Editor's note: John Gong is a professor at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing and a research fellow at the Academy of China Open Economy Studies at UIBE. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
2021 will go down in history as yet another year of pandemic. Officially the COVID-19 scourge has exceeded the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu in terms of its duration, and for many countries in terms of the total death toll as well. For example, in the United States, more than 820,000 of people had died by the end of the year as a result of COVID-19.
In China, the government has been pretty much sticking to the "dynamic zero-COVID" policy so far. Since the third quarter when winter arrived, the economy inevitably got a beating, as China couldn't be immune from the rest of world's wild spread of the Delta and Omicron variants.
Nevertheless, this policy does save lives above anything else. Officially the total death toll since the outbreak in Wuhan has been kept below 5,000. China indisputably ranks among the top performing countries in the world in terms of handling the pandemic successfully.
GDP growth started off the year with a blockbuster 18.3 percent for the first quarter, followed by 7.9 percent for the second quarter. By the third quarter, the momentum began to lose steam as the COVID-19 variants started to arrive ashore: 4.9 percent for the third quarter was way below expectations. The fourth quarter may be even lower. If that is indeed the case, the whole year number may still be around 8 percent GDP growth, which means, combined with last year's 2.3 percent growth rate, the two pandemic years averaging above 5 percent annually. That is still an extraordinary achievement compared to many countries around the world. Read more>>