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Commentary: China brings breeze of hope to grim world economic landscape

2010-01-30 09:22:36 GMT2010-01-30 17:22:36 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Davos, the Swiss ski resort and home to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), has borne witness to China's confidence in its economic development and its share to help with world economic recovery.

A year ago, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao marked his "trip of confidence" to Europe with a speech at WEF.

"The harsh winter will be gone and spring is around the corner," Wen said at that time when world economy was falling into its worst crisis since World War II.

A year later, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, China's top-level guest to WEF this year, brought the same message of confidence to Davos.

"Though it is winter, here we feel the spring of the coming economic recovery," Li told more than 2,500 participants at the forum Thursday.

China's confidence is justified with its effective response to the international financial crisis over the past year.

In an exclusive interview with the Financial Times last February, Premier Wen said China aimed to maintain an annual growth of around 8 percent in 2009 despite the financial crisis.

Lionel Barber, editor of the British newspaper, appeared to believe that the target could only be "magically" achieved, but China managed to turn it into reality.

"China's GDP (gross domestic product) grew by 8.7 percent in 2009," thanks to government's proper handling of the crisis, Vice Premier Li said, citing recent statistics.

The remarkable growth was achieved when the world economy as a whole shrank 0.8 percent last year, the first ever contraction since World War II, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

China's confidence is a firm conviction that the country would continue to maintain a steady and relatively fast growth this year and in a longer term.

Despite the international financial crisis, the fundamentals and long-term positive trend of China's economic development remains unchanged, Li said, noting the foundation for economic recovery has been consolidated.

The IMF estimated that China's economy would grow 10 percent this year and 9.7 percent next year, returning to the pre-crisis level and continue to serve as a locomotive for the world economy.

In response to the crisis, China availed itself of the opportunity to put its economy on a sustainable path.

Domestic demand, a long-time weak link in China's economy, played a key role in supporting the economic growth in 2009, showing a strong momentum of home-driven rather than export-reliant growth.

Its economic stimulus plan totaling 4 trillion yuan (586 billion U.S. dollars) was designed to improve people's well-being so as to boost domestic consumption and help make its economy more energy-saving and greener through restructuring.

China's confidence is based on a clear understanding of its own conditions.

Despite its remarkable economic growth over the past years, China is a developing country with a population of 1.3 billion. With its per capita national income ranking behind over 100 other countries, it has a formidable job to do for its economic development and a long way to go on its modernization process.

In the post-crisis era, China's economy is faced with many challenges as some deep-seated problems accumulated over the years remain unsolved and the world economic situation is still precarious.

Nevertheless, China's confidence sends a positive signal to the world economy.

China and other emerging economies have made greater contribution to the world economic growth in recent years. As figures by China's National Statistics Bureau indicated, around 20 percent of world economic growth could be attributed to China in 2007.

According to UN figures, China's economic increase accounted for half of world economic growth in 2009. When developed countries fell into negative growth, China brought confidence and hope to global economic recovery with steady and fast growth of its economy.

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