Business / Hangzhou G20

How confident Xi reassures world on China's future

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-04 11:46

HANGZHOU - With the global economy posting the worst performance since the global financial crisis, worries about China are heightened, to the surprise of no one.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reassured world business leaders in Hangzhou on Saturday that China is able to realize good growth and will not backslide on structural reform and opening up.

Xi's reassurances are well-founded and inject stability into the precarious global situation.

As the IMF has called for forceful action to get out of the low-growth trap, Xi told business leaders that China has the confidence and ability to maintain medium-high rate of growth and deliver more development opportunities to the world while ensuring its own development.

Although China's growth has eased to the lowest rate since the financial crisis, it remains the single largest contributor to world economic growth.

Sustainable, healthy growth matters more than speed.

The malaise of the global economy has not been cured, partly due to the half-baked and half-hearted structural reforms undertaken since the global financial crisis.

On that front, China offers inspiration. As President Xi said, China's reform goal has been set, and will not be deviated from. The country will advance reform and will not slow the pace.

Structural reform is painful and takes time to have its effect. With structural problems plaguing Chinese economy for so long, the later to carry out reform, the higher the price the economy must now bear.

Instead of relentless monetary easing, China looks to supply-side structural reform by reducing overcapacity and bureaucracy and supporting efficiency and innovation.

As major advanced economies erect walls of protectionism to shore up growth, the Chinese president said the beggar-thy-neighbor approach will not help any country out of crisis and only narrows the space for common development, leading to a lose-lose scenario.

Ideas have been translated into actions. The number of free trade zones has expanded at remarkably pace. Foreign companies are reaping handsome benefits in China and the country is considering allowing them easier access to a bigger market.

It's not crisis time yet, but the alarm bell is ringing. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde observed that not since the early 1990s has the world economy been so weak for so long.

The global community has never been as unanimous as they are today in recognizing the urgency of structural reform. With countries facing a variety of structural challenges, they need to work together to ensure that their policies do not counteract each other.

The world economy needs more than a shot of adrenaline. It needs a cure for its chronic ills. President Xi's reassurance on China's future offers one more thing the world economy urgently needs: confidence.

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