China reached a milestone in 2021 with major achievements made in foreign trade, technological breakthroughs and industrial chain resilience, according to a senior official.
"China has taken a leading position in both economic development and pandemic control worldwide in 2021," Han Wenxiu, an official with the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs, said in a recent article, highlighting the country's progress in coordinating pandemic control and economic development.
According to World Bank projections, China's real gross domestic product (GDP) growth will reach 8 percent in 2021, and its "momentum is expected to pick up, aided by a more supportive fiscal stance."
Experts also projected that the per capita GDP of China will exceed 12,000 US dollars, close to the measure of a high-income country as classified by the World Bank.
The world's second-biggest economy has staged an impressive rebound from the pandemic-induced slump. The growth rate of major economic indicators stayed within a reasonable range in the past year, as the consumer price index growth and surveyed urban unemployment rate stood at relatively low levels, and more than 12 million new urban jobs were created.
Han stressed that China's foreign trade gained strong momentum over the past year, as the world's largest exporter posted a record-high share of global trade, pointing to the strong resilience of the country's economy.
The latest data from the commerce ministry showed that China's total imports and exports of goods are expected to reach 6 trillion US dollars in 2021, with the year-on-year growth amounting to approximately 1.3 trillion dollars.
As a pillar for the global supply chain, China-Europe freight trains emerged as another highlight considering their crucial role in enhancing global supply chains, stabilizing consumer prices and helping countries combat COVID-19 outbreaks.
China's stringent pandemic control measures have also laid a solid foundation for protecting people's lives while guaranteeing the normal functioning of economic activities. By stringently curbing imported cases and preventing any resurgence of local cases, China has successfully controlled the pandemic, according to Han.
Through efforts to promote widespread vaccination, nearly 2.89 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered on the Chinese mainland and over 1.21 billion people have been fully vaccinated as of Friday, data from the country's health authority showed.
However, amid volatile domestic and international environments, the Chinese economy is still facing uncertainties such as weakening investment, slower consumption growth, supply chain congestion and shortages of key production factors.
Through the turbulence of 2021, the nation's economy suffered from an auto production decline caused by semiconductor shortages, growing cost pressures on smaller firms, weaker expectations and hidden risks in the financial sector, Han said.
"We must face the difficulties squarely while staying confident," Han said, noting that the Chinese economy should make full use of its hallmarks of strong resilience, huge potential and favorable conditions for economic growth to overcome obstacles.
Han urged governments to actively introduce policies that are conducive to economic stability, and remain cautious toward policies that have a contractionary effect.
Stability will be a top priority for the Chinese economy in 2022. At the tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference held last month, Chinese leaders repeatedly stressed "stability" as the top priority for the nation's economic policies.
"The sustained economic recovery of China stands unchanged, and the fundamentals will remain strong in the long term," Han stated. "China is totally capable of maintaining steady, sound and sustained economic development."