China’s recovery from the economic downturn of the pandemic is now a foregone conclusion as the country achieves record-breaking economic growth. China’s economy leaped 18.3% in Q1 of 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2021 – its biggest GDP expansion since the country started recording quarterly growth in 1992.
However, some experts believe that the figures are an understatement, and that the country is poised for much faster GDP growth. According to them, the figure only looks dramatic when compared to one of the most perilous times in the modern history of the country’s economy.
China’s GDP plunged 6.8% during the nationwide lockdowns at the height of the coronavirus outbreak. While the country has only slightly surpassed pre-pandemic growth levels, the records look dramatic because they’re compared to all-time lows.
Other dramatic figures released include a 14.1% increase in industrial output and a 34.2% jump in retail sales between comparable quarters in 2020 and 2021.
However, the news has been welcomed with mixed reactions from the country’s government to the global community. This comes as the nation’s leaders are struggling to put their house in order over their climate change policies. China’s economic growth over the decades has been powered mostly by fossil fuel-guzzling activities that have brought about unprecedented levels of emission.
The country’s leaders have pledged to freeze out growth in its emissions by 2030 and clean up the economy totally by 2060.
However, world leaders like France’s President Macron and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel are pressing for a faster transition to clean energy, insisting that China can freeze emission growth as early as 2025.
World leaders are also pressuring China to desist from leading African nations down their path of heavy-emission growth with their funding of new coal-fueled power plants in these countries as part of their Belt and Road Initiatives.
Other concerns raised about the economic growth figures are that they’re bubbles created by the fiscal monetary aid programs that the government is currently running. Experts believe that the accelerated growth rates in many sectors of the economy will simmer down when these programs wind down.
However, the Chinese government is setting its eyes on a GDP growth rate of 6% this year.