Interview: Chinese economy to recover from COVID-19 impact soon, says U.S. economist

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-13 12:38:53|Editor: huaxia

CHICAGO, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 in the first quarter, the Chinese economy will soon recover and the country is well on track toward the goal of building a moderately well-off society, said a U.S. scholar.

"We can simply say that in the first quarter the virus has a negative effect on Chinese (economic) growth, in part because of the decline in exports...Yet, in the Chinese economy, consumption is the major source of growth," said Khairy Tourk, professor of economics with the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

China's consumption grew 8 percent in 2019, which, to a certain degree, can cushion the export decline, Tourk said.

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Chinese government in mobilizing the public as well as grassroots organizations such as community health centers, "China is getting its economy on track with more than 90 percent of workers back to work; real estate activities are picking up; there has been an increase in electricity consumption; there is also an increase of traffic density," Tourk noted.

"The Chinese economy is a resilient one. The temporary setback in the first quarter will be followed by a swift recovery in the second quarter," Tourk said.

Tourk holds that the Chinese economy is "a rosy one, because of the investment in the new infrastructure, such as 5G, artificial intelligence, Industrial internet-of-thing, and cloud computing."

American experts give China high marks for its achievements in containing the virus and American financial advisors are recommending China as an attractive place to invest funds, he said.

Talking about some pessimistic calls for the decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economy, Tourk said bluntly, "this is a myth." While there has been transfer of some labor-intensive activities from China to lower-cost countries, "there is no country that can compete with China in terms of size and the sophistication of its supply chain."

"China is a complete supply chain from A to Z. China is the only country where producers could find supply chain that practically covers full range of the industrial sources," Tourk said.

China's response to the pandemic has won the admiration of the world, "it is sending supplies to Italy, France," Tourk noted. "China has been giving generous humanitarian aid to afflicted countries, rich and poor. It has sent medical volunteers to different parts of the world."

Tourk also expressed the hope that the United States and China would strengthen cooperation to fight COVID-19.

"With both nations enjoying high-level scientific technology in the medical field, it is natural to expect that if they combine the effort, cooperate to find the vaccine not only for the COVID-19, but also for future epidemics, it will not only benefit the humanity, but also serve the cause of peace," he said.