The Chinese economy has had a rapid quantity-expansion model in the past, but now wants to change the growth model and go from quantity expansion to quality improvement, according to Zhang Liqun, a research fellow of the Development Research Center of the State Council, who made the remark at a recent press briefing on restructuring and overcapacity reduction that the State Council's Information Office held, in Beijing, ceweekly.cn has reported.
Zhang went on to say that China wants to increase the GDP's "gold content", or per capita disposable income divided by per capita GDP. That is the common goal of the central government and local governments and something they will work hard to get. Local governments used to consider GDP growth a major performance goal and competed against one another in increasing economic growth, which they thought of as an important factor in China's rapid economic growth. But, some local government measures went off the rails in relation to central government needs and led to an extensive growth pattern with many disadvantages.
As Zhang explains, "Now we've decided to change our mentality. And, it's not only the central government that thinks we shouldn't merely pursue GDP growth, but many local governments agree that such a strategy would get us nowhere. The central government and local governments have reached a consensus that the importance is in the quality of economic growth rather than just economic growth itself."
Zhang concluded by saying that some local governments have even made cutting overcapacity the way to judge an official's performance, and, "This change is significant."