The following is English translation of the excerpt
of an online article posted on forum of China.com by Spring
Weeping Willow (春风杨柳万千条):
On Oct. 22, we heard loud roars across the planet over China's
announcement that it recorded its gross domestic product
growth rate at 8.9% in the third quarter of 2009 compared
with the corresponding period last year.
As the news came at a time when the world is experiencing
global economic down turn, some effusively praised, and others
But what this high GDP growth figure really means to China
and the ordinary Chinese people? Now let's look at it from
the following five aspects:
1) What's in This GDP?
Under the current
economic circumstances in China, the GDP growth was
largely achieved through the government stimulus packages
totaling at 20 trillion yuans contributed by the central
government and the local administrations, mainly for constructing
new railways, roads, power plants and public houses. So
the growth is not a sign of market recovery but the result
of government manoeuvre [which precisely demonstrates
the strength of China's
unique development model].
2) How the West Views China GDP?
China is damned if GDP is too high, damned if GDP is too
low and damned if GDP is not too high or too low. In the
eye of the Western powers, if China thrives, it is regarded
as a threat to their global dominance; if China declines,
it is blamed for dragging down the world's economy. The West
has invented the term GDP, and used it excessively as a tool
to keep the less developed nations in check. Let's
not be fooled.
3) Is Measuring the Economy by GDP Constructive or Destructive?
Using the GDP as a guide to assess economic environment
of a nation is quite handy, but if it is taken as the sole
measurement of the economic situation, it could be very misleading.
In 2007, China's total GDP figure was 24 trillion yuans,
and in 2008, it topped 30 trillion. If in 2009, there is
one Chinese who, for some reason, spent 4 trillion yuans
on purchasing a single chewing gum at a corner store, China's
annual growth rate would reach 10% by GDP's measurement.
It is that simple. Now after having invested 20 trillion
yuans in public sector, the growth rate for the third quarter
of 2009 was less than 9 percent. Here legitimate questions
should be asked: What happened to the rest of the 11 trillion
extra funding? And how come it has failed to show up in the
GDP growth? The answer must be that China did have experienced
a negative growth in the third quarter, but the fact of economic
contraction has hidden behind the illustrious facade crafted
through the stimulus packages.
4) What Is China's Role in the Global Economy in the 21st
The evidence suggests that the West has not learned from
its past mistakes, since it is too proud to acknowledge its
character flaws and too stubborn to amend its code of conduct,
hence it is trapped in a loop of a vicious circle. But China
has a different cultural heritage which is distinctively
observant, reflective and accommodating, and it is willing
to and capable of learning from the lessons of others. So
the point here is that if we just follow the examples of
the West, its failure today will be our fate tomorrow. Therefore
we need to find a new way, and to find our own way. And we
5) How Chinese People View the GDP?
The ordinary people in China may not necessarily view it
as remote as white clouds in a distant sky, but they do think
it is not so closely related to their personal economic circumstances.
As by now the growth has only benefited a rich few, the GDP
figure is just so irrelevant to the majority of Chinese people.
Conclusion: Let's stop paying attention to what the West
thinks and talks. Whether they praise us or condemn us, it's
just their own games and let them play with themselves.