Confidence should be maintained toward China’s economy, as the greatest capability of the government is fixing problems
Published: Dec 11, 2021 02:05 AM
Workers weld at a workshop of an automobile manufacturing enterprise in Qingzhou City, east China's Shandong Province, Feb 28, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

Workers weld at a workshop of an automobile manufacturing enterprise in Qingzhou City, east China's Shandong Province, Feb 28, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

After reading the notification from China's Central Economic Work Conference, I am more confident in the country's economic situation. 

2021 has been a difficult year for the entire world. The resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic has to some extent impaired all major economies' recovery plan. But China has undoubtedly done the best, especially when compared with the US. 

China has achieved continuous strategic progress. Its overall strength has been further improved. However, while affirming the results, the conference also pointed out soberly and frankly that China's current economic development is facing pressure from a contraction in demand, supply shocks and weakening expectations. It is very rare for a ruling party to offer such an analysis of the economic situation. For instance, no matter which party is in power in the US, it would only boast about the economy during its own ruling period, skirting around or downplaying the problems. 

The greatest capability of the Chinese government is resolving problems. As long as an issue is confirmed, our system will start functioning and will fix it or alleviate it. Corresponding countermeasures will surely come into being, and changes will occur.

In the past two years, the pandemic has severely impacted the confidence of Chinese society. Yet once the crisis was verified, China vigorously pursued a dynamic zero-COVID policy, which has stunned the world. Earlier this year, the power shortage crisis suddenly occurred, which was regarded by many people both at home and abroad as a serious challenge for the country. Yet China took only a few months to greatly alleviate the difficulties. 

Looking further to the past, the US launched a trade war against China, causing huge shock waves. At that time, some claimed this generation of young Chinese people would not need to work hard as their efforts would probably not pay off. But the Communist Party of China (CPC) has led the country to withstand this rare tsunami of economic sanctions, stabilized the overall situation of the country's economy, maintained the overall scale of economic activity, and sped up the process of catching up with the US. 

Nothing can knock China to its knees. The problems discovered by the country, confirmed by the CPC and the Chinese government, are not insurmountable barriers. Whatever the Party and the government have confidence in, the Chinese people have sufficient reason to maintain an optimistic attitude. 

The messages from the conference echo Chinese people's major concerns recently, which shows the Party's spirit of seeking truth from facts. 

The notification emphasizes the promotion of the implementation of China's new birth policy, and proactively responds to the country's ageing population. The relevant topics have attracted much attention, and this will definitely be followed up with many subsequent policies.

Take "common prosperity," another hot topic. The notification touched upon the approach to this, emphasizing that the "cake" must first be made large and with good quality, and then it must be cut and divided up well. In particular, it points out that this is a long-term historical process and that China must move steadily toward this goal. The specific policies mentioned therein are very instructive.

The notification also talked about "capital," stating that there will inevitably be various forms of capital in the socialist market economy, and it is necessary to give full play to the positive role of capital, while also effectively controlling its negative role. China will set "traffic lights" for capital, strengthen supervision of capital in accordance with the law, and prevent the disorderly growth of capital. It is necessary to support and guide the standardized and healthy development of capital, and to uphold and improve the basic socialist economic system "unswervingly." Such statements are very helpful in resolving disputes and stabilizing confidence among private enterprises.

Regarding China's goal to hit peak emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, the notification emphasized that the two goals must be unswervingly promoted, but it is impossible to accomplish the whole task at one stroke. It noted the gradual withdrawal of traditional forms of energy should be based on establishing safe and reliable new alternatives. It is believed this pragmatic attitude will help with the realization of China's dual carbon goals. 

I am very optimistic about the fundamental situation of the Chinese economy and its momentum to stride forward. China's potential is huge, and the country's strategy to develop its potential active and steady. The lessons we learned in the past have not been forgotten. With political stability, China is very capable of avoiding major fluctuations. This is made obvious by looking at the economic and social policies of the West, where radicalism and conservative attitudes interact with each other. 

The global economy will still be unstable in 2022 and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt. China, as an economy that is highly involved in globalization, will not be able to stand alone either. But I am sure that China will still be the strongest among the major economies in the coming year. We have been striving, summing up objectively, finding out the problems, and discussing how to solve them seriously. Then, looking back and looking at the world, we will always know that we have made progress again.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn