High-rise buildings are seen along the river in Shanghai. (Photo: Sipa)
WASHINGTON -- The Chinese economy has been on a solid footing while enduring the coronavirus-related lockdowns, and by focusing on the qualitative aspects of development, China's strategy will surely benefit the world, a US expert on international affairs has said.
"China's quick victory" over the COVID-19 pandemic "put the Chinese economy in a better situation than the rest of the world," said William Jones, Washington bureau chief of the US publication Executive Intelligence Review, adding that by maintaining its productive capability, China will not only benefit its own economy once the pent-up demand is released post-pandemic, but also provide "a lifeline" for countries that have "maintained the production lines in China."
On China opting for a strategy that gives full play to the advantage of its huge domestic market, Jones said the fact that the export markets have shrunk during the pandemic makes China's choice reasonable.
"The Chinese market is undoubtedly the biggest national market in the world, and with rising living standards it will only get bigger," Jones said. "What is the problem with utilizing this consumer market for pushing your economy forward?"
Looking beyond the current public health crisis, Jones elaborated on human creativity, which he said is the source of innovation -- something China is rightly focusing on as it stresses the importance of high-quality development.
"In many respects China has already become an innovation hub of the world and the direction laid out by the Chinese government will only enhance that quality," Jones said. "And with its own home-grown capabilities and its native talent, China should do well, even with increased competition."
The expert hailed in particular China's decision not to choose isolationism or protectionism for the sake of its own growth in an era when international cooperation has been impeded by a certain sentiment of unfairness resulting from decades of globalization.
"China is wise to continue its opening up ... And the world has benefited greatly from China's opening up," he said.
While predicting a future world bearing the hallmarks of deeper integration and more development options as a result of growing international division of labor, Jones highlighted the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, saying it "created a new paradigm for mankind" and will especially benefit developing countries.
"The future does not lie in a return to a world divided, as some in the West seem to want through their vicious attacks on China," said Jones. "And I think the majority of people in almost all countries are probably in agreement that we have got to move to a new, more just, economic system, and China can play a major role in helping bring that about."