Is China’s economy outlook grim after COVID-19 policy shift? No!

Is China's economy not doing well after the COVID-19 policy changes?  No!

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Under the Western media, everything China has done in its fight against COVID-19 is wrong. The same Western media that strongly criticized China’s zero-COVID policy are now saying that the “increasing” in cases of the disease, due to the promotion of the country in their words, is destroying the economy.

For example, Bloomberg reports that China’s economy is at its “worst in the new year” and its forecasts show a decline in employment in December from an earlier weakness in November.

Indeed, China may face challenges in its retail sales and consumer spending in the early days as the country eases its COVID-19 response. But there is no need to argue. The lifting of restrictions related to COVID-19 does not mean a resumption of economic growth. The increasing number of potential infections in every country – not just China – means it will take time for people to return to shops and restaurants.

The latest figures have already shown a revival in China’s oil market. Since the change in the COVID-19 policy, attendance at some movie theaters in Beijing has returned to 75 percent of normal and diners have sent more than 80 percent of customers, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported.

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People choose food at a business center in Beijing, capital of China, Dec.  25, 2022. /Xinhua

People choose food at a business center in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 25, 2022. /Xinhua

People choose food at a business center in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 25, 2022. /Xinhua

Optimizing the response to COVID-19 means that Chinese residents will be prepared to travel and spend money. Consumption will be a major boost to the economy, China Securities economist Huang Wentao said in an interview with Xinhua recently. Wu Chaoming, an economist at the Chasing International Economic Institute, believes that China’s spending will increase from 8 percent to 12 percent in the new year.

Many foreign companies are also enjoying the Chinese economy. “Although (the slowdown in China’s handling of COVID-19) may cause problems in the short term, we believe we will see a short-term recovery,” said Kenichi Tanaka, president of Fujifilm (China) Investment Co., Ltd. , as reported by Xinhua.

But in some Western media, everything about China is changed. In their eyes, a change in the management of COVID-19 could lead to a “bad” economic outlook, but for now, a zero-COVID world policy would mean that the economy has failed.

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Have previous zero-covid policies led to poor economic performance? Indeed, the grueling battle against the virus over the past three years has created confusion. But China’s economy has managed to consolidate its resilience. It has not only ensured people’s lives, but has won many countries in terms of trade and production.

China-Europe freight train at Alataw Pass, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Sept.  10, 2022. /Xinhua

China-Europe freight train at Alataw Pass, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Sept. 10, 2022. /Xinhua

China-Europe freight train at Alataw Pass, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Sept. 10, 2022. /Xinhua

Taking into account the impact of the virus on the global economy, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by about 4.6 percent from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2022, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. . This is above the global average. The rate in the United States – the world’s largest economy – was at 1.6 percent during the same period. Major developed countries including Germany, France, Britain, and Japan saw their GDP grow below 0.5 percent.

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Moreover, compared to the US which saw its prices rise to the highest level in 40 years, China has kept this rate very low. According to Moody’s Analytics 2022 data, inflation has caused the average American household to spend $445 more per month compared to a year ago. While the rising cost of food, energy, and shelter is already straining many American households’ budgets, China is seeing a decline in food prices – down 0.8 percent month-over-month in November. The National Bureau of Statistics has shown.

China’s strong zero-COVID policies over the past three years cannot be equated with a closed-door policy. According to the General Administration of Customs, China’s foreign trade increased by 8.6 percent year-on-year to 38.34 trillion (5.78 trillion US dollars) in the first 11 months of 2022.

Truth speaks louder than words. Amidst the changes, China’s policy on COVID-19 is constantly changing. The Chinese people, rather than the Western media, have the greatest say in the outcome of their country’s policies.

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