Supporting a global economic recovery and green development

By Liu Yantao

The “China collapse” and “China has peaked” rhetoric seems to be resurfacing recently in a part of the world. At a meeting with representatives of US business, strategic and academic communities, President Xi Jinping emphasised that China has come to where it is today after overcoming all kinds of difficulties and challenges. China did not collapse as predicted by the “China collapse theory”, nor will it peak as has been forecast.

In fact, last year, China’s GDP grew by 5.2 per cent, reaching 126 trillion yuan (about US $17.75). With an economic increment equivalent to the economic aggregate of a medium-sized economy, China contributed about one third to world economic growth. It is the largest engine of the global economy. This year, China’s growth target is set at around 5 per cent. It got off to a good start in the first quarter, with GDP increasing by 5.3 per cent year-on-year. China’s economic performance has become more stable and balanced, with even stronger confidence of market players.

Importantly, China is committed to developing new quality productive forces (NQPF), with the aim of achieving high-quality development in a sustainable manner. NQPF, first proposed by President Xi Jinping, refers to an advanced form of productivity that breaks away from the traditional mode of growth and development pathway. It is consistent with the new development philosophy, spearheaded by innovation, and featured by sophisticated technology, high efficiency, high quality and green development. NQPF is mainly driven by revolutionary technology breakthroughs, innovative allocation of production factors, and the profound transformation and upgrading of industries.

In recent years, localities across China have turned to local strengths to boost their NQPF. For example, Jinzhou, an old industrial city in northeast Liaoning Province, has found new growth momentum in the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, while Changzhou city in the coastal Jiangsu Province has joined the “Trillion Yuan GDP Club” through smart manufacturing and new energy. Anji, once a polluted mountainous city in Zhejiang Province, has turned conservation into ecotourism opportunities and made lucid waters and lush mountains its calling card. And Shenzhen, a symbol of China’s reform and opening-up miracle, has been pioneering the country’s transition from “high-speed” to “high-quality” growth by integrating clusters of emerging industries.

It is increasingly clear that NQPF does not mean isolated, sporadic breakthroughs in China. Instead, it connects the dots of breakthroughs into lines and lines into a network, which will drive the development of complete industrial chains, entire industries, and the whole of society. Today, China boasts over 50 per cent of new energy vehicles (NEVs) and nearly 50 per cent of photovoltaic electricity capacity and digital payment in the world. The mileage of high-speed rail in China exceeds that of all other countries combined. The Shenzhou-18 manned spaceship has recently been successfully launched; the domestically produced jumbo jet C919 has been put into commercial operation; and the development outcomes of frontier technologies, such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing, keep emerging.

It needs to be stressed that NQPF not only injects a strong impetus into the Chinese economy, but also means a lot to the international community. Accelerated development of NQPF will increase China’s demand for global goods, services, capital and personnel. China will thus continue to pursue high-standard opening up, which will add new dynamism and create new opportunities to global growth.

Meanwhile, green and low-carbon development is NQPF’s key feature. In fact, the world today is facing a serious shortage of green production capacity. By 2030, the world will need 45 million NEVs and 820 gigawatts of newly installed PV electricity capacity, which are 4.5 times and nearly 4 times higher than in 2022 respectively. As a result, many countries have massive demand for China’s new energy products, and China’s development of NQPF will contribute to global climate response and green development.

China and Cyprus have maintained a strong momentum of economic and trade cooperation. Last year, the bilateral trade volume was close to US $1 billion, of which Cyprus’ exports to China jumped by 11.4 per cent year-on-year. For Cyprus, the digital and green transformation is a priority of its economic policy, which is fully in line with China’s development of NQPF. In this context, China-Cyprus practical cooperation enjoys huge potential and bright prospects. Much more can be expected.

Liu Yantao is the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Cyprus