China capable of coordinating dynamic COVID control, economic growth
China has adjusted epidemic control measures in Beijing and Shanghai after the latest round of COVID-19 resurgence was brought under control. This, however, cannot be simply deemed as restriction lift as the country is still pursuing a dynamic approach to ensure both epidemic control and social and economic development.
For China, anti-epidemic efforts and economic growth are not an either-or choice. While prioritizing lives and health in line with a people-centered development philosophy, the country has always stressed the importance of coordinating epidemic control with economic and social development.
To this end, China has continued to fine-tune its anti-virus approach, making it ever more scientifically sound, precise and effective, so as to minimize the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development.
Among other measures, the country introduced a differentiated approach, which features dynamic adjustment of epidemic response in light of the situation on the ground.
Administrative areas are classified into regions of high, medium and low risk to enable the utmost mobility while containing the virus. Work and life could soon restore in areas of low and medium risk. Detailed policies and standards are in place to ensure the operation of the mechanism.
When community transmission is cut off, cities would further adjust their anti-epidemic measures and gradually return to normalcy. Take Beijing for example. Dine-in services at restaurants became available this week after one month of suspension, campuses were gradually reopened, and libraries, museums, cinemas and gyms resumed operations in most districts.
But vigilance remains. To guard against any resurgence that might erase previous progress in the fight against the virus, cities adopt a routine epidemic control mode, which requires body-temperature checking, health code scanning, and a negative nucleic acid test report, among others.
Thanks to the robust defense built with all the sophisticated strategies mentioned above, China has managed to prevent infections as much as possible, while its industries have largely remained unscathed in waves of outbreaks. This could greatly explain how the world’s second-largest economy was able to log an 8.1-percent rise in GDP in 2021 and expand another 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2022.
Omicron, the latest variant of COVID-19, is much more contagious and evasive compared to its predecessors. It has weighed on the economy since its appearance in China late last year, but the country faces the challenges squarely and honestly.
A package of 33 measures was unveiled in May, covering fiscal, financial, investment, consumption and many other policies to stabilize the economy. Efforts will be made to boost port efficiency and ensure the summer grain harvest. China also reaffirmed its commitment to opening up and pledged more measures to stabilize foreign trade and investment.
Positive signs have already come. The purchasing managers’ index — a key gauge of manufacturing activity — came in at 49.6 in May, up from 47.4 in April. And a mid-year shopping bonanza is roaring on the way. Online retailers including JD.com have reported strong sales volume from the beginning of this month, an indication of a comeback in consumption.
In the just-concluded annual college entrance exam in China, a record 11.93 million people sit the examination safely and smoothly, an increase of 1.15 million from 2021. This, once again, proves that China is capable of curbing the virus while ensuring social and economic development.