Saturday, Jul 22, 2017, 8:55 AM CST – China


China is on the right track in restructuring its economy

Positive trends in economic development are taking place, with the government making more of an effort to restructure the economy to be more people-oriented and environmentally friendly.

On July 15, the National Bureau of Statistics released a set of statistics measuring how the Chinese economy fared during the first half of the year. The data show that China’s GDP expanded by 7.0 percent year-on-year during that time period, slightly exceeding the median market forecast for growth, which was 6.9 percent. As China is challenged by an economic slowdown, the GDP growth rate has become a major concern for the Chinese government, which has set its annual growth target at 7.0 percent.

Recently, the government has implemented policies aimed at restructuring China’s economy in order to make it less dependent on State-led investment, more efficient, and more innovation- and consumption-driven. The July data indicate that some of these policies have started to take effect.

Firstly, output in the service sector increased by 8.4 percent during this period, considerably higher than growth in the agricultural and industrial sectors, which increased by 3.5 percent and 6.1 percent respectively. The service sector now accounts for 49.5 percent of China’s economy, 2.1 percent more than it did over the same period last year.

Secondly, despite the economic slowdown, employment appears to be improving, with an official unemployment rate of 5.1 percent. 7.18 million more urban jobs were created in the first two quarters, a surprisingly high number, accounting for 71.8 percent of projected job creation for the entire year. The increase in urban employment may be a result of various government-led initiatives to encourage innovation and to boost the development of start-ups.

Thirdly, 60 percent of the economic growth in this period was driven by domestic consumption, an increase of 5.1 percent from last year. In comparison, the total volume of imports and exports decreased by 6.9 percent. The increase in domestic consumption is most likely driven by a better employment rate and a rise in disposable household income, which increased by 9.0 percent.

Positive trends in economic development are taking place, with the government making more of an effort to restructure the economy to be more people-oriented and environmentally friendly. The aim is to achieve what Chinese officials call a “better GDP.” In March of this year, the Chinese government adopted a new set of measurements with which it can evaluate the health of the economy. The government dropped “electronic power output” and “total cargo volume,” two statistics that have been used for decades, and adopted “research and development expenditures” and “energy intensity” as two major new factors in its evaluation system. According to the official data, energy intensity dropped by 5.9 percent in the first half of 2015.

There is no doubt that China is still under a huge amount of pressure to maintain its previous economic momentum and to prevent further slowdown, but these statistics show that the Chinese government is on the right track. 


Editor's Picks

Sex for Snacks

In cities like Shanghai and Chongqing, a handful of high school…[More]

Worked to Death

A growing number of young Chinese white-collar employees are dying of…[More]


How Communism’s most controversial theorist finally found an audience – in…[More]

What do Chinese People Want?

“I wish I could do what you do.”…[More]


A student of Buddhism with a keen interest in China’s…[More]

Prize Fighter

Elevated into the State-approved pantheon of great Chinese writers thanks to…[More]

Dams in Distress

In 1975, over 60 dams collapsed after a rainstorm in Zhumadian city, Henan…[More]

Pathologically Politicized

Practitioners at all levels concur that “messy” is the word that…[More]


China’s indigenous honey bee is under threat from both environmental…[More]

Exam Boot Camp

A middle school in Anhui province has earned a reputation for…[More]

The New Class

China’s growing online education market has attracted the attention of…[More]

From Stall to Mall

Taobao’s shift towards a business-to-consumer model has come at a…[More]

In Whose Court?

The failure of the country’s administrative litigation system has prompted…[More]

Tradition on Trial

After Confucianism made the maintenance of inequality between the sexes fundamental…[More]

Inevitable Brutality

The vicious murder of a doctor in a Zhejiang hospital shows…[More]

Progress or Pornography?

A new sex education primer aimed at elementary school-age children has…[More]

Graft Breeds Graft

The gap between the investigation and prosecution of official corruption cases…[More]

Saving Nature

The concept of animal welfare is yet to be widely acknowledged…[More]

Problem Solved?

Former Politburo member Bo Xilai’s public trial sends mixed messages…[More]


A 74-year-old man surnamed Xie from Shenyang, Liaoning Province was duped out of 420,000 yuan (US$69,342), despite bank employees’ efforts to…[More]

An Avoidable Tragedy

Poor city planning and lax safety regulations turned a minor gas…[More]


A policeman pulled his gun to dissuade villagers from stealing oranges…[More]

Who Cares?

A new law decrees that all Chinese citizens are now obliged…[More]

Mean Streets

The chengguan system has become the most visible symptom of a…[More]

How do Chinese people live?

So, the bottom line is that Beijing is an expensive place.…[More]

Back in Action

After stagnating for 10 years, China’s SOE reform has fired up…[More]


The hanging coffins of the Bo people, a Chinese ethnic minority…[More]


Wang Xun, an archeologist with Peking University, arranged the bones of…[More]

Trust Trip

Embarking on a three-month car journey around China without handing over…[More]

Fading Lights

For those who grew up under the bright lights of China…[More]