The Chinese economy bid farewell to years of double-digit growth but became more energy efficient than forecasts from last year.
The country's energy consumption per unit GDP fell 4.6 percent in 2008. This is the first time the country managed to reach its targeted annual energy cut of 4 percent, intended to raise energy efficiency by 20 percent between 2006 and 2010.
A commentary on China Daily says the achievement will surprise experts who worry the country has fallen too far behind in energy conservation.
It has been argued that the higher energy efficiency, largely as a result of the sudden deceleration of heavy industries, is only temporary. But the author suggests this fails to grasp China's current growth pattern.
As the global financial crisis forces China to move away from a dependence on exports, the article says industrial restructuring in favor of energy conservation will naturally improve.
It concludes by saying Chinese policymakers, busy rolling out massive stimulus measures for various industries, should ensure that all new investments are carried out with high energy efficiency standards.
deceleration [di:,selə'reiʃən]n. 减速