Despite slowing economic growth, Chinese local governments are shifting focus. They’re more concerned about the quality of growth instead of the pure pursuit of growth at all costs. CCTV America’s Ying Yiyuan reports.
Zhejiang is an economically strong province, with its GDP ranking in the country’s top five for many years. Fast development used to come at the price of pollution.
Since April 2013, the Pujiang government has been working to reduce the pollution. In a year’s time, 18,000 crystal manufacturers have closed, and only 1,700 producers remain. They have been required to upgrade their discharge systems.
Now the rivers in Pujiang have become clean again. The area’s economic growth on the other hand is slowing down, but that does not worry the local government.
Now more than 70 cities and counties have dropped GDP as an assessment indicator of local governors’ performances. Some counties in Zhejiang are also involved in the move.
Zhejiang’s provincial GDP growth rate in the first half of 2014 was 7.2 percent, down from 8.2 percent in 2013. Equipment manufacturing and high tech industries were expanding faster, with 9 percent and 8.3 percent growth rates respectively.
China maintained strong economic growth for over ten years. Now the country is shifting its focus from the pursuit of growth at all costs, to seeking quality growth. Analysts say it remains to be seen whether the changes in metrics are enough to transform economic growth models.