China still has a huge distance from 'being developed'

15:44, February 10, 2011      

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Along with the resolve to carry out the reform and participate in the international cooperation, the national economy in China has moved to the world's forefront and its people's livelihoods has also upgraded on a whole. This is for all to see, and we thank friends worldwide for their kind intention and affirmation of our country's development and progress.

China's development is imbalanced however, as its integral development is still limited; and China is still a developing nation. First, taking China's population as the base, the amount of space for the development is inadequate. Second, China's average human development index (HDI) is in the middle and lower status in the world and, thirdly, China's domestic regional differences are relatively big, and the dislocation between the economic society and the humanity environmental protection is more protruding. Hence, to reduce its disparity with the developed nations, China has to take arduous efforts to bridge the "digital gap".

Speaking of China's immense population size, which is roughly one-fifth of the world's total population, China is still among the developing countries in the context of its global economic status. To view from the longitudinal aspect to compare with its poor and backward past, China has made sizable progress over the past six decades and particularly in the past 30 years of reform and open-up endeavor.

From a crosswise analysis, however, China and Japan share a similar economic scale. Japan has one tenth or less of China's massive population and one 25th of the latter's land area, but it has led China in its total economic output for a long period of time; the United States has only 22 percent of China's population, but its economic scale has topped that of China by 140 percent. Obviously, Chinese economy has far from reaching that of developed countries and, it hinted at the apparent far-low economic level with that of developed countries.

On a global scale, China turns out only less than one tenth of global wealth, but it has about 20 percent of the world's population. So, an average Chinese citizen produces only less than half of global per-capita GDP. In this regard, China's has such a great disparity with the world's medium level. Besides, China's economy and social development has distinct regional differences, its environment ecological protection is out of pace with its economic growth and the division of income is also somewhat imbalanced. All these signs are typical pattern for a less economically developed nation.

As a result of an ultra large-scale, especially due to China's imbalanced development, however, China may possibly look dazzling with its partial advancement. For instance, China's high-speed rail building technology, through importation and repeated innovation, has become an "exotic" or enchanting flower of developing nations as well as an "innovation range pole" for inspiration or self-encouragement of Americans.

Nevertheless, China's high-speed rail technology can hardly cope with a longstanding travel rush during the annual spring festival or Chinese lunar new year, which falls on early February this year, and still less to a speedy settlement of other social-economic development issues.

Only coming to realize China's development progress and insufficiency, can people in the country have a more rational judgment of its national strength at the current stage. Owing to the open-up and international cooperation, the competitive power in China has indeed enhanced but its per-capita Human Development Index (HDI), but this is not yet with the full signs of a developed country, because China still feels an acute shortage of resources and capabilities.

Furthermore, China's development is also faced with a host of bottlenecks or difficulties and the nation's continued cooperation with the international community is required to tackle issues cropped in the course of development.

Although the overall capability is still limited as a big developing nation, it has truly advanced with an amazing speed that stuns Westerners. People in China are willing to repay at the best of their ability the support given by the world community and they will in turn aid other nations at the same phase of development. And they are convinced that China and the world will move ahead in a steadier, more harmonious way, so as to realize win-win and mutual benefits via wide-ranging international cooperation.

By People's Daily Online and its author is Shen Dingli, an ace professor and a deputy dean of the Institute for International Studies at elite Fudan University in Shanghai.


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