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Chinese economy resilient, reform efforts commendable

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BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- At a time when the global economy is uncertain and lackluster, China's unremitting efforts to ensure fast and sound growth merit acknowledgement.

While people miss the good old days when China's double-digit economic growth awed and buoyed the world, the 7.4 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate posted for 2014 was hard won and should not be grounds for pessimism.

Any assertion that China will not regain its lost momentum is hasty and uncalled for.

With transformation and upgrading high on the agenda, the economy is bracing for protracted reinvention.

Granted, lower than expected inflation (0.8 percent) in January indicates disinflationary pressures and weakening domestic demand. However, with income growth surpassing economic growth and more jobs in the booming service sector, a continued positive trend in consumer demand is achievable this year.

Similarly, although some foreign companies have moved their factories out of China to other Asian countries, they are mostly low-end industries. In contrast, China's service sector enjoyed a 7.8 percent rise in foreign investment, an indication of improved economic structure.

Signs of resilience are present. On Wednesday, HSBC released its preliminary purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China in February, which beat market expectations and rose to a four-month high of 50.1 from a reading of 49.7 in January.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing activities. Though factors such as holiday distortion cannot be ignored, the data gave us hope that reform measures have begun to take effect.

The government has also shown finesse on the policy front. More targeted policies have become the order of the day.

For example, a universal cut in reserve requirement ratio (RRR) initiated earlier this month was coupled with increased support of targeted areas, cutting RRR by an extra 50 basis points for qualified banks engaged in proportionate lending to small firms, the farming sector and major water projects.

Attaching greater importance to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the State Council, China's cabinet, on Wednesday decided to make more of them eligible for tax breaks. Moreover, taxes on investment earnings from non-monetary assets would be levied periodically rather than the previous single collection annually.

These targeted measures not only free up more cash and make more investment possible, they show the government's recognition of the role of SMEs to the economy. In a nation that puts a premium on innovation and competition, more vitality can be counted upon.

So, despite the days when China pressed ahead in a breakneck speed being over, China remains an anchor of the global economy, thanks to its commitment to quality growth through arduous reforms.

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