Racing against time and virus, China merits global confidence
  ·  2022-05-18  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency

Shanghai has cut off the community transmission in the latest resurgence of COVID-19 infections in all districts, as businesses began to resume operation starting May 17.

In the shifting sands of time, this demonstrates once again that China deserves greater international confidence for its relentless fight against the epidemic.

More than two years into the epidemic, the country has been making achievements in coordinating epidemic control and economic and social development.

China was among the first countries to bring the epidemic under control, resume work and production, and return to positive growth territory in 2020. In 2021, the country fought off the Delta variant and its economy logged a growth rate of 8.1 percent.

The balancing act continues in its battle against Omicron, a highly transmissible and evasive variant of COVID-19.

Northeast China's Jilin Province has reported tens of thousands of new infections, attributable to the Omicron variant, since March. But by April 14, the province cut off all community transmission chains.

In the south, Shenzhen stamped out similar flare-ups that hit the metropolis. Factories in the global technology hub were running at near or full capacity while adhering to the dynamic zero-COVID policy.

A healthy labor force is another reason for the world to count on China amid the pandemic. Any loss of life is irretrievable. Economic and social development is much more possible when the epidemic is brought under control and the population is healthy. This is a crucial consideration underlying China's proactive stance toward COVID-19.

While some countries have scaled back anti-epidemic restrictions, China is well aware that given its own demographics, economic disparities between regions, and insufficient medical resources, widespread infections would be inevitable if it follows suit. Critical cases and deaths would ensue.

Thanks to its effective epidemic response, China's infection, mortality and hospitalization rates have remained low. This has paved the way for the resumption of normal production and life despite multiple sporadic outbreaks.

The latest COVID-19 resurgence, for example, has dented the economy, but the impact is largely short-term.

For instance, Shenzhen registered a 2 percent GDP growth in the first three months. In Jilin and Shanghai, there are already positive signs in economic indicators such as power generation and consumption. The pent-up economic activity will be unleashed nonetheless as the virus wanes and an economic rebound is in sight.

Most importantly, China's economic fundamentals, including its strong resilience, enormous potential, vast room for maneuver, and long-term sustainability, remain unchanged amid the epidemic.

The country's industrial system is whole and complete. Infrastructures are being continuously upgraded and the market capacity is massive. Innovation-driven development continues to deliver. And not to mention the strong policy support offered by the government.

To stabilize market entities, China has rolled out policies and measures to help industries, individually-owned businesses, and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises hit hard by the epidemic.

Despite the onslaught of Omicron, the country's GDP grew 4.8 percent in the first three months, outpacing the fourth quarter's 4-percent growth. Such a growth rate does not pale in comparison with any other major economies worldwide.

In the latest development, China's foreign trade expanded by 7.9 percent in the first four months from a year earlier. The foreign direct investment into the country rose 20.5 percent in the same period and foreign capital has flipped back to net inflow in April from net outflow in March.

For any insightful investors, a safe and predictable environment is always a priority consideration when they make investments. As Omicron wreaks havoc around the world and markets struggle to find a new footing in the fluid reality, no one would like to put their money into a country that sits on the sideline in the face of a high death toll. China, for its part, is much more attractive for investment in this sense.


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