The world both needs and expects stable growth in China. Nothing will interrupt the country's pursuit of sustained growth. During the annual parliamentary sessions, which just concluded, Chinese leaders reassured the world that the country is capable of maintaining medium-high growth for a long time to come.
Ever since the global financial crisis, China has been the main source of global economic growth. It remained so in 2016 by contributing 33.2 percent of the world's economic expansion, and that trend seems set to continue.
The latest official figures such as industrial production and private sector investment for January-February suggest sustained momentum in the Chinese economy. Meanwhile, increasing corporate profits, better-than-expected employment and booming foreign trade for the beginning of 2017 also indicate steady growth.
Global factors that support the trend include rebounding longer-term interest rates, stabilizing commodity prices, sustained recovery in manufacturing activities and improvement of emerging economies. The International Monetary Fund has boosted its estimates for 2017 and 2018 for the world economy as well as major developed and emerging economies.
China's 2017 growth target of around 6.5 percent -- or higher if possible -- has set the economy in a proper range with enough room for reform. It's noteworthy that Chinese leaders have told national lawmakers that the country will open up like never before.
The welcoming government attitude toward foreign investment and a gradual far-reaching opening of the Chinese market will make it easier to achieve the goal. More critical economic areas such as national science and technology projects are open to global investors, and free trade zones have been established.
Under the Made in China 2025 initiative, a plan to modernize the manufacturing sector, foreign firms will be treated the same as domestic firms and enjoy the same preferential policies. The government's consistent policy stance has already made a real impact.
The country posted its first monthly trade deficit in three years as imports rose higher than expected. Foreign direct investment inflow to China rose in February, compared with a decline in January.
Chinese entrepreneurs are also becoming more open and innovative. Data from the European Patent Office showed that 7,150 patent applications were submitted by Chinese enterprises to the office last year, up nearly 25 percent from 2015.
In a recent ranking of the Best Countries in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report, China ranked second globally on its Best Countries to Start a Business list. Growth in China has been a sustained, powerful engine for global economic stability and expansion.
The country will have its feet firmly on the ground and continue to help shape tomorrow's world economy.