China media: Economic resilience

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
China's economy expanded at the slowest pace in 24 years in 2014.

Papers criticise the West for "gloom-mongering", saying China's economy remains "resilient" despite slower growth.

State media reported on Tuesday that China's economy grew 7.4% last year, noting it was "in line with market expectations" but registered the weakest expansion in 24 years.

Xinhua News Agency observes that global media outlets are giving considerable attention to the news of China's slowing growth.

"But as has been repeatedly proven, such gloom-mongering will only make a mockery of its believers," it says, while repeatedly stressing that the leaders are in control of the Chinese economy.

"Overemphasising the slower pace misses the essence of the ongoing major transition China has embarked upon... As designed by Beijing, the pace on its own no longer plays the biggest part in gauging the country's economic performance," it states.

Another Xinhua article lashes out at some "developed" economies for criticising China's slowdown amid "a vulnerable time for the world economy".

"Beijing will by no means postpone its reforms despite the uncertain and sluggish world growth," it says.

"It is advisable that other economies, especially those developed ones… put their own economic house in order through necessary financial and structural reforms, instead of finding a scapegoat and gloom-mongering over China's economic future," it warns.

The China Daily says "losing some speed in GDP growth is not necessarily a bad thing for China". It points out that the economy is still resilient and notes an improvement in the regulatory environment.

Echoing similar views, the Beijing News says it will be "impossible to achieve the high-speed growth rate of the past", but urges everyone not to "make a fuss" over the slower growth.

The commentary also dismisses a World Bank forecast that India will surpass China in GDP growth in the years to come.

"Such predictions are mostly not true, but this shows that many are still fixated on GDP… However, such opinion has ignored the benign structural changes along with China's moderate growth," it argues.

The Global Times, similarly, says that "Western media attach more significance to India overtaking China than Chinese people do".

Gender imbalance

Elsewhere, papers call for remedies as the country continues to face a "serious" gender imbalance problem.

According to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday, China's population stood at 1.37 billion at the end of 2014, with 115.88 new-born boys for every 100 baby girls.

A commentary in the Yantai Evening News worries that the excess of single men might lead to social instability, as well as serious challenges to the pension system as the population ages.

The commentary blames traditional values of parents favouring boys and urges the authorities to take firmer action against illegal gender determination tests and abortions.

"The government should also improve the pension security system, especially in the rural area, to change the old mind-set of relying on sons to take care of aging parents," it says.

Yuan Xin, an expert on demographics issues at the Nankai University, tells the Global Times that the government could "work harder to promote gender equality and provide more benefits to families who are willing to give birth to girls".

Noting that the issue of the ageing population is a "very serious one", an article in the Beijing News blames the 30-year-old one-child policy that forces couples to choose the child's gender.

"To tackle the problem (gender imbalance), the authorities should start adjusting the birth control policy or even totally relax the grip at an appropriate timing," it says.

And finally, papers assess plans for a pay hike for civil servants.

An article in the China Daily calls for transparency in officials' pay, stating that a hike may not necessarily lead to fewer corruption cases.

"Yet before a forbidding law-based anti-graft supervisory system is put in place, higher legal incomes will not necessarily thwart some public servants' greediness for illegal profits squeezed from the power in their hand," it says.

The daily then suggests that the salary of civil servants to be directly linked with their performances, "which should be assessed not only by authorities, but by the people as well".

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

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