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China May Be Facing Economic Slowdown

07/07/2015

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[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
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