China’s top legislative and political advisory bodies start their annual sessions in early March as scheduled. As global economic slowdown lingers, new technologies are reshaping the industrial pattern, and green development has become the leading trend. China is endeavoring to find new impetus for national economic growth along the direction of high-quality development and bringing about new opportunities for cooperation with foreign countries.
Last year, after gearing down, China’s economy experienced a shift in growth momentum, economic structure, developmental model, and developmental mechanism.
After years of accumulation, high technology has become a new force to promote industrial upgrading. In 2018, China’s expenditure on research and development accounted for 2.15 percent of its GDP. The total number of research personnel reached 4.18 million, ranking first in the world. The total number of international scientific papers and citations ranked second in the world. The number of invention patent applications and authorizations now ranks first in the world. The development potential of high technology will play a leading role in the field of deep integration of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries. This area is the new direction of China’s economic transformation and upgrading. The deep integration of the new generation of information technology and manufacturing will profoundly change the production mode of the manufacturing industry, and accelerate the transformation of the manufacturing industry from traditional manufacturing to the new one which can provide new products and services altogether. Undoubtedly, this field will attract enormous investment and create unlimited business opportunities in new infrastructure fields, such as 5G commercial use, artificial intelligence, industrial Internet, and the Internet of Things.
In addition, China’s economic demand structure is also undergoing new changes. As domestic consumption has become the leading driving force for economic growth for five consecutive years, China’s consumer market has drawn increasing attention from the international community. This market not only has the purchasing power of 400 million middle-income consumers, but also has a larger space for consumption growth in services such as education, child care, old-age care, medical care, culture, and tourism.
Sustainable development will become a long-lasting theme, and China’s practices have shown that environmental protection and economic development can work together. The system of environmental protection and ecological restoration of the Yangtze River Economic Belt launched last year is an environmentally prioritized development model, meaning that the Yangtze River Basin, the most active region of China’s economy, will develop its economy moderately on the premise of no damage to the environment. The practice will also be rolled out to the whole country, and the business opportunities in the green energy field should not be underestimated.
It is also the Chinese government’s insistence to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor and share the development dividend. The Chinese government is turning its focus from relief of urban unemployment to prevention of unemployment. Since there are only two years to go before the goal of total poverty alleviation, the government must not only increase investment in poverty alleviation, but also mobilize farmers’ enthusiasm, stimulate their endogenous motivation, increase their confidence and determination to get rich, improve their quality and skills of getting rich, and expand the path and space for getting rich.
China hopes to share its development achievements with the world, and will further its opening-up to the outside world. The transition from commodity and factor-based openness to rules and other institutional openness will relax market access for foreign merchants. China fully implements pre-establishment national treatment and negative list management system while protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreign businesses in China, especially intellectual property rights, and allowing more areas open for sole proprietorships. The country also promotes diversification of the import market and reduces the institutional costs of import links.
While pursuing its own coordinated development, China will continue to share development dividends with the international community and promote common development of the world.