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Working to Foster New Opportunities amid Crises and Opening up New Horizons on a Shifting Landscape

By Qiu Ping Source: Updated: 2024-06-05

To conduct a sound analysis of the economic situation, we must adopt a dialectical approach to understand both sides of this issue. We must acknowledge the difficulties and challenges working against us, but also appreciate the favorable conditions at play on the domestic and international landscapes to identify strengths and opportunities.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the economic terrain, both domestically and internationally, has been characterized by profound complexity. The multitude of circumstances, difficulties, and challenges that have emerged are unparalleled since the inception of reform and opening up. Attuned to the shifting development environment, the CPC Central Committee led by Xi Jinping has squarely confronted the difficulties and challenges in China's economic development and has put forward a series of important conclusions: It has highlighted the prominent gap between China's excess production capacity and its need for an upgraded demand structure, the lack of endogenous growth drivers, and the glaring problems of imbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable development. It has noted that China is navigating overlapping structural, institutional, and cyclical problems, and that it is in a period where it must simultaneously deal with a growth slowdown, painful structural adjustments, and the effects of past stimulus policies. It is also facing an increase in global turbulences and risks. The Central Committee has also underscored that China is under economic pressure from the triad of contracting demand, supply shocks, and weakening expectations, and confronted by an increasingly complex, severe, and uncertain external environment. At the Central Economic Work Conference in December 2023, it was pointed out that several difficulties and challenges must be addressed in order to further advance China's economic recovery. These include a lack of effective demand, overcapacity in some industries, weak social expectations, numerous hidden risks, and bottlenecks in domestic economic flows, as well as an increasingly complex, severe, and uncertain external environment.

Being mindful of worst-case scenarios does not mean that we should lapse into passivity and refrain from action. It means that on the basis of respecting objective laws, we should harness our subjective initiative to its fullest potential, and while preparing for the worst eventuality, do our utmost to deliver the best possible outcome. This demands that we overcome adversity and make the most of every situation by identifying development opportunities and challenges for China, so that we can seize the strategic initiative. We Chinese believe that good fortune is often hidden within misfortune and vice versa. Opportunities and challenges coexist, and new opportunities emerge by overcoming crises. This is an unchanging dialectical principle that has endured since ancient times.

It is thus important to recognize that despite the profound and complex changes in the domestic and international environments, China is facing new strategic opportunities for development. These include new possibilities ushered in by the latest round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, the rapid upgrading of the economic structure, China's growing capacity for scientific and technological innovation, further reform and opening up, the acceleration of green development, the advancement of coordinated development between urban and rural areas and between regions, the upgrading of residential consumption, Chinas participation in the reform of the global economic governance system, and high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. Therefore, we need to enhance our awareness of both risks and opportunities, adhere to a problem-oriented approach, and maintain strategic resolve. We should accurately identify changes, adeptly respond to them, and work to steer them in a favorable direction, thereby converting pressure into momentum and challenges into opportunities. Firmly grasping the strategic initiative in development, we must strive to foster new opportunities amid crises and open up new horizons on a shifting landscape.

Editor: Li Xiaoqiong