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China’s Coronavirus Recession Has Arrived

If you don’t think you can trust China’s coronavirus statistics, don’t even think about its GDP statistics.

The Chinese economy supposedly grew by 6.1 percent in 2019, its slowest growth in thirty years. That’s no surprise: every year of the last decade has been billed as “China’s slowest growth since 1990.” Going by the official numbers, China’s growth has been gently gliding toward 6 percent as the government prioritizes high-quality growth over merely hitting the numbers.

And if pumping out record quantities of sub-standard steel using energy-inefficient processes that blacken the skies over some of China’s largest cities — despite two decades of government campaigns to reduce overcapacity — is your idea of “high-quality growth,” then China is right on target.

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Published inAll ArticlesThe National Interest
Sydney-based globalization expert Salvatore Babones is available to speak on the Chinese economy (demographics, growth, technology), the Belt & Road Initiative, global trade networks, and Australia-China relations. Contact: