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Zhang Wei Accepts Joint Media Interviews With Kazakhstan Media On China's Economic Situation

Feb 12, 2019

A few days ago, Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Wei accepted written interviews with mainstream media such as Kazakhstan News Agency, Industrial News, Capital News, Times, Baq News, and Bnews News Network on the current economic situation in China. The specific content is organized as follows:

I. Q: Recently, some media said that "China's economy is not going fast" and "China's economy has fallen into recession." Please let the Ambassador introduce the overall situation of the Chinese economy.

A: Some media concocted the so-called "China's economic recession theory", which is purely subjective and arbitrary. It is a nonsense. Its purpose is to sing the Chinese economy, with ulterior motives.

Facts speak louder than words. Let us look at a set of data. For the first time in 2018, China's gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded 90 trillion yuan for the first time, or about 13.36 trillion US dollars. Calculated at comparable prices, which is 6.6% higher than 2017, economic growth continues to be among the top economies in the world. In the quarter, the first quarter increased by 6.8%, the second quarter increased by 6.7%, the third quarter increased by 6.5%, and the fourth quarter increased by 6.4%. In terms of industries, the added value of the primary industry was 647.4 billion yuan, up 3.5% over the previous year; the added value of the secondary industry was 366.001 billion yuan, up 5.8%; the added value of the tertiary industry was 469.575 billion yuan, up 7.6%. The balance of payments is basically balanced, and imports and exports maintain rapid growth. The total import and export volume of goods for the year was 305.05 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 9.7%. The total trade volume exceeded 30 trillion yuan for the first time, which was about 4.5 trillion US dollars, a record high.

Obviously, the Chinese economy has not only fallen into recession as some people have advocated, but also withstood the pressure, especially external pressure, and maintained a good momentum of overall stability and stability. This momentum will continue in 2019. The economic outlook for China is bright.

Second, Mr. Ambassador, what do you mean by "steady progress", specifically what progress or progress?

A: The development and progress of China's economy is obvious. Mainly reflected in the following three aspects.

First of all, the national economic structure is continuously optimized. In 2018, the added value of the tertiary industry accounted for 52.2% of China's GDP, 0.3 percentage points higher than 2017, 11.5 percentage points higher than the secondary industry; the contribution rate to GDP growth was 59.7%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points over the previous year. . Consumption as the main driving force of economic growth was further consolidated, and the contribution rate of final consumption expenditure to GDP growth was 76.2%, an increase of 18.6 percentage points over the previous year. As the world's largest consumer market, China's economic vitality is constantly being released.

Second, the shortcomings in economic development are accelerating. The problem of “overcapacity” that has long plagued the Chinese economy has been significantly alleviated. In 2018, China's industrial capacity utilization rate was 76.5%. The “13th Five-Year Plan” de-capacity target for steel and coal has been basically completed. In the year, investment in environmental protection and agriculture increased by 43.0% and 15.4% respectively compared with 2017, which was faster than the total investment of 37.1 and 9.5 percentage points respectively. Including the vast rural areas, the nation's infrastructure construction continues to strengthen. The burden of corporate taxes and fees was reduced by 1.3 trillion yuan. The sustainability of China's economic development has increased significantly.

Third, the new economic momentum is growing rapidly. As the Chinese government deepens the policy of “public entrepreneurship and innovation”, emerging industries maintain a relatively fast growth momentum. In the first three quarters of 2018, there were more than 18,000 new establishments per day, a record high. The added value of high-tech manufacturing, strategic emerging industries and equipment manufacturing increased by 11.7%, 8.9% and 8.1% respectively over the previous year. Among them, investment in high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing increased by 16.1% and 11.1% respectively compared with 2017, which was 6.6 and 1.6 percentage points faster than manufacturing investment respectively. New growth points to promote China's economic development are endless.

3. Mr. Ambassador, you have just listed in detail the progress made in the Chinese economy. What changes have this brought to the lives of the Chinese people?

A: The Chinese government's vigorous development of the economy is, in the final analysis, aimed at improving the lives of the people. There are two sets of data that can be used to illustrate this very intuitively.

First, the Chinese people's wallets are getting more and more drums. In 2018, the per capita disposable income of the national residents was 28,228 yuan, a 6.5% increase from 2017, which was basically in line with economic growth. In 2018, the per capita consumption expenditure of the national residents was 19,853 yuan, an increase of 6.2% over the actual growth in 2017, and the growth rate accelerated by 0.8 percentage points. The national resident Engel coefficient was 28.4%, down 0.9 percentage points from 2017. Prices remained stable, and consumer prices (CPI) were basically stable, rising 2.1% for the year. The Chinese people are getting more and more emboldened.

Second, the employment of Chinese people is increasingly guaranteed. In 2018, the number of newly added jobs in China's cities and towns was 13.61 million, an increase of 100,000 over the same period of the previous year, exceeding the annual target of 123.7%, and maintaining more than 13 million for six consecutive years. In December, the national urban survey unemployment rate was 4.9%, down 0.1 percentage point year-on-year. In the 2018 year, the national urban survey unemployment rate remained between 4.8% and 5.1%, achieving the expected target of less than 5.5%. This is not easy for a country with a population of nearly 1.4 billion. It is the achievement of the Chinese Communist Party united to lead the hard work of the people throughout the country.

4. Mr. Ambassador, "China-US trade war" has intensified, has it affected the Chinese economy?

A: Any "trade war" and "sanction war" are the specific manifestations of the Cold War mentality and the "zero-sum game" and are unpopular. At the same time, the "trade war" is a double-edged sword that harms others. We are firmly opposed and at the same time not afraid. All trades are carried out by the parties to the trade according to their own needs and on a voluntary basis. It is impracticable to buy and sell strong.

The so-called "China-US trade war" is chosen by the Americans for their own personal gain. Some interest groups in the United States have spurred an unfair "trade war" in many parts of the world under the banner of "US priority." Not only for China, but also for the "allies" of the United States in history. The logic of the Americans is very simple, that is, "I trade with you, only allow me to make money, and I am not allowed to profit." This is unreasonable. The lack of fairness and justice is doomed to failure.

China has celebrated the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up in the past year. Over the past 40 years, the Chinese people have relied on their own hands to make a fortune, to diligently get rich, and to explore a development path that is in line with China's national conditions. It has developed from a poor country with a GDP per capita of less than US$300 to a more modern country with a per capita GDP of over US$8,600. A large number of Chinese companies represented by Huawei started from scratch, bravely climbed the peak of the world's technology industry, and reached the global leading position in the fields of 5G and AI. This is not based on what kind of charity, but the generation of Chinese people who have been self-reliant and struggled. China's economic potential is strong, its resilience is strong, and there is room for manoeuvre. China has already occupied a place in the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation in the world. This is a fact that is obvious to all.

Peace, cooperation and development are still the common aspirations of most countries in the world today. The adoption of trade unilateralism, protectionism, and doctrine in individual countries will certainly cause us some trouble, but it will not fundamentally affect China's economic development and will not fundamentally affect the trend of the world's cooperation and win-win situation. As long as we follow the trend of the times and grasp the general direction of the globalization of the world economy, we have the confidence to win another 40-year development period for the Chinese economy.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping said, the door to China's opening up will not be closed in the future, and it will only grow bigger and bigger. China will insist on promoting reform through openness and promoting development through openness. China is willing to work together with all countries in the world, including Kazakhstan, to build a "One Belt, One Road", maintain a multilateral trade order, promote the globalization process, share opportunities for development in the new era, and achieve common development.