Toward a slower but stronger economy

By Zhang Lijuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 4, 2015
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In the long run, there are some fundamental issues that the Chinese government will have to solve. Among these challenges, four areas should be on the top agenda: to improve the rule of law, to promote quality of education, to mitigate the effects of an aging society, and to help entrepreneurs flourish.

Rule of law will be a cornerstone for China's sustainable development. Institutional and procedural governance in many aspects of the Chinese economy is far from enough. China's education system needs to be revived. Both educators and parents are not quite satisfied with the current education system. Many parents would like to see that one day their children can be best educated without going overseas and using the entirety of their lifetime savings.

China needs two-level regional development plans. At the domestic level, a sound regional plan should further balance the east and west regional development by making good use of free trade zones and launching new policy initiatives. At the international level, China has to continue its efforts to build a new type of major country relationship with the United States, being a responsible player in the global rebalancing process while emphasizing more on regional approaches inside the Asian Pacific Region. RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and FTAAP (Free Trade Area of Asia Pacific) will eventually be part of China's major regional trade agreements, but that requires high-level engagement. The TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is not for China, and it even is not the best for the U.S. However, the United States and China should be able to find an acceptable approach to improve the global trade regime.

Because of its size and impact, China's economic policies have more global market implications today than they had in the 1990s. Every new policy initiative from the Chinese central bank will have an immediate impact on Wall Street. Every trade or investment deal China is negotiating can make some sort of noise in Washington DC. Every step China takes to manage its currency can lead to political debates on Capitol Hill. To what extent can the United States and China work together in mapping out a bilateral trade and investment agreement?That is the most important and influential project for the future of the global economy.

Recently, the slowed Chinese economy has already proved to be a major controlling force in the globally interconnected financial market. We have to admit that China is a new-model and "new-normal" market economy. We expect the 13th Five-Year Plan will send out positive signals to the world that China, with all the difficulties and challenges it is facing today, is moving into a new stage that can benefit the country's own people and promote global growth.

Zhang Lijuan is a professor with Shandong University, China. She is a columnist with

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