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In Year of Dragon, changing Chinese economy is assuring in times of global uncertainty

By Wang Fan (Xinhua)

12:48, January 23, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- With the last second of the Chinese lunar year of Rabbit being counted down on Sunday, joyous Chinese people erupted in cheers and glittering fireworks displayed against the night sky to greet the Chinese lunar year of Dragon.

The Chinese dragon, opposite to its western counterpart, is perceived as an auspicious, powerful and dynamic icon, always courageous enough to face daunting challenges.

China's efforts to strike balance between promoting growth and restructuring its export-driven economy along a path full of unexpected twists and pot-holes have best defined the spirits of the Chinese dragon.

Despite facing stiff headwinds from a flagging world economy and a festering eurozone debt crisis, China still managed to reach a growth rate of 9.2 percent in 2011, dwarfing any other major economy in the world.

More to the point, a breakdown of China's GDP growth reveals that the country is shifting away from its lopsided growth model toward a more balanced and sustainable one, with consumption contributing a larger share to China's GDP growth than previous years.

The latest data released by China's National Bureau of Statistics showed that investment and consumption contributed 54.2 percent and 51.6 percent to China's GDP growth in 2011, while net exports registered a negative 5.8 percent.

The better tone should also be fed into retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, which rose 18.1 percent year-on-year in December, up from the 17.3-percent growth seen in November.

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