive efforts should be made to weed out high-polluting and emitting enterprises to make room for emerging industries. . He highlighted strategic emerging industries such as information technology, high-end manufacturing, biotechnology, digital economy, new materials and maritime economy.
During a discussion of national economic sector policy advisers on May 23, 2020, Xi said the Chinese economy is at a pivotal stage to transform the growth pattern, improve the economic structure and foster new growth drivers. growth. He called for faster progress in advancing sectors from smart manufacturing to new materials.
With unwavering determination and action, the country has made remarkable progress.
China rose to 12th place in the 2021 Global Innovation Index released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, making it the only middle-income economy to rank in the top 30.
In 2021, the country recorded the highest number of patent applications in the world for the third consecutive year, and its research and development expenditure also reached a new high of 2.44% of its GDP, against 1.98% in 2012.
After bidding farewell to the period of rapid growth, China has embarked on a new quality development path, which offers a blueprint in which “innovation is the prime mover, coordination is an endogenous trait, environmentally friendly growth prevails, openness to the world is the only path, and shared growth is the ultimate goal.”
On March 7, 2021, Xi instructed fellow lawmakers in northwest China’s Qinghai Province to relentlessly pursue high-quality development, which will remain the theme of China’s economic and social development over the the period of the 14th five-year plan (2021-2025) and beyond.
During the current “two sessions” this year, Xi further stressed the imperative to act according to the new development philosophy to ensure the country becomes strong and prosperous.
In discussions Saturday with other lawmakers in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xi urged efforts to accelerate the construction of a new development paradigm, promote high-quality development and to accelerate the autonomy of science and technology, so as to enhance competitiveness and sustainability and take the lead in global competition. ■