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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Farewell to double-digit GDP growth

(Global Times)

08:57, January 19, 2012

Consecutive years of double-digit economic growth have influenced the lives of most Chinese people. Under this remarkable economic growth rate, property owners' wealth sky rocketed due to high real estate prices, leaving those unable to afford a house feeling frustrated. China on the whole has become richer, but insecurity as to the future is increasing.

The double-digit growth rates in previous years were mainly driven by the development of real estate and government-run infrastructure construction. These promote development, but overheating in these sectors also produced a high vacancy rate of buildings. Nearly every county in China has a wide main avenue and functional districts. This vividly mirrors the excesses of China's infrastructure construction.

If the economic growth rate slows to around 8 percent, there may be fewer opportunities to make a fortune, but wealth will become more meaningful. A large portion of China's GDP growth is driven by a quest for money and the political score report of local authorities rather than public demands. A drop in GDP growth will restrain greed and "refine" economic progress.

The Chinese public demands improved livelihoods and this requires GDP growth. As there is still a long way for China to go to fully develop, China's GDP will not drop too far. Nowadays, a growth rate of 7 percent is a dream for most developed countries.

If China's GDP growth rate can stay around 8 percent, this will mean an end to high inflation in the long run and less pressure for forceful demolitions.

At present, some local leaders are quite keen on redesigning their cities. If there were fewer construction projects, they would be able to dedicate more time and energy to developing the broader economy.

China hasn't had the capability to consume accumulated wealth in a short timeframe. It has to lend the foreign exchange holdings created by exports to foreign governments and banks. Most domestic wealth is also deposited in banks and is not used to improve people's lives. Though Chinese people work hard to make money, most of the wealth is spent on excessive infrastructure construction and offshore banking.

The decline in GDP should stimulate Chinese people to reflect on wealth. It is time for the public to pay more attention to the quality of spending and not the quantity. China's fast development has brought prosperity, but we cannot blindly plough ahead.

Bidding farewell to double-digit growth does not mean stopping growth. We should not be too greedy and know that a more leisurely growth will create more social equality and happiness.


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