Report: China to complete first stage of modernization by 2015

The China Modernization Report 2007 was released Saturday in Beijing. Based on statistical analysis, the research team predicted that according to China's growth speed between 1980 and 2004, it will be another eight years before the nation realizes its first stage of modernization. This means that in 2015, China will have modernized to the level of developed nations in 1960.

The first stage of modernization is the shift from an agricultural era to industrial era, and the profound changes to the economy, society and civilization that occur with it, said He Chuanqi, a research fellow who leads the China Modernization Strategic Studies Group under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The group studies industrialization, urbanization, secularization and the improvement of social welfare and democracy.

By 2005, China had realized 87 percent of its goals for the first stage of modernization, one percentage point higher than the previous year, the report found. In 2004, China was ranked 55th among 108 countries in terms of the extent to which it had realized the first stage of modernization; its second stage modernization index was 39, ranking 51st, and its comprehensive modernization index was 35, ranking 59th.

Within China, 11 regions including Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Guandong rose in the rankings in 2005, and 9 regions including Hubei, Hunan, Shandong and Shaanxi fell in the rankings.

In 2005, of China's 34 provincial-level regions, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan had completed the first stage of modernization; 7 regions, including Beijing, had realized almost 90 percent of the criteria for the first stage of modernization; and 14 regions, including Fujian, had realized between 80 and 89 percent.

Outside of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, the top 10 regions in terms of progress made on the first stage of modernization in 2005 were: Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Liaoning, Fujian, Chongqing, Shandong, Heilongjiang, Jilin and Shanxi.

In 2004, Chinese regions at the front of modernization drive entered the development stage of second-time modernization. China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan had reached the level of developed countries, while Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin had caught up with moderately developed countries.

Modernization indicators

To measure the modernization levels of countries and regions, the China Modernization Strategic Studies Group established assessment criteria for first and second stage modernization drives.

  • The first stage of modernization typically features industrialization and urbanization. There are 10 indicators in total: per capita GNP, proportion of agricultural added-value, proportion of catering industry added-value, proportion of agricultural labor force, proportion of urban population, quality and availability of medical services, infant survival rate, life expectancy, adult literacy rate and college popularity rate.

  • Typical features of the second stage of modernization include a knowledge-driven and information-driven society. Indicators fall into four categories: knowledge innovation, knowledge dissemination, life quality and economic quality. There are 16 smaller indicators that include fund allocation for knowledge innovation and the popularity of the internet, as well as four signal indicators, which are the respective proportions of industrial added value, material industries added value, industrial work force and the material industries work force.

    By People's Daily Online

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