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China's economy reaps new breakthroughs in 2021

By: Belt and Road Portal   Update:2022-03-03
The Chinese economy has realized new breakthroughs at both the aggregate and per capita levels in 2021, said an official from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to Sheng Laiyun, deputy head of NBS, in the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), China has overcome COVID-19 and multiple other challenges, and has seen its economic strength, productive forces and overall national strength increase steadily, reform and opening-up and innovation advanced further and people's well-being continue to improve.
-- Economic development reaches new level
A statistical bulletin released by NBS on Monday showed that according to preliminary calculation, China's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 114.367 trillion yuan in 2021, registering a growth of 8.1 percent from 2020 and a two-year average growth of 5.1 percent, with the per capita GDP standing at 80,976 yuan, up 8.0 percent from 2020 and exceeding 80,000 yuan for the first time.
According to Sheng, the per capita GDP hit 12,551 U.S. dollars in 2021 translated by the average annual exchange rate, surpassing the world's per capita GDP level.
Behind the rapid growth of the per capita GDP is the continuous improvement of China's overall labor productivity which recorded 146,380 yuan per person in 2021, up 8.7 percent from 2020, according to the statistical bulletin.
China remains the world's second largest economy in 2021, the NBS statistics showed. 
China's international influence continues to expand, said Sheng, adding that translated at the average annual exchange rate, China's GDP is estimated to reach 17.7 trillion U.S. dollars, accounting for over 18 percent of the world economy and contributing to about 25 percent of its growth.
It is noteworthy that in 2021, China's comprehensive ranking of national innovation capacity rose to 12th in the world.
The statistical bulletin showed that China's new drivers of development grew well in 2021, with the added value of high-tech manufacturing above designated size rising by 18.2 percent from 2020, and the operating revenue of strategic emerging service enterprises increasing by 16.0 percent from 2020.
In 2021, solid progress was made in conserving energy and reducing emissions, with the energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP dropping by 2.7 percent from 2020, the comprehensive energy consumption per unit of calcium carbide in key energy-consuming industrial enterprises down 5.3 percent, and the carbon dioxide emissions per 10,000 yuan of GDP down 3.8 percent.
-- Foreign economic and trade cooperation is enhanced
In 2021, China has seen its trade in goods and foreign exchange reserves both rank the first in the world, and its trade in services, outbound investment and size of consumer market all stay among the top in the world, playing an indispensable role in promoting global economic and trade recovery and maintaining the stability of global industrial and supply chains.
During the year, China's imports and exports of goods totaled 39.1 trillion yuan, an increase of 21.4 percent over 2020, and exceeded 6 trillion U.S. dollars calculated by the annual average exchange rate, ranking first in global trade in goods for five consecutive years.
New forms of trade flourished. In 2021, the cross-border e-commerce exports and the market procurement exports increased by 24.5 percent and 32.1 percent respectively from 2020.
According to the statistical bulletin, China's actual use of foreign direct investment reached 1.1 trillion yuan in 2021, up 14.9 percent from 2020 and exceeding 1 trillion yuan for the first time, with that in the service industry and high-tech industries growing by 16.7 percent and 17.1 percent, respectively.
The joint construction of the Belt and Road has taken solid steps. In 2021, China's imports and exports to the Belt and Road countries reached 11.6 trillion yuan, an increase of 23.6 percent over 2020. The trips made by the China-Europe freight trains exceeded 15,000, up 22.0 percent.
Achievements have also been made in the construction of leading areas of institutional opening-up. In 2021, the imports and exports of the comprehensive bonded zones, the pilot free trade zones and the Hainan Free Trade Port increased by 24.3 percent, 26.4 percent and 57.7 percent respectively from 2020.
-- People's living conditions keep improving
The statistical bulletin showed that, the per capita disposable income of the Chinese residents reached 35,128 yuan in 2021, up 8.1 percent in real terms from 2020, faster than the per capita GDP growth and keeping pace with the GDP growth.
It is worth noting that the income of residents in counties that relieve poverty has grown rapidly. In 2021, the per capita disposable income of rural residents in such counties registered 14,051 yuan, up 11.6 percent in nominal terms and 10.8 percent in real terms from 2020, faster than the growth of the per capita disposable income of rural residents nationwide.
Education, culture and sports flourished. In 2021, the retention rate of nine-year compulsory education and the gross enrollment rate of senior high schools were both 0.2 percentage point higher than 2020. Conditions for national fitness continued to improve. By the end of 2021, China had 3.971 million sports venues, 258,000 more than that at the end of 2020.
The Healthy China initiative has been advanced steadily. By the end of 2021, China had 1.031 million medical and health institutions, 9.57 million beds in these institutions, and 11.23 million health workers, an increase of 8,000, 470,000, and 550,000 respectively from the end of 2020.
The social safety net is tightly knit. By the end of 2021, more than 1 billion people were covered by the basic endowment insurance nationwide, and more than 1.3 billion people were covered by the basic medical insurance nationwide.

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