In 2023, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.2%, slightly exceeding the annual target of about 5%, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics. This growth, while surpassing expectations, represents a historical slowdown in China’s decades-long economic expansion. The country’s GDP reached a new high of 126.06 trillion yuan ($17.71 billion) last year, with a 5.2% increase observed in the final quarter.
This economic data was released alongside comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding the country’s financial system, highlighting its distinct approach compared to Western models. President Xi stressed the importance of addressing and preventing financial risks, particularly systemic ones, in the face of economic challenges. He emphasized the need for a strong economic base to become a financial superpower. He focused on aspects like a resilient currency, a strong central bank, robust financial institutions, international financial centres, effective supervision and regulation, and a skilled pool of financial professionals.
Trust Between Countries
Premier Li Qiang, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, focused on the theme of “Rebuilding Trust.” He emphasized the critical importance of trust between nations for global progress and acknowledged the difficulties posed by a lack of trust. Premier Li called for setting aside prejudices, enhancing cooperation, and tackling the trust deficit to adapt to this new era marked by turbulence and transformation. Despite these challenges, he remains optimistic about the trajectory of global progress.
The dual emphasis on financial stability by President Xi Jinping and the advocacy for rebuilding trust by Premier Li Qiang highlight China’s strategic priorities in the context of changing global circumstances. During this period of transformation, the economic data and statements from the leadership provide key insights into China’s strategies for maintaining growth, managing risks, and playing a role in global cooperation.