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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 13:37, November 15, 2004
55 new economic terms since founding of PRC - Part two
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In the 55 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, particularly since the reform and opening up, new words and phrases and new concepts keep emerging. China Business Times selected 55 new terms related to economic life from them. They reflect the huge changes that have taken place in China's social life and people's mind over the 55 years.

Green label

The label formed by a few water waves, a sprout and the letters - "LB" has become one of the symbols that the general public cares most. The concept of "green" started off being related to environmental condition. Later the application of green label became increasingly extensive ranging from dishware, furniture, housing to automobiles and tourism. Recently even construction of websites wants to be green. It seems "green" is not only related to safety of material life but also to safety in cultural areas.

Tax payment

For a rather long time tax payment seems to be matters that concerns only businesses. Nowadays more and more people realize that paying tax is a duty of a citizen. Therefore some private entrepreneurs are commended for paying more taxes whilst some celebrities are censured because of tax evasion. As income is raised so is the number of taxpayers. Apart from personal income tax new types of tax such as "inheritance tax" is also under discussion. On the premise of general tax payment the general public begin to have "taxpayer" awareness and require the government to provide better services based on this.

Farmer worker

China is traditionally an agricultural country. With the reform and opening up a great many farmers and rural labors migrate to cities to look for jobs in the industrialization and urbanization process. So were born farmer workers. This quietly-emerged group is playing an increasingly irreplaceable role in China's economic construction. Their living environment and their various inherent needs have caught more and more attention of the society and the government.

Moderate prosperity in all respects

At the beginning of the 1980s Deng Xiaoping proposed the three-step development strategy. By then the simple criterion of "moderate prosperity" is a per capita income of $800. Now per capita income in China has exceeded $1,000, but China is still not "moderately prosperous" enough in many respects. Therefore, moderate prosperity in all respects has become the goal of next step.

Incorporating human rights into the Constitution

In 2004 the 2nd meeting of the 10th National People's Congress adopted an amendment to the Constitution by which the phrase "the state respects and safeguards human rights" was written into the Constitution. "Incorporating human rights into the Constitution" has an epoch-making significance. After the liberation and as they enjoy an affluent life the Chinese people finally found the feel of masters at a higher level.

Soft landing

In the middle of the 1990s following the emergence of some abnormal phenomena in the development of national economy the government actively intervened with macro-control measures and achieved the great success of drastically reducing prices while maintaining a relatively high economic growth. According to international opinions this was a successful soft landing. Today macro-control is becoming a commonly used measure to settle the periodic and structural discrepancies in the economic development. Soft landing is also viewed as an ideal situation when the above-mentioned discrepancies are reconciled in a timely manner.

"Shenzhou" spaceship

From the summon of "Science to Go" voiced at the beginning of the PRC to the High Tech Research and Development (863) Program enacted in the 1980s China's scientific and technological undertaking keeps scaling new heights and creating new miracles under the strategic judgment that "science and technology is the primary productive force". First, the "Shenzhou" manned spaceship sent the astronaut hero Yang Liwei into the space, then multi-pilot manned space flights are planned. "Shenzhou" became a classic work symbolizing the success of China's hi-tech undertaking. It enabled Chinese people to "take off" and brought the Chinese people the respect of the whole world.

Market economy

The proposal and establishment of the concept is of epochal significance. Before that we had the experience of groping for "planned economy" and we had the embarrassment of "giving priority to planned economy with due consideration of market economy". Only when the 14th National Congress of the Communist Party of China explicitly suggested "market economy" was the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics suddenly enlightened. However, we are doing a far inadequate job in establishing and improving the market economy. We even have to face new problems such as the "market economy status". But we have no choice but to "learn the laws of war in a war" and carry the market economy to its end.

Three rural questions

China is traditionally a big agricultural country - a basic characteristic that has not been fundamentally changed ever since. Therefore the "three rural" questions that stand for the agriculture, rural areas and farmers questions have influenced the economic development of whole China and is linked with the stability of the Chinese society. For many years lots of conceptions, measures and tests aimed at solving the "three rural" questions have been proposed and implemented, which have made rather successful achievements but which also have many hard-nut problems. Now a unanimous common understanding is that solving of the three rural questions can no longer be delayed.

Three Gorges project

On April 3, 1992 a resolution was adopted at the 5th meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the National People's Congress to build Three Gorges project with 1,767 of the attending delegates in favor of it, 177 against and 664 abstaining from voting. During the more than ten years the Three Gorges dam has been erected in the middle of the river. Main body project and principle supporting projects have been generally completed and begun to generate electricity. The huge investment of the Three Gorges project, arduous migration work, its expected economic function and possible negative impact will probably be discussed for a long time to come. However, it cannot be denied that the Three Gorge project like other great projects such as the West-to-east Electricity Transmission, West-to-east Natural Gas Transfer, South-to-north Water Diversion projects incarnate the abundant strength and fight-the-nature resolution of the Chinese people.

Audit storm

Since 2001 the audit report that the National Audit Office began to submit to the Standing Committee of the NPC has gradually caught the attention of the general public. These audit reports revealed many rule-violating facts and named some departments and persons directly responsible for them in such a way that some corruption cases were exposed. The reason the general public call the work of the National Audit Office "audit storm" is because it washed away dirt and dust and cast sunshine on the spending of taxpayers' money


Fashion may be a precious watch or a latest dress design. Fashion may be practicing yoga and learning Taekwondo in a gymnasium, or dancing Yangge and street dance. Fashion may be a traditional tea art, may be Haagen-Dazs, may be someone's arrangement for his room, or may be a song that lots of young people love to pass on. In a word, fashion is a kind of life mode or life appeal that can catches on quickly. It adorns people's life and can effectively stimulate consumption. The changeful fashion is one of the factors that pull economic growth.


