At an unexpectedly 6.9%, after most early forecasts have predicted 6.5%, a rate which is still impressive against global growth crunch of about 3% for major and emerging economies, China’s economy proved resilient and reliable driver of global economic recovery which she contributes a whopping 30 per cent.
Having galloped at an average of 10% annual growth for most of the years, since her enigmatic reforms, from 1978, when the 3rd plenary session of the 11th central committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) decided to adopt reform and opening up as core of the country’s modernization effort, the fiery growth momentum of about three decades began to cool at a steady and growth rate of 6.5%. The trend of slower growth was attributed to structural adjustments of the economy in effecting transition of earlier economic drivers of labour-intensive manufacturing and exports to new set aggregates conducive to high-tech and post industrial economy.
Chinese leader, President Xi Jinping referred to the structural transformation in which the service sector, innovation and consumption will play the key strategic driving roles as the New Normal.
Announcing the latest growth figures last month, the head of the country’s National bureau of statistics, Ning Jizhe said that “the national economy has maintained momentum of stable and sound development and exceeded the expectation with the economic vitality, impetus and potential released.”
“The rebounding growth was mainly built on still brisk industrial output, real estate investment and export growth,” reported the China Daily, the country’s largest English newspaper.
The vigorous momentum of the Chinese economy recorded at 6.9% year-on-year in 2017, against earlier forecasts of slower growth was despite the supply-side structural reform, which led to production capacity reduction, environmental protection measures which caused factory closures and affected production, and rising financial costs which was the result of regulatory financial tightening. The rebound of the China’s economy with unexpectedly superb growth indicates that the real economy is quite resilient.
Even as growth accelerated in 2017, the quality of the growth has, significantly improved, with the country’s per-capita income increased by 7.3% year on year in real terms, higher than the national GDP growth. Of remarkable significance of the supply-side structural reform is the higher industrial production efficiency measured by capacity utilization ratio with high-tech industries growing at a faster pace than overall industry growth.
China’s sturdy and steady growth, which has now acquired vigorous momentum owes largely to a political leadership of the Communist Party of China, with President Xi Jinping at the core that have persistently exercised the boldest imagination which implies, ceaselessly interrogating China’s existential reality, contextualizing policy platforms to actual national condition and specific social context. This kind of unrelenting exertions does not brook complacency and is rewarded by a broad and inclusive growth, and shared prosperity.
While policy instruments China deploys to her economic challenges are decidedly home grown, the experience with Africa and even down in Nigeria is the plethora of contradictory policy framework shoved our necks by distant and sometimes middle cadre technocrats from western dominated financial institutions. In our view, while their policy prescriptions may not have issued from outright malevolence, it is however, deficient of critical input of our reality and conditions. The experience of China has shown that when all local contents and conditions are factored into economic policy, it makes for quality yield in results both in robust growth and improvement in the quality of the lives of the people.
And against the background of the China’s steady growth, her engagement with Africa already broad and inclusive of key areas that are objectively complimentary to Africa’s development imperatives would considerably accelerate. The most compelling revolutionary context of Africa’s economic renaissance is industrialization and China is already a key partner in that regards.
Against the backdrop of impressive economic performance, we salute the leadership of the country and urge them to continue to make exertions that will make global economic recovery steady and sustainable.
Also as part of comprehensive partnership with Africa, we urge Beijing to integrate sharing of experiences in economic policy- making in the mechanism of China-Africa Cooperation as a way to compare notes with Africa partners. China-Africa has reached crucial milestones and can only get better. Distractions like the unfounded allegation by a French newspaper le monde that China bugged the Africa Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is such hogwash and have been denounced as such by African leaders including the president of AUcommission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahmet. Mr. Mahmet who is currently in China has noted the all round cooperation between China and Africa. His host foreign minster Wang yi, has also made known that the two sides have long standing mutually beneficial cooperation.
Meanwhile Nigeria-China bilateral diplomatic cooperation is 47 years today, having been established on 10th of February, 1971. Having come this far in a diplomatic relation that has brought benefits to both sides, it is our hope that it will continue to grow from strength to strength.
As we congratulate China on impressive economic performance, we also use the occasion of the Chinese new year or the Spring festival, to wish the Chinese friends, the tenacity, endurance and strength of the dog as this year is remarkably the Chinese year of the Dog