[00:00.00]From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.
[00:04.80]China's economy is growing slowly after years of strong gains.
[00:11.26]Some China watchers in the United States say the Chinese economy is slowing to a halt.
[00:20.54]They use the word stagnating.
[00:24.57]They say stagnation is a real threat unless new reforms can bring big changes to the Chinese economic system.
[00:34.82]How the economic stagnation could affect the United States has caught the attention of some U.S. policy makers.
[00:45.15]Matt Salmon of Arizona is a member of the House of Representatives.
[00:51.38]At a recent congressional hearing,
[00:54.69]he said China's "quest for development and global influence has come at a high cost of alienating partners and allies alike.
[01:07.27]There are cracks in the foundation, and imbalances remain politically, economically and militarily."
[01:16.60]Chinese government statistics show China's economy grew at its slowest rate in 24 years in 2014.
[01:27.81]The growth rate was under eight percent, compared to rates of 10 percent or more a few years ago.
[01:37.45]The International Monetary Fund has predicted that China's gross domestic product will grow at a yearly rate of 5.9 percent over the next six years.
[01:53.42]The GDP is a measure of the size of an economy.
[02:00.03]Derek Scissors is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.
[02:07.74]He said China's economic slowdown is "not avoidable."
[02:13.53]He said the problem is more than 10 years old.
[02:16.50]He said the economy started slowing down in 2003.
[02:23.86]At that time, "the government under Hu Jintao pushed aside market reforms in favor of public investment, directing the finance by the state largely through state owned enterprises."
[02:40.98]"From 2003 to 2008, the Chinese economy was getting bigger and getting less healthy," he said. The following year, it started to show signs of stagnation.
[02:56.64]At the congressional hearing, another House member asked whether the stagnation will lead to a collapse.
[03:05.56]Derek Scissors said he does not believe stagnation will lead to China's collapse.
[03:11.87]He also said a slowing of the economy does not mean China has lost its significance in the world.
[03:20.68]He said, "The mixed economy that China has doesn't lend itself (to) acute economic crisis."
[03:29.35]He added that the country can stay in the same state a long time without major changes.
[03:37.79]Jerome Cohen is a professor at New York University.
[03:42.95]He said China is facing problems.
[03:46.79]But, he said the U.S. should not underestimate the imagination and dynamism of Chinese leaders in meeting international economic problems.
[03:58.65]He said one example of this is the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and related organizations.
[04:08.81]Mr. Cohen added that many authoritarian governments were able to continue steady economic growth.
[04:17.55]He said China is no exception.
[04:20.95]But he added, "The very economic progress leads to the kind of ferment that we are beginning to witness in China."
[04:30.97]And that's the Economics Report. I'm Mario Ritter.
[04:35.75]Words in This Story
[04:38.98]stagnating - adj. slowing down to a halt, not moving
[04:45.60]statistics - n. numbers that represent information about people, industry, science or other objects of study
[04:57.07]significance - n. the quality of being important or of being meaningful
[05:04.58]authoritarian - adj. not permitting dissent
[05:10.46]ferment - n. being in a state of excitement and confusion caused by change