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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Green Wave: Two Sessions Highlight China’s Push for Sustainable Development

ChinaGreen Wave: Two Sessions Highlight China's Push for Sustainable Development

Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Griffith University in Australia, sees China’s work agenda for 2023 in a positive light, particularly in terms of international diplomacy. Budiman emphasized that China has a strategic position in the world’s security, not only due to its vast population but also due to its economic and political clout at the global level. He commended Beijing for actively supporting global health security and taking steps to strengthen cooperation in this area.

Khalid Taimur Akram, executive director of the Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future, Islamabad, noted that the world is facing unprecedented challenges in the form of climate change and pandemics. He praised China’s efforts to adopt clean energy and improve carbon reduction and energy conservation. According to the annual work report from the Chinese government, air quality in cities at and above the prefectural level has been good or excellent on 86.5 percent of the days over the past five years, which is a 4-percentage-point improvement over the previous five-year period.

The Chinese government’s focus on sustainable development and climate change mitigation is in line with global efforts to address these issues. In recent years, China has emerged as a global leader in the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind power. The country has also taken measures to reduce emissions from industries such as steel and cement, which are major contributors to air pollution.

Moreover, China’s efforts to improve global health security have been critical in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has provided medical supplies and expertise to countries in need, and has taken steps to support the development and distribution of vaccines. China’s experience in controlling the spread of the virus within its borders has also provided valuable lessons for other countries facing similar challenges.

The two sessions have showcased the government’s dedication to addressing these critical issues, and the GDP target set for 2023 is a testament to China’s determination to achieve high-quality growth. As the world faces unprecedented challenges, China’s leadership in these areas will be critical in shaping a more sustainable and resilient future.

Yersultan Zhanseitov, a senior expert at the Institute of World Economics and Politics in Kazakhstan, stated that the two sessions and the Government Work Report are crucial for observers to understand the Chinese path to modernization and keep pace with China’s future development. The report, delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on March 5th, emphasized the importance of high-quality and green development. This emphasis suggests that China’s commitment to sustainable development is not just lip service, but a concrete goal that the government is taking seriously.

Agshin Aliyev, a Sinologist from Azerbaijan, believes that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is not just the expectation of the Chinese government, but of ordinary Chinese people as well. He stated that the Chinese government is led by experienced politicians and administrators who understand the feelings of the people and work for the benefit of the people. This highlights the importance of the government’s focus on high-quality development and its commitment to achieving sustainable development that benefits the people.

Bart Edes, a distinguished fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, noted that the Chinese government is trying to strike a balance between its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2060 and its need for stable and secure energy supplies. This balance is crucial because China is the world’s largest energy consumer and must find a way to reduce its carbon footprint without disrupting its energy supplies. Achieving this balance is not only essential for China’s development but for the world’s efforts to combat climate change.

The Chinese government’s emphasis on green development is also important for global efforts to address climate change. As the world’s largest carbon emitter, China plays a critical role in the fight against climate change. The Chinese government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality not only benefits China but also sets an example for other countries to follow.

The Chinese government’s focus on high-quality and green development, as highlighted in the Government Work Report and the two sessions, is a positive sign for China’s future development. This focus reflects a commitment to achieving sustainable development that benefits the people and the planet. As China continues to grow and develop, its efforts to balance economic growth with environmental protection will have implications not just for China but for the world as a whole.

The successful implementation of COVID-19 policies in China has led to a surge in consumption and business activity, making the government’s growth target of approximately 5% for 2023 appear achievable, if not conservative, according to Bart Edes, a distinguished fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. He pointed out that the purchasing managers index for the manufacturing industry reached its highest level in over a decade last month.

The positive effects of China’s handling of COVID-19 have not gone unnoticed by the international community, as it has prevented new suffering that could threaten global health, said Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Griffith University in Australia. This has also given people worldwide reason to be optimistic that the pandemic could come to an end this year. Budiman added that we are now likely to enter a new phase of COVID-19, which could involve small outbreaks or becoming endemic, but under control.

The containment of COVID-19 in China has also had a significant impact on the country’s economic growth. According to Edes, the optimization of COVID-19 policies has led to a sharp increase in business and consumption activity. This has created an environment where the government’s growth target of about 5% for 2023 seems attainable, and possibly even too conservative.

The successful management of COVID-19 in China has far-reaching implications, including reducing the risk of new outbreaks and preventing the spread of the virus across the world. As such, Budiman argued that the success in handling COVID-19 is a testament to China’s commitment to global health security, among other things.

Fu Xiaolan, the director of the Technology and Management Center for Development at the University of Oxford, stated that China’s growth target was “slightly lower” than what she had expected. During the 10th Oxford China Forum held at Oxford University, she explained that the target implies a realistic, pragmatic approach towards China’s growth, prioritizing high-quality development over pure high growth. She also mentioned that the target is a positive indication that authorities are steering towards sustainable development.

Tianchen Xu, an economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said that achieving the 5% GDP growth target should be relatively easy, given the low comparison base last year and the robust recovery underway. Despite the relatively conservative GDP target, he does not view it as an indication of government pessimism. He suggested that actual growth may exceed the target.

Fu Xiaolan added that China’s growth will be beneficial for global recovery, fostering increasing international cooperation in trade and economic fields, as well as educational and cultural exchanges that bring tangible benefits to the people. Aliyev from Azerbaijan also emphasized the significance of China’s growth for the world, stating that such growth would be conducive to global rebound.

Experts agreed that China’s GDP growth target suggests that authorities are committed to promoting high-quality development, which is a positive indication for China’s future development. The lower target is pragmatic and implies a shift towards sustainable development that prioritizes long-term growth over short-term gains. By achieving the growth target, China is expected to contribute to global economic recovery, providing momentum for international cooperation in various fields, and delivering substantial benefits to people worldwide.

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