As a new thing hearing is viewed as a reflection of democracy. From the appropriateness of a legal article to the price adjustment of water, electricity and gas that concern the general public the official hearing system provides a channel for ordinary people to express opinions and suggestions. Whatever the outcome may be the system itself is widely regarded as a kind of progress. However, apparently people are still expecting the system to play a really effective role.


After 15-year-long marathon negotiations China officially acceded into the World Trade Organization on December 11, 2001. The WTO suddenly entered our lives. The WTO is closely linked with the lives of Chinese people, for on the one hand according to the estimate of World Bank China's export would quickly jump to the second position in 20 years after its accession into the WTO, second only to the US. On the other hand the WTO will bring along numerous compulsory constraints, which demand amendments and improvements of out laws and regulations and further opening up of our market. In short this is a battle that combines opportunities and challenges.

West China development

At the beginning of this century China established the West China development strategy. In the last four years more than 3,000 yuan of the central strategic construction funds has been spent on the development of west China and more than one third of the long-term construction national debts has gone to it. Besides, companies in the east region, particularly the private companies are also actively participating in the West China development. By the joint efforts investment and economic development speed in the west region is picking up and the urban and rural regions look completely new. In order to enhance the coordinated development of regional economies a strategy of reinvigorating the old northeast industrial base has also been implemented following the West China development strategy. These development strategies both in the east and the west will boost up the staying power of China's economic development.

Reemployment of the laid-off

The phrase should be two concepts with different yet closely linked meanings. "Layoff" is "pangs" as a result of industrial restructuring and reform of the economic system. It is also the aftermath of the conflicts that have been accumulating for years. However, this particular unemployment phenomenon should by no means be treated lightly. Fortunately since the worker brothers make constant efforts to improve themselves; the government takes different measures and private economy opens up extensive employment channels the "reemployment" project is progressing smoothly.

Petty bourgeoisie

Nowadays "petty bourgeoisie" is a term that has basically rid of its ideological and class sense. It no longer has derogatory sense in it. On the contrary it expresses more of a life mode, a life appeal and a life attitude. The concept of "petty bourgeoisie" reflects the diversity of social life and freedom of the society.

Foreign enterprise

Foreign enterprise is short for enterprise with foreign investment. In an age when foreign enterprises were rare, working in a foreign enterprise was the dream of a great many people. In an age when foreign enterprises appear like bamboo shoots after a spring rain foreign enterprises are also the best end-result of many people who look for a job. Today China attracts the most direct foreign investments in the world.

In line with international practice

Amid the wave of economic globalization the Chinese economy has blended into that of the world. Therefore with regard to industrial standards, laws and policies, government working style, mode of personal intercourse and other aspects we must get in line with international practice. This is a new realm to be opened up to the outside world.

Putting people first

Putting people first was once a very old concept. It is the foundation of the traditional "benevolence" theory in Confucianism and the core of humanism in the west. In the 21st century it is not only a stronger call from the Chinese people but also in an increasingly clear way becomes an important basis of the governing thinking of the ruling Party. Under the reference of the "putting people first" thinking, "governing for the people", "power exercised for the people, love tied to the people and benefits sought for the people" have become inevitable. Relevant laws and regulations must be branded by it. "Good administration" or "vicious administration" is distinguished by referring to it.

Administration according to law

"Administration according to law" has been proposed for many years. But never in the past has it found its way so deep into people' heart where it is deeply loved. In China which lacks the tradition of rule of law people came to realize after 55 years' practice that without a sound rule-of-law system a country cannot be governed well. Although construction of rule of law is far from being perfect, as long as we proceed firmly down the path of administration according to law the future is bright.

One country, two systems

In 1982 Deng Xiaoping for the first time proposed the concept of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems" during a conversation, which brought forward a creative solution for the return of Hong Kong and Macao and final settlement of the Taiwan question. As the five-star red flag was raised on July 1, 1994 and December 20, 1994 Hong Kong and Macao were returned to China, and China no longer had even an inch of its territory controlled by foreign countries. Now although the Taiwan separatists are still trying to split China the pace of China's reunification process cannot be held up. Under the one-country-two-systems mode the reunification of the two sides is but a matter of time.

Middle class

Some domestic researchers believe the Chinese social structure is transformed from "pyramid type" into "olive type", with the accompanying appearance of middle class. The appearance and growth of this group is bound to bring about new and profounder changes to the social development.


Until the 1980s China's export was composed mainly of agricultural products and mineral products. Nowadays Chinese mechanical and electrical, textile and electronic products are exported in huge quantities. Chinese tourists in foreign countries unheedingly purchase souvenirs labeled "made in China". The world has viewed China as a manufacturing base. Some people with hidden intents even deem "China-made" as "China threat". For our part we are more concerned with how to invent more "Chinese brands" with independent intellectual property rights and form stronger core competence.


After bidding farewell to the "target" era of the planned economy the Chinese society entered an "index" era. The original meaning of index is the ratio of the numerical value of a certain economic phenomenon within a particular period of time to that of the same phenomenon within a comparable standard period of time. However, today's indices are not limited to indices reflecting economic phenomena such as prices and stock markets etc. Things closely linked with ordinary life such as influenza, clothing, climbing, morning exercises and car washing all have their own indices. This is a vivid expression of social progress.

Subsistence allowances

The concept is the last security line that the government prescribes for each city to guarantee the "minimum living standard for citizens". As for now the criteria are different in different cities. Some of them are higher and some are lower. The long-term objective is to "have all their essential needs met those who are eligible". In the meantime consideration should be given to the social security of farmers.

- Party two of two

By People's Daily Online

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