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China's economic strength realizes historic leap

By Qiu Ping Source: Updated: 2023-06-27

Over the past five years, China's economy has kept on growing at an average annual rate of more than 5%, despite considerable challenges. China's economic strength has witnessed a historic leap, its scientific and technological strength, comprehensive national strength, as well as international influence have all continued to rise. China's development has been elevated to a new higher starting point.

The size of the economy reaches a new height. 

The Chinese economy has withstood pressure and continued to develop, with GDP hitting 121 trillion yuan (about 17.95 trillion U.S. dollars), a year-on-year increase of 3.0% in 2022. Employment has remained basically stable, with 12.06 million urban jobs added in the past year. Overall price levels have remained stable, with the consumer price index (CPI) rising by 2%, far below the levels of other major economies. In the past year, China's balance of payments remained in good shape, and the foreign exchange reserves remained stable at more than US$3 trillion.

The quality of development has steadily improved.

In 2022, China's R&D spending exceeded 3 trillion yuan for the first time, accounting for 2.55% of GDP, and China rose to 11th on the Global Innovation Index 2022. Investment in high-tech industries increased by 18.9%, 13.8 percentage points higher than the growth of total investment. Consumer spending gradually recovered, with online retail sales of physical goods increasing by 6.2%. Economic circulation has become even smoother.

Continuously to deep reform and opening up.

The market system has been improved, the layout and structure of the state-owned sector has kept optimizing, and an environment conducive to reform and development of private businesses has been fostered. Price reforms relating to electricity, coal, and water resources have made headway. While remarkable results have been achieved in stabilizing foreign trade and investment, the development of new forms and models of foreign trade has accelerated, and trade and investment have been further liberalized and facilitated. New progress has been made in high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. China continues to deepen international cooperation on production capacity and third-party market. 

Ecological civilization building has achieved substantial progress.

In recent years, the ecological environment in China has seen constantly improved, and green, circular, and low-carbon development has achieved solid progress. China's total installed capacity of electricity generated from renewable energy has surpassed 1,200 gigawatts. China has become a global leader in installed capacity of hydro, wind, solar, and biomass power generation, and its sustainable development capacity is constantly increasing. 

People's living standards have improved.

Reform of income distribution system was deepened, and the personal incomes of both urban and rural residents grew steadily, with per capita disposable income nationwide increasing by 2.9% in real terms. Public services have been improved steadily, and the coverage of social security programs was expanded. By the end of 2022, the participants in basic old-age, unemployment, and workers' compensation insurance schemes have reached 1.053 billion, 238 million, and 291 million, respectively.

Ability to withstand risks is further improved.

Fiscal and financial operations remained stable on the whole. Last year, China experienced its 19th consecutive bumper harvests of grain, with total grain output hitting above 650 million metric tons. China's annual total grain output has reached above 650 million metric tons for eight consecutive years. The construction of the energy generation, supply, storage, and marketing system is accelerated. The capacity to secure coal supplies as basic energy source has improved, and energy supplies remained generally stable during summer and winter consumption peaks.