Observers in US highlight China's pursuit of high-quality growth
China observers in the United States have highlighted the Asian country's determination to pursue high-quality growth and sustainable development in the coming years, as demonstrated in the government work report recently delivered by Premier Li Keqiang.
The goals for 2021 and the draft blueprint for economic and social development over the next five years "are impressive," Jeffrey Sachs, an economics professor at Columbia University and a senior United Nations adviser, told Xinhua, commenting on the report delivered at the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress.
"They aim for sustainable development, based on reduced pollution, resource efficiency, scientific and technological advance, expanded education, and improved quality of life," said Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University.
"I hope that other countries carefully study the government's program. It gives lots of good ideas about organizing a comprehensive sustainable development program," said the economist.
Calling it "a very impressive report" both in the accomplishments of 2020 and the aims of 2021, Sachs underscored China's success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining economic growth, exploring space, ending poverty, fighting pollution and advancing technology last year.
Tianlei Huang, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the report shows that the leadership is "committed to pursuing high-quality development."
"The Chinese economy was the only major economy in the world that expanded in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. But the leadership has remained clearheaded about the uncertainty and risks out there both domestically and internationally," Huang told Xinhua.
Noting that the consensus projection for China's economic growth in 2021 is higher than its growth target, Huang said the annual growth goal of above 6 percent in the report shows that the government intends to lay emphasis on the quality of development.
Huang also noted that the report reiterated China's commitment to a higher level of economic opening up through further market access and more open investment policies.
Sachs, meanwhile, suggested that China boost efforts on two international priorities in 2021: large-scale production of China's vaccines for worldwide use, and large-scale deployment of renewable energy in the Belt and Road Initiative projects.
Greg Cusack, a former member of the Iowa House of Representatives, told Xinhua that he read the premier's "excellent report" with considerable interest, calling it "coherent and substantive."
Chinese nationals "must be — and, indeed, deserve to be" — very proud of the substantial achievements of the government, Cusack said.
"So many good and decent things have been accomplished in such a short time, which is an occasion for pride by all of us, wherever we live, since it represents what we can do when we unite behind common purposes," he said.