I would even argue it's the other way around: React's primary selling point is making it easier to write good (as in: easy to follow) code. That its performance is very much acceptable is a nice plus or even a requirement, but would never be the reason for me to choose it.
It still has some bugs, but when it works, it's faster than calling the server for each page. This is because the entire site is loaded into the browser, and each page is deleted and rebuilt when a link is clicked. https://www.sparational.com