As socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, the Chinese economy is expected to be rebranded as an innovative and well-balanced powerhouse that fills its people with pride in domestically developed products and solutions. This is certainly a reimagining of the economy that has over the past year made impressive progress on multiple fronts including consumption and technology, but that has yet to serve as an example of quality growth.

随着中国特色社会主义进入新时期,中国经济有望重新定位为一个创新,平衡的发展大国,以自己的产品和解决方案为荣。这是过去一年经济的重新定位,在包括消费和技术在内的多个方面取得了令人印象深刻的进展,但还没有成为高质量增长的一个例子。

With a focus on high-quality growth reverberating throughout the just-concluded annual tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference, which called for efforts to develop the economy with "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialist Economy with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era," more inspiring institutional and policy reforms are in the offing.

在刚刚结束的年度中央经济工作会议上,以高质量的经济增长为重点,号召以“习近平对中国特色社会主义经济为新时代的社会主义经济”来发展经济,更鼓舞人心的体制改革和政策改革即将到来。

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Photo: Courtesy of Fu Guoqun

The rise of household consumption

家庭消费的崛起

Fu Guoqun, professor with the Guanghua School of Management of Peking University

北京大学光华管理学院教授Fu Guoqun

As more and more people are willing to pay for high-quality products and services, China's household consumption has been undergoing an overall upgrade, which will provide the main momentum for the growth of consumer spending in the country.

随着越来越多的人愿意为优质的产品和服务付出代价,中国的家庭消费正在经历一个全面的升级,消费者支出增长的势头。

Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics show that in the first 11 months of 2017, retail sales rose 10.3 percent year-on-year. In particular, spending on education, tourism and information has seen a rapid increase over the past year.

国家统计局数据显示,2017年前11个月,商品零售额同比增长10.3%。尤其是教育,旅游和信息方面的支出在过去一年中迅速增加。

While consumption is said to have the potential to become a new engine to drive the Chinese economy, there are still challenges. First of all, it is only on the basis of income growth that consumption can see a further increase, and income distribution should also be more balanced so that the poor can have the higher disposable incomes needed for consumption.

据说消费有潜力成为推动中国经济的新引擎,但仍然存在挑战。首先,只有在收入增长的基础上,消费才能有进一步的增长,收入分配也应该更加平衡,才能让穷人有更高的可支配收入。

The challenge may also lie on the supply side. It is true that there are abundant consumption goods available in the market, but some high-quality goods and services are still in short supply. And with the ongoing consumption upgrade, consumers' demand for high-quality goods and services will continue to grow, which means that an upgrade on the supply side is also essential to further drive China's consumption growth.

挑战也可能在于供应方面。诚然,市场上有丰富的消费品,但一些优质的商品和服务仍然供不应求。而且随着消费升级的进行,消费者对优质商品和服务的需求将会继续增长,这意味着供给方面的升级对于进一步推动中国消费的增长也是必不可少的。

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Photo: Courtesy of Xiong Yuan

Financial opening a key priority over coming years

在未来几年金融业对外开放是重中之重

Xiong Yuan, research fellow at the International Monetary Institute of Renmin University of China

中国人民大学国际货币研究所研究员Xiong Yuan

As global economic and financial integration increases, China has made substantial headway in opening its financial sector. First, the yuan exchange rate reform has moved ahead steadily with the currency becoming increasingly internationalized. Second, the country has announced it will relax foreign ownership curbs in its financial sector to be better aligned with the international market.

随着全球经济和金融一体化的增加,中国在开放其金融业取得了实质性的进展。一是人民币汇率改革稳步推进,货币日益国际化。其次,国家已经宣布将放松金融部门的外资所有权限制,以更好地与国际市场接轨。

These are surely gratifying achievements, but there are still shortcomings and challenges that deserve attention. First, the way the yuan's central parity rate is set still faces lots of constraints and is still highly dependent on the US dollar. This along with relatively strict capital controls in certain core areas results in concerns that the foreign exchange rate market has yet to be effectively cleared. Second, the country's financial institutions are still weak in terms of global competitiveness. For example, the big four State-owned banks are ranked among the top five globally, but merely on the basis of size of assets. Third, the country has limited influence in the global financial system, as shown by the strong clout of the US and European countries in global markets ranging from stocks and bonds to financial derivatives, stock index futures and foreign exchange transactions. Fourth, China is currently facing severe financial risks, such as high leverage ratios, the tendency of finance to favor virtual sectors rather than the real economy, an overheating property market, local government debt, shadow banking and exchange rate risks. It is therefore foreseeable that the basic tone for the country's various financial policies will be set toward strengthening oversight, preventing risks, curbing bubbles and cutting leverage.

