China, other Asian economies are highly integrated, largely win-win

Excluding China, the rest of developing Asia is forecast to grow 5.3 percent in 2022 – the first time in more than three decades that the rest of developing Asia will grow faster than China, the Asian Development Bank (ADB ) in their latest Outlook report, published Wednesday, CNBC reported.

The global economy, still reeling from the pandemic, inflation, food insecurity and a looming debt crisis, faces an increasingly uncertain outlook. As such, it is difficult to make predictions now, particularly about emerging markets in Asia, which are relatively vulnerable to external uncertainties as most of them are export-led economies.

Is ADB’s prediction accurate? It is difficult to find an answer to this, although some emerging Asian market economies have shown some resilience and relatively rapid growth, a phenomenon that reflects Asia’s inherent dynamism.

Vietnam’s GDP grew 7.72 percent year-on-year in the April-June quarter on solid exports and consumer spending. It is the highest second-quarter GDP growth recorded by the country in the past 10 years, Xinhua reported.

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Malaysia’s economic growth could beat official estimates of 5.3 percent to 6.3 percent in 2022 as the country posted 8.9 percent economic growth in the second quarter as domestic consumption continues to accelerate.

Effective economic and investment policies have enabled some Asian economies to recover quickly from the pandemic lows. The economic recovery of these countries will be conducive to economic integration and the overall development of the Asian economy.

China and the emerging countries of Southeast Asia are in different stages of development. After four decades of rapid economic growth, China is now the second largest economy in the world. These emerging economies like Vietnam and India are at an early stage of development and still need time to climb the industrial value chain ladder.

Given the different stages of development, it makes little sense to simply compare China to other Asian countries in terms of GDP growth rates. Some Western organizations and media intentionally compare China to other economies in the region to provoke vicious competition between them.

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Moving away from the outdated pattern that focuses on quantity of growth, China has entered a stage of development that focuses on quality development. With high-quality growth, China’s average contribution to global economic growth in recent years has still been over 30 percent.

China has long been an active participant and important contributor to the Asian economy. In 2021, the volume of goods trade between China and ASEAN was US$878.2 billion, up 28.1 percent year-on-year. Among them, China’s imports from ASEAN totaled US$394.51 billion, up 30.8 percent annually. ASEAN has become China’s largest trading partner for the second straight year in 2021 as some export-dependent Southeast Asian countries gradually shift their export destination to China thanks to its huge market size.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade pact between 15 Asia-Pacific nations, took effect Jan. 1 for 10 countries including China, marking the formation of the world’s largest free trade area by trade volume. The entry into force of the mega deal has expanded market access, allowing more products to enter the Chinese market without import duties. In the coming years, China will steadfastly expand its opening-up, continuing to make the country a huge market for Asian economies and a hotspot for foreign investment.

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China’s economic miracle can be linked to its successful integration into the Asian economy; on the other hand, China has also made a significant contribution to economic growth in Asia. There’s no need to read too much into CNBC’s report, which states that “the rest of developing Asia will grow faster than China in 2022.” Those trying to drive a wedge between China and its friends in Asia should abandon the geopolitical mentality and learn to see Asia’s economic growth from a win-win lens.
Source: Global Times

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