A significant and positive development for the whole Asian region was the release of economic data from China late last week.
It showed, as expected, that the Goliath to the north experienced its seventh consecutive dip in quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) growth, but some of the numbers that came out were in fact positive.
China reported that its third-quarter GDP grew by 7.4%
China, which has been the engine of growth for the entire Asean region, reported that its third-quarter GDP grew by 7.4% year-on-year, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2009, but the figures were in line with what the market was expecting.
The third-quarter figure brings the nine-month GDP number to 7.7%, down from 7.8% in the same period of 2011 but above the government’s revised expectations of 7.5% growth for the full year.
In almost any other economy, 7.4% growth would be considered commendable
but not for China, which expanded by 9.2% in 2011 and more than 10% annually for the three decades prior to that. As economists like to point out, China’s sheer size dictates that it has to grow at 6-8% a year just to stand still.
But amid all the negative numbers there were certain figures that brought cause for optimism across Asia. They included industrial production, retail sales and investment data, which were all slightly ahead of forecasts.
All this suggests the worst may be over and the world’s second largest economy may start to rebound during the fourth quarter, which usually is the seasonally high growth period.
Apart from this there is evidence of improvement coming from a wide range of segments in the economy including transport, commodities, exports, the property market, credit data, and restocking by manufacturing companies.
Will Myanmar’s coup help China influence ASEAN?
The Myanmar crisis is becoming increasingly tragic, with the military’s use of lethal force now killing over 60 protestors.
Rapid growth in China post-COVID makes it ripe for investment
Being “first in and first out” of COVID-19, China is the only country among the G20 that is thought by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to have increased GDP in 2020.
In January 2020 as the world began to learn of COVID-19, many market observers predicted a challenging year for Asia. While there continue to be headwinds from the health and economic crisis, Asia, and China in particular, has demonstrated comparatively advantageous resilience.
Mainland China is in no position to take Taiwan by force
Unlike his predecessors, Chinese President Xi Jinping has demonstrated greater intensity in the desire for reunification.
The situation across the Taiwan Strait has seemed to be on the brink of crisis since 2018. Beijing has sent numerous sorties of military aircraft to conduct exercises near Taiwan and frequently crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
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