China’s economy to ride out containment efforts by an increasingly anxious US, former official says
- Former vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao said China has factored such external challenges as posed by the United States into its dual-circulation strategy
- The Biden administration has strengthened strategic competition with China by introducing new stimulus packages, and the US Innovation and Competition Act
China is steadily on course for economic expansion and is set to avoid the middle-income trap in coming years, despite the containment efforts by an increasingly anxious Washington, a former Chinese official said on Thursday.
Zhu, who was involved in economic dialogues with the Obama administration and also the early years of the Trump administration, attributed the mounting containment efforts by the United States to its unease with how fast China is catching up.
“The China-US economic gap has been narrowed considerably … The US anxiety is indeed growing,” Zhu said at the Caixin Summer Summit in Beijing on Thursday.
“We should have fair competition based on market rules, rather than contain the other with non-market measures.”
China’s economic size accounted for around 67 per cent of the US economy in 2019 before rising to 71 per cent last year, mainly owing to the different performance amid the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
China’s economy expands record 18.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2021
Gao Peiyong, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, acknowledged that China’s development environment is becoming increasingly uncertain and unstable.
Chinese authorities have called for high-quality economic development, a term widely interpreted to mean not pursuing high growth at all costs, while it also did not release a GDP target in its latest five-year plan, giving it room to manoeuvre in the face of external challenges.
“We must set one eye on development, while another on security,” Gao told Thursday’s conference via video.
“China’s development is not set to surpass some country, nor for hegemony, but bring benefits to its people,” he said.
“We need to do our own things well first.”