The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report warned that economic stagnation is the most serious challenge persisting from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, China is injecting confidence into the world economy with official data released on Monday showing its economy posted stable growth in 2021.
How did the world’s second-largest economy realize growth despite challenges including sporadic epidemic resurgences and a complicated external environment?
Building an open world economy, embracing cooperation against the pandemic and revitalizing global development – the three aspects highlighted in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the WEF virtual session on Monday – are clues to the answer, as well as the solutions to other major global challenges.
How to promote steady recovery of the world economy?
To promote steady and solid progress in global economic recovery, Xi said that countries should explore new drivers of economic growth, new modes of social life and new pathways for people-to-people exchange.
“We should remove barriers, not erect walls. We should open up, not close off. We should seek integration, not decoupling. This is the way to build an open world economy,” he said.
Major economies should see the world as one community and increase policy transparency, major developed countries should adopt responsible economic policies and manage policy spillovers, and international economic and financial institutions should play their constructive role to prevent systemic risks, he added.
Xi also underlined making generally acceptable and effective rules for artificial intelligence and digital economy, and creating an open, just and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological innovation.
Regarding China’s role and efforts during the process, he said that the country will keep pursuing high-quality development, stay committed to reform and opening-up, and welcome all types of capital to operate in China to play a positive role in the country’s development.
“We have every confidence in the future of China’s economy,” he said, highlighting the strong resilience, enormous potential and long-term sustainability of the Chinese economy.
Meanwhile, he underlined that China will not grow its economy at the cost of resource depletion and environmental degradation, and will deliver on its word to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality.
How to defeat the pandemic?
“Strong confidence and cooperation represent the only right way to defeat the pandemic,” he said, outlining the solution.
Countries need to cooperate on research and development of medicines, and “fully leverage vaccines as a powerful weapon,” he said, stressing ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines, quickening vaccination and closing the global immunization gap.
China will provide another 1 billion doses to African countries, including 600 million doses as a donation, and donate 150 million doses to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, he announced.
How to promote global development?
The Global Development Initiative is a public good open to the whole world, and China stands ready to work with other countries to jointly put the initiative into concrete actions, Xi said, calling for efforts to bridge the development divide and revitalize global development.
He proposed the initiative – which highlights steering global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth in the face of the severe shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic – in September 2021.
Protectionism, unilateralism, and the practices of hegemony and bullying “run counter to the tide of history,” he warned.
“The right way forward for humanity is peaceful development and win-win cooperation,” he said.