Chinese Economy Grows at 4.9 Percent amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai, China, October 19, 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Chinese officials reported on Sunday that the country’s GDP grew by 4.9 percent in the third quarter, despite the ongoing toll the coronavirus pandemic is taking on the global economy.

The newly recorded growth is close to projections of 5.5-6 percent growth predicted by economists before the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported. The International Monetary Fund predicted last week that China’s economy will grow by 1.9 percent this year, the only major economy to experience growth in 2020. Meanwhile, the American economy will shrink by 4.3 percent while Europe’s economy will contract by 8.3 percent, the IMF has said.

The novel coronavirus first appeared in Wuhan, China, leading that nation’s government to impose sweeping lockdowns throughout the country beginning in early February. China was able to reopen many of its factories beginning in April, and other nations’ demand for medical equipment and various other goods has allowed China to rely on exports to propel its economy forward.

The growth has come after a raft of stringent measures, including weeks- or months-long lockdowns and invasive cell phone tracking programs, that are unappealing to other countries. The government has forced residents of Xinjiang Province to take unproven concoctions of Chinese medicine to treat coronavirus, as well as locking residents inside their homes for weeks.

China’s rebound also comes with caveats, as the economy has accumulated a large amount of debt over the past half year.

The news comes as both the U.S. and Europe are seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases. European nations and U.S. states have implemented different policies to attempt to mitigate spread and ensuing economic damage, although both areas have little appetite for additional lockdown measures.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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