BEIJING — A pioneer in COVID-19 response, China is gradually recovering from the epidemic’s shock and moving cautiously on its track of economic reopening as epidemic prevention and control has become regular practices.
With the latest economic indicators pointing to an across-the-board improvement in the macroeconomy, the world’s second-largest economy is looking beyond a balance between restarting the economy and containing the virus.
Leading the nation toward building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has charted the course toward high-quality transformation and more sustainable development.
PEOPLE’S HEALTH FIRST
“Enterprises must not relax and should keep on strictly implementing epidemic prevention and control measures to push forward work resumption while ensuring the safety and health of their workers,” he said.
Xi, who always puts people’s health first in pushing forward the resumption of work and production.
“We must never allow our hard-earned previous achievements on epidemic control to be made in vain,” Xi said at the meeting.
TURNING CHALLENGES INTO OPPORTUNITY
Like other economies in the world, the COVID-19 outbreak has dealt a heavy blow on China’s domestic economy and social activities. In the first quarter, China’s gross domestic product contracted 6.8 percent year on year.
However, the country chose to face up to the inevitable shock and to view its development in a comprehensive, dialectical and long-term perspective.
“Crises and opportunities always exist side by side. Once overcome, a crisis is an opportunity,” Xi said when speaking with local officials of Zhejiang province, China’s eastern economic powerhouse, in April.
Though the increasingly fast spread of COVID-19 abroad has disrupted international economic and trade activities and brought new challenges to China’s economic development, it has also provided fresh opportunities for expediting the country’s development in science and technology and advancing industrial upgrading, he said.
Challenges and opportunities did come hand in hand. During the epidemic, the country’s already booming digital economy embraced a new rise as many people had to stay home and expand their online activities, prompting the use of new technologies like 5G and cloud computing.
To grab the opportunity, massive investment plans have been made for “new infrastructure” projects such as information networks and data centers, which are expected to support future industrial upgrading and nurture new growth drivers.
Reflecting the trend, the service production index for information transmission, software and information technology services rose 5.2 percent year on year in April, beating a 4.5-percent drop for the overall service sector, official data showed.
A GREEN PATH
Under Xi’s leadership, China has resisted the old way of developing the economy at the cost of the environment and is looking to leave a green legacy for its future generations, despite the unprecedented economic shock brought by the epidemic.
“Ecological conservation and environmental protection are contemporary causes that will benefit many generations to come,” said Xi, regarding lucid waters and lush mountains as invaluable assets.
Behind China’s firm path of green development is the top leadership’s pursuit of achieving a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the foresight of maintaining a strategic focus on improving the ecological environment in the long run.
More should be done to accelerate institutional innovation and strengthen the implementation of institutions to help form a green way of production and living, Xi has stressed.
Post time: May-15-2020