By Lu Ya’nan, Han Xin, People’s Daily
The year 2020 is the final year of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and implementing the 13th Five-Year Plan. From 2016 to 2019, China’s economic growth has always been kept above 6 percent, and the country’s GDP also surged from 70 trillion yuan ($10.31 trillion) to nearly 100 trillion yuan, ranking the second in the world.
Last year, China’s per capita GDP exceeded $10,000, and its investment into research and development (R&D) reached 2 trillion yuan. The country contributed 30 percent to global growth.
China has the highest number of big companies that made it to this year’s Fortune Global 500 list, the second time in history. “Major enterprises are an important force of the Chinese economy. During the last five years, they showed a steady momentum for development, as well as a more obvious sign of high-quality development,” said Wang Zhongyu, president of China Enterprise Confederation.
The Chinese economy, maintaining medium- to high-speed growth, is gaining increasing global influence. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), China’s contribution to global economic growth stood at around 30 percent, making the country the most powerful engine driving world economy. The country became the first major economy to recover economic growth since COVID-19. International rating agencies such as Moody’s and Fitch Ratings all upgraded their outlook for China’s economic growth this year, saying the country will keep serving as an engine for global growth.
China’s economy is growing with both quality and efficiency. Under the new normal, China is not simply seeking growth rate, but placing more emphasis on quality and benefit. Its traditional industries are accelerating the speed of upgrading, with new businesses growing prosperously. Weaknesses of development are gradually being improved.
China has seen optimized industrial structure. The added value of China’s tertiary industry accounted for 53.9 percent of the country’s GDP last year, 3.4 percentage points higher from that in 2015, becoming an important stabilizer for economic growth. Besides, the gap between urban and rural development is narrowing. At the end of 2019, permanent urban residents for the first time made up over 60 percent of the country’s total population, marking an important progress of industrialization and urbanization. in addition, the country is enjoying a more robust innovation-driven development. Last year, an average of 20,000 enterprises were newly registered every day in the country, and the total R&D investment exceeded 2 trillion yuan. China had 13.3 invention patents per 10,000 people, ranking 14th in Global Innovation Index.
China’s economic growth is becoming greener and safer. Hou Jianjun, a villager from Xibu village, Zhangjiakou, north China’s Hebei province, told People’s Daily that the past five years was a witness to greener development. “The water in Guanting Reservoir is clearer, and the wetland park also made the environment better,” he said.
The past five years was also a witness to safer development in the eyes of the residents in the “cliff village” in Zhaojue county, Liangshan, southwest China’s Sichuan province. “I had never dreamt of living in an apartment building in the city,” said a villager who moved into a relocation community in May this year together with other 83 households. “I will work to make my life even better,” he said.
With medium- to high-speed growth, the Chinese people have also gained more sense of gain, contentment and security. In the past 4 years, over 11 million people have been lifted out of poverty annually in China. Last year, 46.6 percent of the 337 Chinese cities monitored met the air quality standard, 25 percentage points higher from that in 2015. Besides, China recorded a big drop in the total number of workplace accidents and deaths last year, with a death toll standing at 29,519 in 2019. Achieving a per capita GDP of over $10,000, China has officially entered the list of middle-income countries.