Opinion / Editorials

Slower growth, but healthier economy

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-06 07:59

Double-digit growth was certainly impressive. But the disparity between speed and quality came at a cost. Severe haze and other omnipresent signs of pollution and ecological degradation are only one aspect of its negative side effects.

The new leadership's rhetoric about a new normal should not be simply taken as adapting to the new reality of slower growth. As Li's report demonstrated, it is more about maneuvering for healthier development, and that is balancing the speed and quality of growth.

While the past mode of growth has shown its conspicuous downside, the Chinese economic locomotive is far from running out of steam. Those predicting a coming "collapse" of the Chinese economy are wrong because they have substantially underestimated its strategic depth and inner flexibility. The other side of the coin regarding the striking disparities in the Chinese economic landscape is the existence of abundant new growth points.

Urbanization, for instance, will create new consumers by the millions. This year, Li pledged, the government will help more than 10 million rural residents become part of the urban population. That presents additional demand.

Not to mention such initiatives as encouraging small and micro businesses, improving services, increasing disposable incomes, and boosting security guarantees.

As long as the momentum is sustained, the price of the present slowdown will prove worth paying.


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