A US official and pundit have spoken positively of China’s economic transition and reforms while calling for faster and bolder steps to be taken.
The comments were made as the US Treasury Department announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will travel to China this week.
Lew will be in Shanghai on Feb 26 and Feb 27 for the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, followed by trips to Beijing and Hong Kong.
In a website article in the US entitled The Importance of China’s Transition to Smarter Growth, Nathan Sheets, the treasury undersecretary for international affairs, said the Chinese economy had climbed well above $10 trillion, or five times the figure when China hosted the G20 finance ministers’ meeting in 2005.
He described China as a key driver of commodity markets, a critical link in global supply chains and, increasingly, a source of end demand for exports of other countries’ goods and services.”
We have long known that China’s move from an economy dependent on manufacturing and investment toward one more reliant on services and household consumption would not be easy,” Sheets wrote on medium.com.
“But the transition is necessary for the economy to rebalance toward more sustainable engines of demand.”
Chinese leaders have repeatedly voiced their determination to make such a transition to achieve a more sustainable development model.
“Important progress has been made,” Sheets said, citing faster growth in China’s services sector than in the industrial sector in the past three years.
Investment in services and more consumption-led sectors have remained strong, even as overall investment has slowed. And the number of new businesses registered last year－many in the services sector－was 4.4 million, a 22 percent annual increase, Sheets wrote.
Household and government consumption accounted for two-thirds of last year’s GDP growth, and 13 million jobs were created in 2015 in urban areas, far exceeding the government target.