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China’s economic journey wins international plaudits

Updated: Jul 16,2019 09:56 PM    

China is giving more weight to its quality of growth according to a recent article published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

The country’s policies and measures focusing on technology, innovation and sustainable development can provide an example for other developing countries, the article read.

Despite the sluggish global economy, China has made remarkable achievements in innovation and a switch toward high-quality growth, the article said.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, has managed to balance economic growth and inclusiveness, innovation and sustainability

As China’s structural reform is in full swing, the article pointed out, “the country could maintain relatively high rates of economic growth.”

Accelerated urbanization, a rising “middle-class” population and increasing government measures to optimize the social security system could narrow rural and urban income disparities as well.

In a report released in March this year, ESCAP held China’s transformation toward an innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy has ushered in significant chances in the Asian-Pacific region. It also predicted in the coming 10 years, Asian-Pacific countries will obtain $349 billion in net benefits from China’s economic development.

Hikaru Nagano, an expert from the Asahi Broadcasting Corporation, said China has turned from its sole concentration on growth rate in favor of quality and sustainability.

Green development is among the more noticeable changes in China’s economy. The country has pushed forward international green cooperation and contributed to a greener earth by establishing the Belt and Road International Alliance for Green Development and promoting implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The article also said China has put in great effort to curb pollution while speeding up the transition to clean energy. A carbon emission trading system was launched in the country in late 2017 in order to reach 20 percent of all energy via renewables by 2030.

Eiichi Shindo, honorary professor at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, said China is a new pioneer of advanced green technology. There is a huge cooperation space for China and Japan in the application of environmental protection technology, he added.

Innovation is yet another focus of China’s supply-side structural reform. If all goes according to plan, by 2030 it will be a leading player in artificial intelligence and a global innovative hub.

Thomas Bernes, executive director of Canada’s Centre for International Governance Innovation, said China, as a powerhouse of technology and innovation, has actively promoted cooperation to make the world economy sustainable.

Although any economy will inevitably face downward pressure when it matures, the quality of growth differs largely depending on policy choices. Per the article: “It’s highly important and urgent for policymakers to switch their mindsets to prioritize policies that support people and the planet.”

The successful case of innovative, inclusive and green development in China should be studied by Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, said Tang Zhimin, head of the China-ASEAN Research Center at the Panyapiwat Institute of Management.

Tang concluded China has set a good example in its governance ability, infrastructure construction in public transport and mobile internet, and integration of farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises with domestic and foreign markets.

Dr. Tharakorn Wusatirakul, deputy head of the China-Thai Belt and Road cooperation research center at the National Institute of Development Administration of Thailand, used the term “center of technology and innovation” to describe China, and noted its transformation has been an inspiration for countries in Southeast Asia.