China grows stronger amid difficulties: NDRC

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/15 19:33:40

Nation will still meet 6.5% GDP growth target despite trade war

China’s economy cannot be struck down by external factors, as already demonstrated in recent decades, said a spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner.

Back in 1997, China’s economic output was only about $1 trillion, but now, the figure has climbed to around $12 trillion, with that advancement welcoming the upgrading of many industries, Cong Liang, the NDRC’s spokesperson, told a press conference on Wednesday.

Despite external barriers, confidence in China’s development has become more and more enhanced, said Cong, referring to the difficulties that China has overcome over the past decades, including the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the global financial crisis of 2008.

“China was not only undefeated, but it grew stronger amid difficulties,” Cong noted.

Cong also reiterated that China will still meet this year’s GDP growth target of around 6.5 percent, despite the ongoing trade war with the US. “According to figures, between January and July, the impact of China-US trade frictions on our economic growth was limited. The overall economy is performing steadily and with good momentum.”

China is on track for an annual economic growth rate of around 6.5 percent this year. In the first six months, China’s GDP rose 6.8 percent year-on-year, latest official data shows.

The country’s economy expanded 6.9 percent in 2017, picking up pace for the first time in seven years.

“We still have sufficient capacity to cope with the impact of escalating trade frictions and ensure the successful completion of the economic and social development goals set at the beginning of the year,” Cong said.

New spending on roads, railways, elderly care and education will not be as heavy as in the past and will aim to meet real market demand, reducing the risk of overcapacity.

Authorities are also hoping to attract private investment in such projects to reduce the government’s debt burden, he said, noting that regulators are relaxing restrictions on local governments’ abilities to sell special bonds to fund projects.

However, policymakers face risks in stimulating the slowing economy without fueling asset bubbles.

Despite some progress in financial risks crackdown in the last few years, China is still among the economies most at risk of a banking crisis, the Bank for International Settlements said earlier this year.

In the second half of 2018 China will continue to push forward reform in key areas, strengthen intellectual property protection, improve the business environment and continue opening-up, said Cong.