这确实是可喜的成就,但仍然有不足和挑战值得关注。首先,人民币中间价的确定方式仍然面临很多制约因素,依然高度依赖美元。这在某些核心地区的资本管制相对严格的情况下,令外汇市场尚未得到有效的清理。其次,全球金融机构在全球竞争力方面依然薄弱。例如,四大国有银行全球排名前五位,但仅以资产规模为基准。第三,美国和欧洲国家在全球金融市场上的影响力很强,从股票和债券到金融衍生品,股指期货和外汇交易。第四,中国目前面临着高杠杆率,金融倾向于虚拟经济而非实体经济,房地产市场过热,地方政府债务,影子银行和汇率风险等严重的金融风险。因此可以预见,国家各项财政政策的基调将是加强监督,防范风险,遏制泡沫,削减杠杆作用。

The country is now going through a pivotal period of reform deepening and structural transitioning, which requires a stable financial environment. Therefore, it will certainly be a big test for the policymakers to push further financial opening while ensuring that domestic financial markets remain stable.

目前我国正处在深化改革和结构转型的关键时期,需要有一个稳定的金融环境。因此,在确保国内金融市场保持稳定的同时,进一步推动金融开放,对决策者来说肯定是一个很大的考验。

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Photo: Courtesy of Jia Xiangsheng

Cool-headed attitude needed toward tech progress

科技进步需要冷静态度

Jia Xiangsheng, chairman of Beijing-based robotics firm Robot4U Technology Co

北京机器人公司Robot4U科技公司董事长Jia Xiangsheng

Increasingly China has been lauded as a technology power and a global leader in innovation, following the government's push for indigenous innovation, especially in the areas of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

随着中国政府推动自主创新,特别是在机器人和人工智能领域,中国越来越被誉为科技强国和创新的全球领导者。

This has led to the growing global clout of not only Chinese technology behemoths such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Huawei, but a number of tech startups that are innovative yet viable, jointly conceiving a smart future powered by Chinese technologies and solutions.

这不仅使得百度,阿里巴巴,腾讯,华为等中国科技巨头,还有一批具有创新力和活力的科技创业公司在全球范围内的影响力日益增强,共同构筑了以中国技术和解决方案为动力的智慧未来。

Nevertheless, an increased sense of pride among the Chinese people in homegrown technologies shouldn't mask concerns over the country's technology sector. Some of the concerns are particularly noteworthy.

尽管如此,中国人对自主技术的自豪感不应掩盖对中国科技界的担忧。其中一些问题特别值得注意。

While China has already become the world's largest market for industrial robots, its market for service robots has yet to see explosive growth, an indication that efforts are needed to drive the integration of robotics into our daily lives. This doesn't suggest any rash foray into the market for in-home robots that can act as personal assistants, who help with meals or elderly care, as a commercially viable household robot product is not easy to make. It is advisable that companies that have proven prowess in the business-to-business marketplace for service robots should go one step further, exploring opportunities in the business-to-consumer market.

虽然中国已经成为世界上最大的工业机器人市场,但它的服务机器人市场还没有出现爆炸性增长,这表明需要努力推动机器人融入我们的日常生活。这并不意味着在家用机器人的市场上出现任何鲁莽的尝试,这些机器人可以作为个人助理,帮助提供食物或老年人护理,作为一种商业上可行的家用机器人产品是不容易做到的。在企业对商业市场中拥有强大实力的服务机器人公司应该更进一步,探索企业对消费者市场的机会。

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Photo: Courtesy of Fang Xingdong

Dynamics of Internet economy

动态的网络经济

Fang Xingdong, dean of the International Internet Institute, Shantou University, Guangdong

广东汕头大学国际互联网学院院长Fang Xingdong

China has become more and more energetic in the Internet field in 2017. One of the biggest developments in the Chinese Internet was that the Cybersecurity Law went into effect formally. This is the basic law of cyberspace, and it is also the first time the country has set a basic regulatory framework for cyberspace, defining the rights and boundaries of all parties. Therefore, the significance of this law can be by no means underestimated.

2017年,中国在互联网领域的活力越来越高。中国互联网最大的发展之一是网络安全法律正式生效。这是网络空间的基本规律,也是国家第一次为网络空间设定基本的监管框架,明确各方的权利和界限。因此,这项法律的意义绝不可能被低估。

Internet finance has also been eye-catching. A number of Internet finance firms have already gone public but the sector has plenty more dramatic progress still in front of it. China's Internet finance may see real industrial prosperity and establish a new financial order after giants in the field, like Ant Financial, JD Finance and Lufax, get listed.

互联网金融也引人注目。许多互联网金融公司已经公开上市,但该领域仍有许多更引人注目的进展。中国的互联网金融可能会看到真正的工业繁荣,并建立一个新的金融秩序,在这个领域的巨人,如蚂蚁金融,京东金融和陆金所等领域的巨头上市之后建立新的金融秩序。

Innovative development and security governance are the two sides of the Internet and cyberspace, both of which are indispensable. In contrast to the previous emphasis on safety and governance, the digital economy rounded by innovation and development will be the top priority for China both internally and externally. This strategic choice is more in line with our current situation and long-term interests.

创新发展和安全治理是互联网和网络空间的两个方面,两者都是不可缺少的。与以往强调的安全治理相比,数字经济的创新和发展将是中国内部和外部的首要任务。这一战略选择符合我们当前的形势和长远利益。

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A robot demo at the 2017 World Intelligent Manufacturing Conference held in Nanjing, capital of East China’s Jiangsu Province earlier in December Photo: VCG

12月早些时候,在中国东部江苏省省会南京市举行的2017世界智能制造大会上,一个机器人演示展示了VCG

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