China’s Top Economic Conference Expected Stable Growth, Tackling Risks in 2024
The Central Economic Work Conference will be held from December 19 to 21, and sets the tone for economic policy-making for the coming year. As a crucial prelude for the conference, a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Friday.
This meeting provided an authoritative assessment of the situation in 2023, stating that China has employed various means to achieve an ‘upward trend’ in its economy. In the first three quarters, China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.2% year-on-year, maintaining a leading growth rate among major global economies. The Chief Representative of the International Monetary Fund in China mentioned that China remains the largest engine of global economic growth, contributing one-third of the world’s growth volume.
Signals from the meeting also suggested that priorities will be placed on consolidating the economic recovery, tackle risks and promote high-quality development in 2024. The meeting stressed that it is important to boost economic vitality, prevent and mitigate risks, improve social expectations, consolidate and promote the momentum of economic recovery, and effectively improve the quality of the Chinese economy and promote its growth within a reasonable range.
Experts said that China’s economy will continue to face many internal and external challenges in 2024, seeking progress while maintaining stability will remain the overall tone for next year.
China’s First Large Domestically Built Cruise Ship Ready for Trial Operations
On December 10, China’s first domestically built large-scale cruise ship “Adora Magic City” completed the installation of all marine products, and 1,292 crew members from all over the world boarded the ship for duty. The ship is officially handed over to the operator and will make its maiden voyage on January 1, 2024.
The ship, which is 323.6 meters long and weighs 135,500 tons, can accommodate up to 5,246 passengers with 2,125 guest rooms. It is regarded by the Chinese as the concentration of a country’s industrial strength. Large cruise ships and large liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers are known as the “three jewels in the crown” of the shipbuilding industry, along with aircraft carriers, due to the extreme difficulty in design and construction. Chinese shipbuilding experts commented that the three jewels of the shipbuilding industry have finally been assembled by China.
China Expels Japanese Ships from Waters near Diaoyu Islands
According to the China Coast Guard (CCG), on December 9, the Japanese fishing vessel Tsurumaru and a number of patrol boats illegally entered the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands, and Chinese maritime police vessels warned them off in accordance with the law. “We urge the Japanese side to immediately stop all illegal activities in the waters and make sure incidents like this will never happen again,” the spokesperson of CCG said. Some Chinese netizens linked this incident to the release of a new version of China’s map not long ago, believing that the new version of the map had upset Japan, so they deliberately provoked it to create this conflict after Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno protested through diplomatic channels.
The Diaoyu Islands issue dates back to 1972, when the United States privately handed over the Ryukyu Islands to Japan for the needs of the Cold War, and Japan took advantage of the situation to seize the Diaoyu Islands. Chinese netizens believe that two points need to be noted: first, the United States did not have the right to hand over the islands, and second, even if the islands were handed over, it was only the right to administer them, not sovereignty, and Japan knew this only too well.