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SCIO press conference on China's economic performance in 2023

China.org.cn | January 26, 2024



High-quality development is the primary task in building a modern socialist country in all respects. How has China progressed in high-quality economic development, and what measures will be taken in the continuous promotion of high-quality economic development in the future? Thank you.

Kang Yi:

Thank you for your questions. High-quality development is a necessity in the new era and the top priority for building a modern socialist country in all respects. In 2023, various regions and departments have put great efforts into stabilizing economic operations, and there has been no relaxation in promoting high-quality development. China's economy has effectively achieved qualitative improvement and reasonable growth in quantity, making the path of high-quality development more resolute and robust. In summary, we can use five "furthers" to encapsulate the progress.

First, significant progress has been made in developing a modernized industrial system, accelerating the replacement of old growth drivers with new ones. A modernized industrial system is the essential foundation of high-quality development. All localities and government departments have modernized the industrial system through technological innovation and moved the manufacturing sector toward higher-end, smarter, and greener production. New drivers and strengths for development have been steadily fostered, and new progress has been made in building a modernized industrial system.

Second, we have deepened reform and opening up, unleashing new impetus for development. In 2023, China made every effort to build a unified national market and created a better development environment for private businesses. We continued to foster a world-class business environment that is market-oriented, law-based, and internationalized, giving fresh impetus and vitality to economic development. By the end of September 2023, there had been 181 million registered business entities across the country, including 122 million self-employed individuals. We also accelerated efforts to promote high-standard opening up, carried out international economic and trade exchanges and cooperation, pursued high-quality BRI cooperation, and successfully held a number of major trade events such as the China International Import Expo (CIIE), the China International Fair for Trade in Service, and the China Import and Export Fair. Imports and exports between China and other BRI countries increased by 2.8%. The annual intended turnover of the latest CIIE increased 6.7% compared to the previous edition.

Third, we have steadily advanced the transition to green, low-carbon development, which has resulted in further transformation of China's growth model. China has promoted economic development through green, low-carbon transformation, which accelerates the development of green production and a green lifestyle. We have actively built an energy sector that is clean, low-carbon, safe, and efficient, improving the energy consumption structure. Preliminary assessments indicate that in 2023, the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption to total energy consumption saw a 0.2 percentage point increase year on year. At the end of 2023, China's installed capacity of renewable power exceeded that of thermal power for the first time in history, accounting for more than 50% of the total installed capacity. The output of green and low-carbon products has increased rapidly. In 2023, the output of NEVs rose by 30.3% year on year. Both the output and the sales of NEVs ranked the top in the world. The exports of electric manned vehicles increased by 67.1%.

Fourth, robust and effective measures have been taken to ensure people's well-being and raise their living standards. Improving people's well-being is the fundamental goal of development. In 2023, the incomes of urban and rural residents grew steadily, public services and social security continued to improve, and weak links in areas important to people's lives were gradually shored up. All these efforts make the improvement of people's well-being a defining feature of high-quality development. Per capita disposable income grew by 6.1%. Transfer payments, including social relief and subsidies from the government, policy-backed living allowances, and policy-backed subsidies paid in cash to benefit farmers, increased by 10.3%. We have continued to increase inputs in areas important to people's well-being. Investments in the production and supply of electricity, heat, gas, and water increased by 23%, while agricultural investment increased by 9.3%. Both outpaced the growth of total investment.

Fifth, we have enhanced food and energy security to reinforce the foundation of China's development security. In 2023, China guaranteed safety through development and showed stronger performance on the basis of ensuring safety.

Of course, at the same time, we are also aware that China's economy is in a pivotal period in the transformation of its growth model, its structural improvement, and its shift to new growth drivers. There are still many difficulties and challenges to tackle on our way to promoting high-quality development. We will thoroughly implement the guiding principles of the Central Economic Work Conference and take high-quality development as what really matters in the new era. We will work to both pursue high-quality development and safeguard high-level security so as to effectively upgrade and appropriately expand China's economic output. By doing so, we will turn the grand blueprint of Chinese modernization into reality step by step. Thank you. 

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