Since at least 2003, the Shanghai government has, on a yearly basis, communicated its GDP targets to the public. This year, for the first time, the government is refusing to submit a GDP target for 2015, and as the Economist assesses, this isn’t exactly a coincidence since at least 2/3 of Chinese provinces and cities missed their GDP targets in 2014. Shanghai is the first provincial government to omit its GDP target.
Shanghai’s abrupt break from tradition may seem to align with the doom-and-gloom headlines of Forbes’ Gordon Chang, the author of The Coming Collapse of China (2001) and cheery articles such as “China’s Surprise Rate Cut Signals Desperation, Bad News Ahead” (2014).
However, just as China has not collapsed as Chang had predicted in 2001, Shanghai and China’s overall focus on other measures of economic progress, in addition to Xi Jinping’s “relatively high” GDP, may be one indicator that China is focusing on quality of life issues and quality of GDP as well.
Some upcoming changes in focus may lead, at least according to McKinsey Consulting Group, to increased governmental focus on jobs in the technology sector to replace service- and manufacturing-jobs that may soon become obsolete thanks to technological advances, solar and wind farms, and the further construction of high speed rail domestically.
If all else fails, Shanghai and the rest of China can collapse, proving Chang’s dire predictions correct—a mere 14 years later.
By Sophia Solivio
[Photo Credit: Jamie Manley // Table via Business Insider]