Good start brings confidence to China's new development stage
With an 18.3 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter, the Chinese economy has posted a good start to the country's 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), empowering China to tackle the uncertainties and challenges ahead and providing the world with confidence in the recovery from the pandemic.
The double-digit year-on-year rebound puts average first-quarter growth from 2020 and 2021 at 5 percent compared to the 2019 level, indicating the country is on the path of high-quality growth stressed in its development blueprint.
It is also worth noting that positive economic indicators released this week come from both the production and consumption sides. In the first quarter, China's value-added industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment respectively increased 24.5 percent, 33.9 percent and 25.6 percent.
In particular, catering sales had almost returned to the level at the beginning of 2019, suggesting strong sentiment of the populace to go out, meet people and spend money.
The country's recent performance in foreign trade, as well as its attraction to foreign direct investment, has shown that the Chinese economy's integration into the world is unstoppable, and so is the globalization.
China has been one of the major driving forces of economic globalization and international cooperation, sharing the fruits of its development with the world and boosting common development with other countries. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations remained China's largest trading partner in the first quarter, followed by the European Union and the United States.
China's gains have not come easily. The country has initiated a top-level scheme to promote China's socialist modernization and unveiled a five-year development plan. The roles of innovation, the real economy, a strong domestic market, rural vitalization and green development were underscored for China's future growth.
It should be noted that the 18.3 percent growth was achieved from a low base in early 2020, when COVID-19 stalled the world's second-largest economy.
Despite the economic rebound, China stays vigilant against challenges to its development. High uncertainties and instabilities persist as COVID-19 continues to spread globally and domestic economic recovery has yet to solidify. Long-standing structural problems remain prominent, with new situations and issues arising from development.
The Chinese economy has weathered the test of COVID-19. A good start to 2021 will inject further impetus into the country's efforts to overcome difficulties ahead.