China's major economic indicators entered positive territory in the third quarter of this year, showing the country's COVID-19 prevention measures and economic recovery remain at the forefront among the world's major economies.
In the first three quarters, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 0.7 percent year-on-year, returning to growth following a 1.6 percent contraction in the first half of the year. Other major indicators showed across-the-board improvements, with the country's industrial output rising 5.8 percent and retail sales reporting their first quarterly expansion, up 0.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter.
The latest data mirrors China's major strategic achievements in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. These achievements have not come easily. To contain the COVID-19 epidemic, the country has paid a huge price to ensure the health and safety of its people. The spirit of the country's courageous fight against the virus is characterized by putting people's lives first, nationwide solidarity, sacrifice, respect for science, and a sense of mission for humanity. The payoff has been evident.
According to a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China's economy is expected to grow by 1.9 percent in 2020, 0.9 percentage points above the IMF's June forecast. That would make it the only major economy to see positive growth this year.
The growth of China's economy is positive for the world economy, and could particularly benefit commodity exporters and countries that are connected to the Chinese economy through global value chains.
However, it must be noted that downside risks remain. These include the resurgence of the virus, growing restrictions on trade and investment due to unilateralism and protectionism, as well as rising geopolitical uncertainty. Moreover, despite the fact that consumer spending is catching up with the country's wider economic recovery, the overall consumption momentum has not returned to its normal level.
China recently vowed to establish a "dual circulation" development pattern, in which domestic and foreign markets complement and reinforce each another, with the domestic market as the mainstay. It aims to build resilience with improved domestic development and a wider opening up against external headwinds. A booming consumption market during the national holiday and a plan to implement pilot reforms in Shenzhen over the next five years are examples of the emergence of this new development pattern.
With a vast market of 1.4 billion people, China's expanded domestic consumption will improve overall global demand through international trade. Further opening-up will allow China to share the fruits of its reform with other countries.
China's stable development will enable it to contribute more to the world development agenda. The country has played a key role in supplying much-needed medical equipment to other countries and made unremitting efforts to promote global cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine development. To tackle climate change, a carbon intensity target is expected to be set for the country's 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) in accordance with targets to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
As the global economy faces an uphill battle amid the pandemic, China has the foundation, conditions and confidence to maintain the current trend of economic recovery and development. With the country continuing to rebalance its growth model, its progress has provided a cushion for the world economy and will have spillover effects on other countries. Enditem