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The resilience of Chinese economy

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-25 14:14

BEIJING — Growth scares come and go in the Chinese economy, but they never eclipse its resilience.

Once again, the doomsayers were caught out when China's statistics agency reported higher-than-expected growth of 6.9 percent in the first quarter, an eye-popping figure in a still precarious global environment.

The Chinese economy was once renowned for the hum of its assembly lines, the belch of its smokestacks and the clang of its construction sites.

But gradually, consumption and service sector have become new benchmarks of the Chinese economy. In the first quarter, 77.2 percent of growth was driven by consumption, and the service sector accounted for 56.5 percent of the overall economy. In terms of growth, the service sector leaves agriculture and the secondary industry far behind.

Robust growth produces well-paid jobs. China's unemployment rate has stayed under 5 percent while resident's per capita real disposable income outpaced the GDP growth.

Premier Li Keqiang has said that China's economy has not only been able to avoid a "hard landing," but is also stabilizing and improving with a better structure and more jobs.

A resilient China was depicted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a key factor offering a sunnier outlook for the global economy, helping dispel the gloom that has lingered since the Great Recession ended.

After raising China's 2017 growth projection to 6.6 percent, the IMF said it might raise the forecast again.

While the world economy is stuck in the doldrums, China is running like a powerhouse. World Bank data showed it contributed more than 30 percent of global growth in 2016.

While there are encouraging signs, China is not immune from risks. It has a long to-do list, with reform at the top.

The IMF has warned of breakneck expansion in bank lending and dangerous real estate bubbles. Effective measures are essential to resolve these problems to prevent them from growing too costly to solve.

The Chinese government has put supply-side structural reform as its top priority for economic management. The reform will help address excess capacity, restrain credit and curb debts. No one should doubt the government's resolution.

With the world economy facing tighter financial conditions and rising protectionism, the Chinese economy is heading for a bumpy journey. However, confidence should be maintained given China's resolution and resilience.

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