Faced with an economic downturn and a glut of construction materials, China has turned to infrastructure, domestically and abroad, to build a secure future. Alainna Wrigley reports
In mid-October, the National Bureau of Statistics announced that China’s gross domestic product had experienced 6.9% growth in the third quarter. The figure was lower than the 7% growth of the first half in a year that has already seen the lowest growth figures since 2009.
This was not unexpected. Target growth is set to 7% for the year, a more sober goal for a leadership which clearly recognizes the new economic normal.
President Xi Jinping was among the first to vocalize this plainly. “As an economy closely linked to international markets, China cannot stay immune to the lacklustre performance of the global economy,” he told Reuters in an October interview. “We do have concerns about the Chinese economy, and we are working hard to address them.”
In the past year, China has placed strong emphasis on increasing investment into domestic infrastructure to stabilize growth and support continuing development. “Investment in domestic infrastructure is based in strengthening domestic infrastructure overall,” says Chen Bin, a partner of AnJie Law Firm based in Beijing. “The rise of the PPP [public-private partnership] model in particular has set off an additional upsurge in domestic infrastructure development.”