China / Cover Story

Looking ahead: Hopes for 2016

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-01 07:47

Major figures from academia, the military, social organizations and government predict their highlights for the year to come

Looking ahead: Hopes for 2016

1 Justin Yifu Lin, economics professor at Peking University and former World Bank chief economist

The economic slowdown will remain one of China's major challenges next year. The world's second-largest economy is suffering the longest decline in its rate of growth since the government launched the reform and opening-up policies more than 30 years ago. Year-on-year GDP, which contracted to 6.9 percent in the third quarter from 10.3 percent in 2010, is likely to continue to decline in 2016, as the overall economy is still in a cyclical downtrend which is seriously affected by the global economic recession environment.

To curb this slowdown, it is necessary to both push forward restructuring reforms, and introduce stimulus measures to stabilize growth. Only focusing on one aspect will result in the fast growth of unemployment or a systematical financial crisis.

It requires macroeconomic policies to stress supply-side reforms, as well as moderately expanding the demand. To increase effective investment is one of the methods to improve the quality of supply and promote industrial upgrading, which will at the same time increase people's incomes while boosting domestic consumption.

2 Huang Jianxiang, sports commentator

I hope that more children will become interested in playing soccer and that they will be willing to devote more time to it-say, play once or twice a week. I hope teachers and parents will recognize the numerous advantages brought to children by playing soccer. It is my wish for 2016 that people will no longer think playing soccer is useless or even a negative thing to do, but agree that it is a good form of education.

3 Bernhard Schwartlander, WHO representative in China

I hope to see tobacco control in China take another leap forward in 2016 through the adoption of the draft national smoke-free law currently before the State Council. We've seen incredible progress this year, with the Beijing smoke-free law in effect since June. Beijing has shown that with a robust, comprehensive law, strong enforcement and publicity, and political leadership, it can be done!

This is great news for the 20 million plus residents of Beijing who are now protected from the harm of secondhand smoke. But there are hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens outside of Beijing who are exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke every day. This is very bad for health. We need to take the next step and extend the protection afforded by the Beijing smoke-free law to the rest of the country.

4 Li Yinhe, sexologist and sociologist

I wish you all a happy New Year. My short story collection, Black Knight's Kingdom, will be published in 2016. I hope everyone will like it. I expect I'll keep up my passion for writing and produce more stories and essays in the coming year. I hope that our country will achieve more progress, that society will become more diversified and more open to different voices and that all people will voice their opinions on important issues that concern everyone. Together we can discuss and explore paths to achieve social progress.

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