The Chinese New Year of the Rabbit Will Bring New Hope and New Opportunities to the World
2023-02-03 21:05

China and many countries around the world have just celebrated the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. I also participated in celebrating events organized by friends from all walks of life in Malta. During this period, many friends expressed concern about China's economic situation and pandemic response policies. I would like to exchange opinions with friends on the following four aspects:

According to the statistics during the seven-day holiday of the Chinese New Year, new cases keep declining and the pandemic situation remains at a low level in China. 

At the end of 2022, with the virus less pathogenic and deadly,  the Chinese government has steadily and orderly refined the COVID response policies in response to the evolving situation. And China’s economic development has gradually returned to normal conditions.

According to recent data from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in PCR tests across the country has dropped by 99.78% compared with the peak, and the number of hospital visits has dropped by 97.8%. The pandemic situation in China has successfully achieved a smooth transition. At the same time, the monitoring data shows that the mainly prevalent strains in China are BA.5.2 and BF.7, no new variant strains were found.

Recently, China has stepped up efforts to provide people with  vaccines. The country has completed a total of 3.488 billion doses of vaccinations. The coverage of the first dose and the full vaccination of the whole population reached 92.9% and 90.5%, with more than 96% of people aged above 60 covered by vaccination. The State Council’s joint Prevention and Control mechanism released on January 30th that COVID-19 cases remain at a low level in the country, with numbers nationwide gradually decreasing.

According to economic development statistics in 2022, the fundamentals of the Chinese economy - it is strong resilience, enormous potential, great vitality and long-term sustainability - remains unchanged.

In 2022, China's GDP reached 121 trillion yuan, increased by 3.0% compared to the previous year, which is higher than most major economies in the world. The total volume of import and export of goods for the year reached 42 trillion yuan, marking an increase of 35.4% over the previous year. The international market share of China's exports has reached 14.7%, ranking first in the world for 14 consecutive years. At the same time, China has been the second-largest importer in the world for 13 consecutive years. It is the export market of 210 countries and regions and the main export market of 60 countries and regions. At the end of the year 2022, the balance of foreign exchange reserves reached $3,127.7 billion USD, ranking first in the world. The figures have reflected the resilience and vitality of China's economy against risks and challenges.

The recent change in China's COVID policies has brought a strong impetus to the service industry's recovery. During the 7-day Spring Festival holiday in 2023, there were 308 million domestic tourist trips nationwide, a year-on-year increase of 23.1%; and the domestic tourism revenue reached 375.843 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 30%. It is estimated that the total number of tourists has reached nearly 2.1 billion. The sales revenue of consumption-related industries has increased by 12.2% compared with 2022. The Spring Festival consumer market vividly illustrates the huge potential of China's economic development in the post-pandemic era.

At the just-concluded World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos, the participants were generally optimistic about China's economic growth prospects and vitality. Recently, the world's major institutions have raised China's economic growth forecast for 2023. The United Nations recently predicted that China's economy would grow by 4.8%. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley predict that the growth rate may reach more than 5%. The International Monetary Fund predicts that China will contribute 30 percent of global growth in 2023. China's economic growth will boost global economic vitality, and China's contribution will help boost global expectations.

According to the new policies and measures of China's economic and social development in 2023, it will be bringing new opportunities to the world.

China brings new opportunities to the world tourism industry. During the Spring Festival, outbound trip orders from Chinese tourists increased by 640% year-on-year, which is one aspect of China's new opportunities.

At China’s Central Economic Work Conference held at the end of last year, the decision was made to take a series of measures to promote a comprehensive economic recovery, which will provide the world with new opportunities for cooperation.

Firstly, the opportunities would come from the great market potential. With a population of 1.4 billion, China's per capita GDP has exceeded 12,000 USD, and the proportion of final consumption expenditure in GDP has remained above 50% for 11 consecutive years. It is the most potential consumer market in the world. Recently, China has issued the Outline of the Strategic Plan for Expanding Domestic Demand (2022-2035) to promote its long-term development. Expanding domestic demand will certainly provide more opportunities for companies from various countries to enter the Chinese market.

Secondly, the opportunities would come from innovation. China will further accelerate the research and development and application of cutting-edge technologies such as renewable energy, artificial intelligence, bio-manufacturing, green and low-carbon, and quantum computing. This will help transnational corporations gain more development opportunities in various new economic fields.

Thirdly, the opportunities would come from opening up. China will continuously promote high-level opening-up, steadily expand institutional opening-up with regard to rules, regulations, management, and standards, increase opening-up in the modern service industry and implement national treatment for foreign-invested enterprises. This will provide foreign investors with a broader and more secure environment for development.

According to the forecasts by authoritative organizations, the world economy will be fragile in 2023, and countries around the world need to strengthen cooperation.

A recent United Nations report predicts that world economic growth this year will drop from about 3% in 2022 to 1.9% in 2023. The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund has warned that a third of the world's economies are expected to be in recession this year. In this context, unilateralism, protectionism, and decoupling and breakage of supply and industrial chains would further hurt the already fragile world economy. Win-win cooperation is the aspiration of the people and the trend of the times.

In 2023, the COVID situation in China will become more stable, and new opportunities for China's development will be in sight. China welcomes all countries in the world to actively carry out personnel exchanges, strengthen practical cooperation, and work together to make positive contributions to the recovery of the world economy.

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