From Xinhua News Agency, Dec. 23, 2022. Complete text:
Beijing – The Chinese government has rolled out a string of modified measures based on the evolving pandemic situation and Beijing’s drive to better align anti-COVID efforts with economic and social development.
China has shifted the focus of its COVID-19 response strategy from infection control to case treatment to prevent severe cases. The shift was made following the weakened pathogenicity of the virus.
China’s epidemic prevention measures are well calibrated and are poised to lead China into the next era of development and advancement, said Lawrence Loh, director of the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the National University of Singapore.
For three years, China has kept the lowest infection and fatality rates among all major countries. The increase in life expectancy during the pandemic also speaks to China’s success against COVID.
China faced the outbreak of COVID-19 with courage, managing the disease to prevent the spread of more potent and deadly variants, said Ashraf el-Shihy, president of Egyptian Chinese University and Egypt’s former higher education minister.
China’s decisive and responsive anti-COVID measures have delivered a precious time window to brace its people for a showdown with the virus. While containing the virus throughout the pandemic, China built and reinforced a shield against the raging virus. In 2021 alone, China set up an additional 8,013 medical institutions, increased the number of hospital beds by 348,000 and trained 508,000 health workers.
The protective and control measures adopted after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 helped secure meager rates of death and infection, Huang Yanzhong, a senior fellow for global health at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.
China’s COVID-19 response strategy has undoubtedly paid off since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, said Emery Nzirabatinya, a Rwandan international relations expert, adding that the Chinese economy has maintained resilience amidst the pandemic.
China’s steady economic progress over the past three years has provided a solid anchor on the global economy, said Nzirabatinya.
The annual Central Economic Work Conference held in Beijing last week noted that China’s economic performance in 2023 is expected to witness an overall recovery.
The country’s optimized COVID-19 strategy will provide a much-needed booster shot to both the Chinese and global economies, experts have said.
Global analysts such as Morgan Stanley and UBS Global Wealth Management have upgraded their forecasts for China’s economic growth in 2023 to 5% or higher.
“We believe that the Chinese economy will improve in 2023. We think that a growth of 5% is possible and achievable thanks to the reopening of the economy,” Luca Paolini, chief strategist for Pictet Asset Management, told Xinhua.
“I believe there will be a lot of pent-up demand that will drive consumption higher, and this will be a big boost not only for the Chinese economy but also for the global economy overall,” he said.
There are all indications that China’s economic growth will be on an upward trend in the coming year, said Cavince Adhere, a Kenya-based international relations scholar, adding that Beijing is expected to contribute a lot to the global economic recovery next year.
The reopening of China to the world is something that countries have long anticipated, said Anna Malindog-Uy, vice president of the Manila-based think tank Asian Century Philippines Strategic Studies Institute. The opening of China’s market and economy to the world will reinvigorate global industrial and supply chains, Malindog-Uy said, adding that the Chinese economy will likely witness a robust recovery and upward trajectory, benefiting many countries across the globe.