China media: Economic growth

Papers are confident about the future of China's economy Image copyright AFP
Image caption Papers are confident about the future of China's economy

Media express optimism over China's growth after its economy expanded by 7.4% in the first quarter of the year.

The latest figure, released on Wednesday, is better than what many were expecting. However, it is a slowdown from 7.7% growth in the final quarter of last year, sparking fears that the decline might impact the global economy recovery.

Dismissing such concerns, the Beijing News says the slowdown is in a "reasonable range".

"China's economy is still growing at a high speed. The speed is the fastest growth among the main economies in the world, and the growth is in a reasonable range, so we should not feel uneasy if the figure falls below 7.5%," it explains.

Wang Jun, a senior researcher at the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, notes that the authorities have been rolling out several plans including tax reductions, simplifying administrative processes and improving infrastructure in smaller towns and cities.

"These measures aim to stabilise growth. I think the economic momentum will increase from the second quarter and there's no need to worry that the economy will slide out of control," the Xinhua News Agency quotes him as saying.

The National Business Daily notes Premier Li Keqiang has ruled out major stimulus to fight short-term dips in growth, in a speech delivered last week.

Agreeing with the view, the daily adds that one should not relentlessly pursue high growth but instead focus on the quality of the progress.

"Some local governments who face the pressure of a slowdown might still wish to rely on investments to stimulate growth… When we keep returning to the old path and continue to idolise growth using the GDP, this is where the real crisis lies," it warns.

Missing Malaysian jet

Meanwhile, some newspapers have expressed unhappiness over the New York Times' comment that China's search efforts to find the missing Malaysia Airlines plane were not good enough.

The Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared on 8 March en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It was carrying 239 people, 153 of whom were Chinese.

Earlier in the month, local media outlets reported that a Chinese vessel had "picked up" a pulse signal in the southern Indian Ocean.

"China suddenly looked like the hero of the multinational search effort. Within days, however, the Chinese claims were discounted, and attention shifted to another set of signals recorded by American personnel aboard an Australian ship hundreds of miles away," says the New York Times.

In response, the People's Daily dismisses the report as "distorted", "ridiculous and laughable".

"The New York Times chose to ignore the fact that China has been totally involved in the search effort, but instead played up 'the series of miscalculations' by China that 'delayed the search process'," it says, adding that other countries, including France and Australia, also got it wrong while looking for debris in the Indian Ocean.

"This report plays up the China threat… What else is this report trying to achieve other than exposing the darkest and the most despicable intention of sowing discord?" it questions.

"Exaggerating errors and distorting facts, these are the tricks frequently used by some Western countries to discredit China… It is not difficult to see the double standard displayed, and the so-called fair, objective and free media have in fact become a tool for political smearing, rumour mongering and creating troubles," says an article in the China Youth Daily.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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