China's economy has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade as the country has shifted its focus to high-quality development by enhancing its innovation efforts and macroeconomic policies.
China accounted for over 18 percent of the global economy in 2021, rising from 11.3 percent in 2012, as its GDP topped 114.4 trillion yuan (17.1 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2021, up from 53.9 trillion yuan in 2012, said Zhao Chenxin, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a press conference on Tuesday. The country's per capita GDP rose to more than 12,000 U.S. dollars in 2021 from 6,300 U.S. dollars in 2012.
China has prioritized technological innovation to boost its competitiveness, growth momentum, and sustainability. Since 2012, the prominence of innovation has been upgraded multiple times in national strategies.
As a result, the country rose to 12th on the Global Innovation Index 2021, up from the 34th in 2012, making it the only country in the world to achieve a sustained and rapid rise. Over the past decade, the operating income of the high-tech industry has doubled from 9.95 trillion yuan in 2012 to 19.91 trillion yuan in 2021, according to the NDRC.
Furthermore, China has pushed its opening-up to a higher level, optimizing the business environment and ramping up Belt and Road cooperation. It has advanced the construction of 21 pilot free trade zones and signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with 149 countries and 32 international organizations.
The country's actual use of foreign direct investment rose to 1.15 trillion yuan in 2021, ranking second in the world, up 62.9 percent from 2012, said Su Wei, deputy secretary general of the NDRC.
The number of Chinese private enterprises quadrupled in the past decade amid efforts to optimize the business environment. China's private enterprises increased from 10.85 million in 2012 to 44.57 million last year, Su added.
Su attributed the expansion of private enterprises to the improved business environment for the non-public sector, as the country has vigorously spurred the development of various economic entities over the decade.
The country has long attached great importance to the private economy, encouraging it to play a bigger role in stabilizing growth and employment, and promoting structural adjustment and innovation.
In terms of fixed-asset investment, a number of major projects have been initiated in sectors such as 5G, data centers, water conservancy, railway and energy, while investments in education, healthcare, affordable housing projects and ecological and environmental protection have seen a rapid rise.
From 2013 to 2021, the country completed 409 trillion yuan of fixed-asset investment, with an average annual growth of 7.8 percent, according to the NDRC.
Attaching great importance to low-carbon development, China has announced the goal and vision of striving to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
By 2021, China's energy consumption per unit of GDP had plunged 26.2 percent from 2012. The country's installed capacity of renewable energy had topped 1 billion kilowatts, and it had contributed a quarter of the newly-added afforestation area globally.