China's new economic milestone of global significance
Despite the COVID-19 setbacks looming large, China hit a new milestone with its 2020 GDP exceeding the 100-trillion-yuan (about 15.42 trillion US dollars) benchmark for the first time in history, pumping certainties and positive energy into the pandemic-ravaged world.
In the unusual year, the economy saw its GDP increase by 2.3 percent year on year to about 101.6 trillion yuan and will likely be the only major economy to report positive growth.
The marked progress came as the Chinese economy forged ahead against strong headwinds from the pandemic, which has wreaked havoc across the globe. In the words of Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, the hard-earned result has satisfied the people, impressed the world, and left a mark in history.
Behind the encouraging figures were great efforts that led to achievements in major fields under China's economic governance.
The most noteworthy one was China's battle to eradicate absolute poverty. Marking the final year of the mission, 2020 saw all the registered impoverished counties in the world's most populous country shake off poverty. In the past 40-plus years, more than 700 million people in China have been lifted out of poverty, contributing over 70 percent of global poverty reduction.
Likewise, China's remarkable performances in pillar industries also indicated economic resilience to navigate difficult times. China's grain output reached nearly 670 billion kg in 2020, marking the 17th consecutive bumper year, while its value-added industrial output has surpassed 30 trillion yuan.
With a middle-income population of 400 million, the country has one of the world's fastest-growing markets, and the enormous domestic demand will continue to fuel its economic growth.
Meanwhile, the hard-earned achievements further bolstered China's status as a key engine of global economic growth.
While accounting for around 17 percent of the world's total GDP, the world's second-largest economy has also seen its GDP per capita exceed 10,000 US dollars for two consecutive years. Rising incomes could translate into growing purchasing power, which will thereby help bolster up the global market whacked by COVID-19.
Rather than seeking development behind closed doors, China aims to forge stronger connectivity with other markets for mutual prosperity, with its total goods imports and exports hitting a record high of 32.16 trillion yuan despite a worldwide slump in shipments.
Amid efforts to build a community with a shared future for humanity, China's commitment to even wider opening-up has created opportunities for a world experiencing resurgent protectionism and unilateralism, and will further generate positive spillover effects on the world economic recovery from the pandemic-caused quagmire.