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Excess Capacity in China’s Economy: Not a Flaw, but a Design Choice

Following the March meeting of China’s National People’s Congress, it became clear that President Xi Jinping was determined to strengthen China’s manufacturing capabilities in order to shift the country’s economy away from investing in real estate and infrastructure. This move has sparked concerns about the potential consequences of generating excess capacity, which has been widely discussed in the media.

One area where this policy adjustment has led to significant growth is in the electric vehicle sector. In many markets, Chinese electric vehicles offer a noticeable price advantage due to government subsidies that are an integral component of China’s industrial policy. However, Xi Jinping’s decision to prioritize exports over domestic consumption ignores advice from economists and policymakers who recommend direct support for consumers and workers to boost consumption. A recent report by Rhodium Group predicts that this focus on industrial policy could lead to tensions with China’s trading partners, including the United States and Europe. This move suggests a level of weakness domestically and an unwillingness to address challenging reforms.

Excess capacity is a term with a specific economic definition. According to Rhodium Group, “structural overcapacity” refers to when companies maintain or expand their unused capacity without considering profitability, often because there is no economic pressure to operate efficiently. This concept is particularly relevant to China’s shift towards advanced manufacturing as a means of stimulating economic growth. The report highlights how China’s rapid economic growth in recent years has resulted in excessive capacity in various sectors based on government priorities at the time.

Overall, Xi Jinping’s decision to prioritize exports over domestic consumption raises concerns about the sustainability of China’s economic growth strategy. While boosting exports may provide short-term gains, it ultimately requires addressing domestic challenges such as inequality and lack of consumer spending power if China wants to achieve long-term success as a global economic powerhouse.

By Samantha Jones

As a dedicated content writer at, I bring a unique blend of creativity and precision to my work. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, I strive to craft engaging and informative articles that captivate our readers. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am committed to delivering content that resonates with our audience and keeps them coming back for more. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the ever-evolving world of news and information together.

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