Western attempts to badmouth Chinese economy an outdated political tactic to deflect internal conflicts
Published: Mar 14, 2024 07:12 PM


China's prominent position in industrial manufacturing has attracted worldwide attention, particularly its great success in providing high-quality and low-priced goods to consumers around the world. China is currently the largest manufacturing country in the world and its industry continues to expand, helping most developing countries - and also others - to resist and withstand the impact of the economic growth slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The development of manufacturing and other productive areas has improved China's image at home and abroad. However, it has also attracted some harsh and unreasonable old-fashioned criticism from the US and its followers. Hitting China seems to have become a political tradition in Western countries' relations and dealings with the Eastern country, and from time to time the same old story is repeated. Western countries usually use tricks to fabricate and distort facts out of thin air to attack and vilify China's image, leaving out its positive contributions. 

US President Joe Biden and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have used the terms "ticking time bomb" and "a risk factor for the US economy," respectively, to comment on the Chinese economy. According to them, the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping has failed to bring prosperity to the country of 1.4 billion people, while its economic strategy to date has been largely speculative rather than based on realistic projections. After China announced the 5 percent GDP growth target for 2024, Western media outlets have rushed to claim that there is "little cause for optimism" that China can achieve its goal. 

The US is well aware of China's efforts to address urban and rural unemployment, food production and industrial development to successfully eliminate poverty. Despite this and the fact that the Chinese government's efforts have enabled the country's economy to continue growing, making it a better China day by day, verbal attacks keep coming. 

The implication of US politicians' rhetoric is that China's manufacturing industry's collapse would negatively impact global production and consumption. This would affect the economic and social development of most countries, including the US and Western countries. Politicians have reminded citizens of the dangers experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, when industrial production in China slowed down, disrupting global supply chains, driving up inflation and reducing incomes.

However, statistics show that China's manufacturing industry accounts for over 28 percent of the world total, while the US is at about 16 percent, even at COVID-19 parity. According to data from China's National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP posted a growth of 5.2 percent year on year in 2023, higher than the annual target of around 5 percent, which fully demonstrates the country's achievements in economic governance in the face of huge global uncertainty. Moreover, the Chinese government prioritizes being people-centric, focusing on high-quality development, pursuing low-carbon development, innovation and sustainability, and continuously improving the rural environment and people's living standards. It also has continuously improved risk management and control capacity to be prepared for unexpected challenges. 

In both the short and long term, the Chinese economy is expected to maintain its growth momentum. The IMF stated in its latest World Economic Outlook Report that global economic growth is likely to see a further upward trend in 2024. Key factors include the acceleration of China's economic recovery. Major economists believe that China will be the largest contributor to global economic growth this year.

It is clear that some Western politicians, vying for positions of power, distort facts and vilify the Chinese economy because they view China as an "alien" that does not conform to the West's path of political and economic development. This creates a simplistic narrative of "good guys" versus "bad guys."

Despite this propaganda from the West, the Chinese government under the leadership of President Xi Jinping has led the country's economy to overcome challenges like the COVID-19 outbreak, displaying the Chinese economy's strong resilience and maintaining China's status as a leading manufacturing country. Western attempts to tarnish China's image are misleading and using international issues to deflect internal conflicts is an outdated political tactic in today's world.

The author is an Italian expert on international affairs and Honorary Professor at Peking University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn