BEIJING, Sept. 3 -- China is experiencing a temporary economic slowdown rather than a downturn, said Cheng Siwei, former vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, raising the prospect that adjustments might be necessary.
"The domestic inflation, severe winter weather, devastating earthquakes and the weakening global economy in the first half year have pushed the country's economy to the edge of decline, but it is getting better", Cheng said in a China Central Television talk show aired on Tuesday night.
He said according to the business cycle theory, any economy develops in cycles, and 10 years constituted a cycle for China's economy.
The decade from 1990 to 2000 saw about a 14 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first two or three years and then a slowdown to about 8 percent in the remaining period. Economic growth continued rising from about 7.3 percent per annum in 2001 to 11.4 percent in 2007.
The estimated GDP growth rate in 2008 may slow to around 10 percent. Worry over a downturn for the Chinese economy reemerged.
However, he didn't agree with the view that the Chinese economy faced a watershed, noting that this year's growth rate, compared with 2007, meant only a temporary slowdown lasting two or three years.
The country's decision makers now face the problem of combating inflation while at the same time boosting economic growth in the rest of the year to ensure a steady and fast economic development. He said the two courses could be both contradictory and mutually stimulating. It is the strategy which could maintain a strong momentum for investment, consumption and exports while controlling inflation at six to seven percent that matters, he said.
The government said last week it would stick to an economic policy that focuses on curbing inflation for the rest of the year.