By Chu Maoming, China’s Consul General in Lagos
China’s GDP registered a 3.2 percent year-on-year growth in the second quarter of this year, versus a 6.8 percent contraction in the first quarter, making China the first major economy to grow since the start of COVID-19. The reason that China can achieve this economic bounce is that ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, China adopted comprehensive, strict and precise measures for prevention and control. The Central Government has rolled out a raft of measures, including more fiscal spending, tax relief and supportive employment policies, to revive the economy.
As I indicated in my previous article, “the impact of the epidemic is short-lived and temporary. It will not change the momentum of steady and long-term economic growth in China.” China, now in a better position to handle any contingencies in the future, remains an important engine for global growth. Its market is still huge, inclusive and open. The growth in the second quarter further demonstrates that the world’s second-largest economy has a solid base for further expansion.
The world’s confidence in the prospects of China’s development is well-founded. The country’s economic recovery will continue in the second half of the year, powered by the rapidly growing new industries and business models, as well as the strong support from macro policies.
The dark moment is passing, but full recovery could take time. China will further deepen reforms, expand opening-up and improve its business environment to achieve high-quality development.
That the Chinese economy has shifted from slowing down to rising, is a strong evidence that the adverse impact of the epidemic can be overcome with resolve, courage and correct actions. The bounce-back provides hope to other countries looking to recover from a crisis that has caused a global recession.
In today’s world, the interests of all countries are highly integrated. Win-win cooperation is the trend of the times. China will be unswervingly committed to pursuing the path of peaceful development, promoting the building of an open world economy and supporting international solidarity against the coronavirus until victory is won for all.
The year 2020 is a difficult time for the world facing waves of virus cases, rising protectionism and other uncertainties. During these trying times, no matter how the domestic and international economic situation evolves, China will always stand on the right side of history.
COVID-19 is a severe crisis and test to the world. China applauds the solidarity and mutual support between China and Africa in fighting the virus alongside each other. At the early stage of its battle against the coronavirus, China received valuable support from Nigeria and other African countries. When Africa was hit by the virus, China felt keenly for it and rushed to Africa’s aid. China provided medical supplies and shared experience to shore up Africa’s response capacity and expertise. China called for greater support for African countries on multiple occasions, and China is stepping up the implementation of the relevant measures and will continue to do its best to support Nigeria and other African countries in COVID-19 response and economic recovery.
To pull through this trying time, China will work with African countries to implement the outcomes of the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19. While keeping in place containment measures, the two sides could explore flexible ways to steadily advance cooperation. We are in strong favour of closer coordination between China and African countries to uphold international equity and justice, promote multilateralism and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. After the joint battle against COVID-19, the China-Africa relationship will reach new height and deliver even greater benefits to the two peoples.