2020 coming to end: China's major socio-economic achievements
Lujiazui Financial District, Shanghai, China. /CFP

Lujiazui Financial District, Shanghai, China. /CFP

China's economy tumbled in the first quarter of 2020 as the country issued stay-at-home order to contain the spread of coronavirus, which caused a majority of business activities to shrink at a large scale. 

With the outbreak gradually being controlled in the country and thorough epidemic prevention works, China's economy managed to bounce back from the virus slump, which reflects in the country's economic figures. 

China's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 is expected to cross the 100-trillion-yuan mark, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a New Year address on Thursday.

Read more: Full text of Xi Jinping's 2021 New Year address

Taking lead in achieving positive growth

Reviewing China's socio-economic achievements on the last day of 2020, Xi said: "We have overcome the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, balancing epidemic prevention work and economic development, which gained significant achievements."

Among major economies, China has taken the lead in achieving positive growth this year, he added.

China is expected to see an annual growth rate of 2.1 percent this year, according to a recent report by the Bank of China.

Earlier in December, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development projected that the global economy would grow by 4.2 percent next year, with China expected to account for over a third of the growth.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector maintained over the benchmark of 50, recording 51.9 in December, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. The index serves as a key gauge of China's manufacturing activity. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction. 

The country's industrial sector has staged a star-spangled recovery from COVID-19 thanks to the surprisingly strong exports.

China's exports in November rose at the fastest pace since February 2018, helped by strong global demand for industrial products and raw materials, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Decisive victory in poverty alleviation

China has overcome difficulties to forge ahead in 2020, making historic achievements in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and a decisive victory in poverty alleviation, Xi said.

Over the past eight years, about 100 million people in rural areas have been lifted out of poverty, and 832 impoverished counties have all been declared poverty-free, he said, adding that having inspected 14 rural areas of dire poverty over these years, the determination and devotion of folks battling against poverty often cross his mind.

Upon completion of the poverty eradication task this year, China achieves the goals set in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule. This is of great significance to both China and the world, as no country in the world has ever lifted so many people out of poverty in such a short period of time.

"Being lifted out of poverty is not an end in itself but the starting point of a new life and a new pursuit."
 -  Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a symposium on securing a decisive victory in poverty alleviation in March.

"(We) still need to work hard to paint a magnificent picture of rural vitalization, and steadily march ahead towards the goal of common prosperity," he said.

Momentum from new development pattern

The year witnessed China successfully completing key tasks from the 13th Five-Year Plan and setting new goals in the 14th Five-Year Plan. Xi said China will accelerate the establishment of a new development pattern and deepen high-quality development.

The new development pattern first mentioned by Xi at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in May is at the center of China's future development policies. Since then, he has repeatedly stressed the importance of the new development pattern to both China and the world economy on various occasions.

Under such a pattern, China's economy posits to be dominated by domestic economic circulation and facilitated by circulation between China and the rest of the world.

It is seen as a new solution by China to achieve sustainable and healthy development against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, coordinate domestic development, and opening-up, and pursue a higher level of economic equilibrium.

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