Published: 11:00, January 20, 2023 | Updated: 11:00, January 20, 2023
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No backtracking on reform and opening-up
By China Daily

With the refining of the COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control measures, the Chinese economy is set for a robust rebound in growth, and China took the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as an opportunity to consolidate the world's confidence that the rebound will be sustained and to welcome foreign investment.

For that purpose, in his speech, Vice-Premier Liu He touched upon almost every key strength of the Chinese economy — its potential and openness in particular — and the Communist Party of China's resolve to let the world continue to share the development dividends of the second-largest economy.

Yet it was his assertion that the Party is not returning the country to a planned economy, which as he said, is "by no means possible", that has caught the most attention, as it represents a direct rebuttal to growing speculation to that effect.

In the first place, it should be seen that almost all major economies have given more play to the government's role in adjusting the market and economy over the past three years to cushion the impacts of the pandemic, the spillover effects of the US-manufactured inflation and the shocks of escalating geopolitical tensions. China is not only not immune to any of these factors, but also bears the main brunt of the United States' decoupling and containment attempts.

Be it the efforts to form a dual-circulation economic paradigm or the probes into malpractices of some big-name private companies, such moves should be observed against that background. They are all necessary to defuse risks in the process of opening-up, and plug loopholes in the market supervision so as to prevent monopoly practices and encourage healthy market competition.

It is a distortion to ignore the inherent connections of these moves with other macro-adjustment actions, and overgeneralize the overall trend of the Chinese economy as becoming more introverted and closed, if not the intention of the Party, from that partial observation. That prejudiced analysis caters to the China-bashing forces in the US, and serves their push to decouple the US economy from that of China, as well as their attempts to pervert the goals of the CPC.

Those parroting that biased appraisal are simply disregarding the crucial role the private economy plays in China. The private sector accounts for more than 50 percent of the government's tax revenue, over 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product, over 70 percent of innovations, more than 80 percent of jobs and over 90 percent of the number of enterprises and businesses.

The difficulties the private economy faces originate from multiple factors, as well as some institutional restrictions, rather than the Party or the government, which instead have remained steadfast in supporting its healthy development and maintaining its dynamism through deepening systematic reforms and using suitable policy tools in ways that comply with both the actual situation in China and the practices of the world market.

That is why the connections between China and the world economy have only become stronger and closer, and China remains a magnet for investment.