From Xinhua News Agency, Dec. 20, 2023. Complete text:

Beijing – China has made historic achievements in economic and social spheres in the new era.

Considering these accomplishments, Xinhua has compiled data and facts showcasing advancements in 10 key areas over the past decade. These insights unveil the driving forces behind the sustained growth of the world’s second-largest economy.

Rapid economic expansion.

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) more than doubled, rapidly expanding to 121 trillion RMB (about $17 trillion) in 2022 from 59.3 trillion RMB in 2013, with an average annual growth rate of over 6%.

China has emerged as a key stabilizing force and growth booster for the world economy. Over the past decade, the share of the Chinese economy in the global total has surged from 12.3% to over 18%, with the country contributing approximately one-third of the global economic growth during this period.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and many multinational financial institutions have recently revised China’s growth forecasts, reflecting confidence in China’s economic development.

Steven Barnett, IMF senior resident representative in China, said that China remains the biggest engine of global economic development in 2023, contributing one-third of the global growth.

Vanquishing poverty.

China launched a monumental anti-poverty campaign on a scale unseen anywhere in the world, and the final 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living under the current poverty line have all been lifted out of poverty.

The country has met the poverty eradication target set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule.

With absolute poverty eliminated in China, the country’s per capita disposable income grew from 16,500 RMB to 36,883 RMB in the past 10 years, creating the world’s largest middle-income group of more than 400 million people.

Experts expect China’s middle-income population to expand to over 800 million in the next 15 years, which is leading to a gigantic domestic market.

Huge consumer market.

With deeper pockets, Chinese people are more inclined towards spending. China’s total retail sales of consumer goods increased from 23.8 trillion RMB in 2013 to 44 trillion RMB in 2022, forming the world’s second-largest consumption market.

The box office revenue in the summer of 2023 exceeded 20 billion RMB. During the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday this year, the number of domestic tourists nationwide reached 826 million, a surge of 71.3% year on year.

China’s courier sector continued to flourish in 2023, with its annual delivery volume exceeding 120 billion parcels for the first time.

Expenditure of end consumers contributed 83.2% of economic growth in the first three quarters of this year and the share rose to 94.8% in the third quarter, which highlighted consumption’s role as a main engine for economic development.

Steady job creation.

China attaches great importance to employment and considers job creation a top priority. The country has consistently implemented pro-employment measures to address this crucial aspect.

Since 2012, the number of newly created urban jobs every year has stayed above 11 million, with the figure already reaching 11.09 million in January-October this year.

In addition, China has improved the social security system that covers the entire population and has woven a dense social security net to protect people’s well-being.

Expanded trade.

China’s total goods trade exceeded 42 trillion RMB in 2022, topping the world rankings for six consecutive years.

China has seen a significant improvement in trade competitiveness over the past years, as the country has accelerated innovation-driven development, cultivated new advantages in trade competition, optimized trade environment, improved trade facilitation and developed digital trade.

China took up 14.7% of the global export market in 2022, leading the world for 14 years in a row. The country’s cross-border e-commerce trade topped 2 trillion RMB for the first time in 2022.

China’s progress in building up its strength in trade has provided strong support for stabilizing the macroeconomy, said Zhuang Rui, executive dean of the Institute of International Economy at the University of International Business and Economics.

Growing fiscal revenue,

China’s fiscal revenue stood at around 20.4 trillion RMB in 2022, rising significantly from about 12.9 trillion RMB in 2013.

China’s growing fiscal revenue was underpinned by the country’s steady progress in economic development and expanded economic scale in the past 10 years, said He Daixin, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The country’s fiscal expenditure increased from around 14 trillion RMB in 2013 to 26.1 trillion RMB in 2022, robustly supporting key realms like education, science and technology, people’s livelihood, agriculture and rural areas.

Bumper harvests.

China’s grain output hit a record high of 695.41 million [metric] tons in 2023, marking the ninth consecutive year for the country to register a grain harvest of over 650 million tons.

The Chinese people have managed to “hold their rice bowls firmly in their own hands” by prioritizing efforts to safeguard agricultural areas and enhance grain yield per unit area. The country is also striving to enhance technological support for crop cultivation and has improved subsidy policies to encourage farmers to grow grains.

A new high in grain output has laid a solid foundation for the country to advance rural revitalization and build up its strength in agriculture.

Achievements in innovation.

Since 2012, China has put scientific and technological innovation high on the agenda to boost modernization and switched to innovation-driven development.

The country’s entire spending on R&D amounted to 3.09 trillion RMB in 2022, tripling from 1 trillion RMB in 2012, with China boasting the world’s largest group of R&D personnel.

Significant achievements have been made in manned spaceflight, moon and Mars exploration, deep-sea and deep-Earth exploration, supercomputers, satellite navigation, quantum information technology, nuclear power technology, new energy technology, large aircraft manufacturing and biological medicine.

China rose to the 11th spot on the Global Innovation Index 2022 issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization, marking a consistent upward trend for 10 consecutive years.

Greener growth.

China pursues green and low-carbon methods in production and life. Despite achieving annual economic growth of 6.6% over the past decade, the country managed to limit its annual energy consumption growth to just 3%.

China’s carbon intensity in 2020 was 48.4% lower than that in 2005, surpassing its commitment to the international community to achieve a 40% to 45% reduction in carbon intensity from the 2005 level by the year 2020.

The drop in carbon intensity translates to a total reduction of about 5.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 to 2020.

Over the past 10 years, China has planted over 1.02 billion mu (68 million hectares) of trees, creating the world’s largest area of planted forests.

Closer connectivity.

By the end of 2022, China had constructed the largest high-speed rail network and expressway network globally and built world-class ports.

The country boasts some 155,000 kilometers of railways, 5.35 million kilometers of highways, about 21,000 ship berths for production and 254 civil airports.

Regular international flights operated by Chinese airlines connect 153 cities in 62 countries and courier services provided by Chinese companies cover over 220 countries and regions in the world.

In the area of telecommunications, China has completed building the world’s largest optical fiber network and world-leading internet infrastructure, with the number of 5G base stations reaching almost 3.22 million by the end of October this year.