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New Progress in High-Quality Development

By Qiu Ping Source: Updated: 2023-06-09

In addition to promoting stability and recovery of the economy, China has strengthened the leading role of innovation-driven development, proactively expanded high-standard opening up, and made steady progress in the transition to green development. All of this continuously improved public wellbeing and the quality of our economic development.

Innovation momentum gathered pace

China’s R&D investment reached 3.1 trillion yuan in 2022, the first time that it has broken through the 3 trillion mark, which represents a 10.4% annual increase and sets the second highest level of R&D investment in the world. As a percentage of GDP, China’s R&D investment increased 0.12 percentage points over the previous year, reaching 2.55%.

By the end of 2022, the number of valid Chinese invention patents reached 4.21 million, the highest number in the world, and China had risen to 11th in the Global Innovation Index.

The output of mobile communications base station equipment and industrial control computers and systems increased year-on-year by 16.3% and 15%, respectively. Online sales of physical goods increased 6.2%, accounting for 27.2% of total retail sales of consumer goods, up 2.7 percentage points from the previous year.

Economic development became more coordinated

In 2022, national output of soybeans and other oil crops increased 23.7% and 1.1% over the previous year, respectively. The manufacturing sector’s value added as a proportion of GDP increased to 27.7%, an annual increase of 0.2 percentage points. The value added of large-scale high-tech manufacturing increased by 7.4% in 2022 compared to 2021, 3.8 percentage points higher than the added value of large industrial enterprises as a whole.

The share of economic growth accounted for by domestic demand reached 82.9%, an annual increase of 4.8 percentage points. Investment in high-tech industries saw an annual increase of 18.9%, 13.8 percentage points higher than investment as a whole.

Major development strategies made steady headway, such as the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, as well as the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and ecological conservation and high-quality development in the Yellow River Basin. The regional economic layout was optimized further.

Steady progress was made in the shift toward green development

In 2022, China’s energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP fell by 0.1% from the previous year.

The consumption of non-fossil energies, including hydro, nuclear, wind, and solar power, accounted for 17.5% of total energy consumption, up 0.8 percentage points from the year before.

The output of NEVs, vehicle charging units, solar cells, and wind turbines increased by 90.5%, 80.3%, 46.8%, and 45.5%, respectively, over the previous year.

The annual average concentration of PM 2.5 in 339 cities at or above prefectural level decreased by 3.3%, and of the 3,641 national surface water assessment stations, the proportion of those reporting good water quality (grades I-III) was 87.9%, up 3 percentage points.

A high level of opening up was achieved

China’s import and export volume with BRI countries increased by 19.4% in 2022, which was significantly higher than total import and export volume growth. Last year, the China-Europe Railway Express made a total of 16,000 trips, up 9%, and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor in the western region transported 756,000 TEUs of cargo, an increase of 18.5%.

China’s total import and export volume with and non-financial direct investment in RCEP trading partners rose 7.5% and 18.9%, respectively, while the direct investment China attracted from RCEP partners increased 23.1%.

There was a 14.5% annual increase in the import and export volume of China's 21 pilot free trade zones, while that of the Hainan Free Trade Port increased 36.8% to over 200 billion yuan.

The wellbeing of our people was enhanced

Last year, national per capita disposable income reached 36,883 yuan, an annual increase of 2.9% after adjusting for inflation, which was similar to the economic growth rate.

Investment in the social domain increased 10.9%, which was 5.8% percentage points higher than total investment. 

National per capita net transfer income increased by 5.5% in nominal terms in 2022 over the previous year, which was significantly higher than the growth rate of total income.