Aerial photo taken on Sept. 17, 2020 shows the Houhai area in Nanshan District of Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Chen Yehua)
Despite the ongoing global recession resulting from pandemic challenges and conflicts, China has emerged as the only economy in the world with positive growth in 2020, achieved hard-won feats in economic growth in 2021 and 2022, and is projected to rebound with a GDP growth rate of around 5% this year. This illustrates the resilience and strength of the Chinese economy and the effectiveness of Chinese President Xi Jinping's leadership in navigating the country through difficult times. The Chinese government not only took measures to minimize the impacts of the pandemic on business operations and supply chains but also enabled post-pandemic trade. The strong economic performance also indicates China's commitment to peace and development, as a stable and growing economy is a crucial component of both these ideals.
Vehicles under production are transferred through the office area at the Tiexi Plant of BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Feb. 16, 2022. (Xinhua/Yang Qing)
With all the positivism on the economic and pandemic front, China becomes increasingly attractive to overseas tourists and investments. The optimization of epidemic prevention and control measures in China was met with excitement from the global community. Many people planned to visit China. According to data from Ctrip, a Chinese travel platform, there was a tenfold increase in destination searches in the first half hour following the announcement of relaxed international travel rules. Chinese global partners also throw their weight behind China to explore wider opportunities in China's vast market. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce statistics reveal that foreign direct investment in the Chinese mainland expanded 6.3 percent year on year to 1.23 trillion yuan in 2022. The amount of China's FDI in the first 11 months of the year had already surpassed the total of 2021. Goldman Sachs reflects optimism for China in its global market study. The American Chamber of Commerce in South China also expresses confidence in the Chinese market, reporting 75% of American companies are willing to reinvest in China.
The ultimate way forward for China and the world is to work together. As President Xi noted in his 2023 New Year Address, today's China is a country closely linked with the world. The optimization of supply chains within China is likely to revitalize the global trade trajectory, which highlights China's role as a pioneer in economic recovery and a key player in the global economy. China does not rely on a pattern of projected growth and development; instead, it believes in an open economy, thus, is willing to extend its cooperation to the world. Development and growth are the inalienable right of any country which cannot be wiped away. Shared development is the only way forward toward the shared future and destiny of mankind. There exists no doubt about the Chinese development agenda and intentions behind economic growth. China has made tireless efforts to create a favorable environment, enabling each state actor to secure its economic interests. Thus, the international community should rely on better judgment to side with transparency and accountability and reject the invisible but prevalent forces of protectionism, competition, and confrontation.
Contributed by Muhammad Asif Noor, Director of the Centre for BRI and China Studies