CHINA - Fierce Headwinds, Still Economic Growth

Arno Froese

Last year brought some pessimistic, even alarmist, analyses and commentaries on the state of China’s economy. Joe Biden called it a ‘ticking time bomb.’ The Economist took a more sober approach with its cover story ‘Peak China?’ (13 May 2023). 

These grim depictions are surprising, given the country’s 5.2% GDP growth in 2023. Yet gloomy predictions about China are nothing new. Its economy was said to be threatened by ‘overheating’ in the 2000s, by the financial crisis and downturn in international trade in 2009-10, and by capital flight and excessive debt in 2015-16. And Le Monde ran the headline ‘Cracks showing in China’s state capitalism’ in 2012.

Yet the public sector has never been wealthier, with 339.5trn yuan (around $49.0trn) of assets held by non-financial state enterprises at the close of 2022—nearly three times the country’s GDP. The economy more than doubled between 2010 and 2022, according to the World Bank., February 2024

Arno's Commentary

The West’s favorite presumed enemies are China, Russia, and Iran. While the West prides itself in “free speech” (free press), when carefully observing it—particularly in the last few years—we notice that the free press is not really free, but rather subject to prevailing assumptions fueled by pro-Western and anti-Eastern, self-induced opinion.

Is China in the Bible? Most Bible scholars say China is not mentioned; the same is true for America (North and South) or Australia. Countries mentioned are mostly neighboring nations, or those that have more direct relationships with the nation of Israel.

Wikipedia explains: “In modern Hebrew, Sin is the word for China, just as modern Hebrew uses other ambiguous biblical place names for contemporary countries, such as Sfarad for Spain and Tzarfat for France.”

What cannot be denied is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” No nation or group of people is exempt, and that is the wonderful news. Multiple reports confirm that the Church in China is growing at an amazing rate (though officially, it is difficult to establish numbers due to the existence of unregistered churches).

When it comes to global economy, it is no longer a question of if but rather when China will be the undisputed world economic leader. According to Statista (2019), the global manufacturing power index places China at number one, with 28.7% of world output, distantly followed by the USA at 16.8%. In third place is Japan at 7.5%, then Germany at 5.3%, and India 3.1%.

For us as believers, the most important news is that the Church is growing, and the fullness of the Gentiles may come in sooner than we think.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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