News / Asia

China Pins Hopes on Bigger Spending to Boost Economy

China Pins Hopes on Bigger Spending to Reform Economyi
X
October 29, 2013 1:16 PM
China has long sought to shift from an export economy to one based more on domestic consumption. There are now signs those efforts are working, partly through incentives aimed at encouraging spending from domestic tourists. Keeping that trend on track is a top priority for Chinese leaders meeting in November. This report from VOA’s Beijing bureau.
China Pins Hopes on Bigger Spending to Reform Economy
VOA News
China has long sought to shift from an export economy to one based more on domestic consumption. There are now signs those efforts are working, partly through incentives aimed at encouraging spending from domestic tourists. Keeping that trend on track is a top priority for Chinese leaders meeting in November.
 
Beijing’s storied attractions such as the Lama Temple draw increasing numbers of Chinese each year.
 
During a recent holiday break, one such tourist who identified himself only as Zhou, says he and his family drove 1,500 kilometers from Sichuan to see the Forbidden City and other sights.
 
“Now we have holidays, time off to spend," Zhou said. "We have our own car and the government waives highway fees. We can save some money to spend for holidays. This is all very convenient.”  
 
While China's domestic spending is rising, families here still spend much less than their counterparts in the West.
 
Consumer spending still accounts for less than half of the country’s economic growth. In the United States, it’s responsible for more than two-thirds.
 
Economist Song Hong says as Chinese households grow wealthier, purchasing a car is a tipping point for spending more.
 
“Many households long to buy a car, and once they meet this need, they then go travel and spend money and enjoy other services,” he said.

Retail sales grew by more than 13 percent in August, the highest this year.  During China’s national holidays in October, the country set a new spending record, as some 31 million tourists spent more than $140 billion.
 
One key challenge is making it easier for Chinese from all walks of life to spend money more regularly. Professor Song says unequal income levels in cities and high saving levels in the countryside remain a stumbling block.

“The problem is in the rural areas where the social system is only now being created and the level of consumption remains low,” he explained.
 
The Chinese government is trying to encourage more spending through car-friendly policies such as subsidizing fuel during national holidays and waiving highway tolls.
 
Lan Lan and her friends came to Beijing from the western province of Xinjiang. During their first trip so far from home, they were watching their money carefully.

“We take part time jobs, save money and add in a little pocket money from our families to go travel,” she explained.
 
As Chinese communist leaders meet in November to outline economic policies for the next five years, they are expected to focus on how to make household spending a driving economic force, much like it is in other countries.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs