Economic Strength Sees Miraculous Changes in New China

China became a successful example of economic development in the world as it increased the size of its economy by more than 100 times over the past several decades.

As the most populous nation in the world, China had lagged far behind developed countries in terms of economic power before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. In 1952, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country was merely 67.9 billion yuan. But in 2000, the GDP topped 8.9 trillion yuan (over one trillion U.S. dollars), ranking seventh in the world.

Official statistics show that China's economy has seen an average annual growth rate of 7.7 percent since 1949. Since China began to reform and open up to the outside world two decades ago, the economy has been growing at an annual rate of 9.3 percent.

Director of the National Bureau of Statistics said that the growth rate was three times that of the average of developing countries and four times of that of developed countries.

Such rapid economic growth has helped China to keep one-fifth of the world's population warm and properly fed. The number of people living under the poverty line has been reduced from 250 million to 30 million in China.

The rapid growth of China's economy has also helped expand the country's links with the world, adding new vigor to the world economy. Nicholas H. Stern, senior vice president and chief economist of the world bank, said that the global goal of lifting poverty would be impossible to achieve if China and other major developing countries fail to retain fast economic growth.

Mike Moore, director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said that without the membership of China, the WTO will not be complete.

In the 1990s, China successfully maintained social stability in the process of rapid economic growth as the former Soviet Union fell apart and dramatic changes took place in eastern Europe.

According to Chinese economist Hu Angang, China's stability is well founded because the economic growth has brought benefits to common people and China is open to the introduction of all advanced achievements of human civilization.

Over the past two decades, China has unremittingly endeavored to reform and adapt its economic system to the practical situation of the country. Its expedition to develop a market economy under the socialist system has drawn world-wide attention.

China has chosen a practical way to carry out the unprecedented transformation from a planned economy to a market economy. The introduction of the system of contracted responsibilities based on the household in rural areas, the social security system and the market system have all become stepping stones for China in this course of reform.

As China deepened reform and opened wider to the outside world, a lot of things that would be unimaginable two decades ago have come into being in China, such as Sino-foreign joint ventures, auctions of land, stock exchanges and listed companies.

Over the past two decades, the ownership of television sets had grown from 0.6 for every 100 households to 116.6 for every 100 households in cities. Over one million Chinese households have bought cars, which were regarded as exclusive luxuries for government officials. The common Chinese are enjoying greater room for freedom as the Internet and modern telecommunication tools have penetrated all aspects of their lives.

Today, China has become the top producer of steel, coal, cement, cereal, meat and cotton in the world. It ranks among the top ten trading nations and the second largest destination of direct foreign investment in the world. The Chinese currency Renminbi remained stable during the Asian financial crisis, thanks to the 165.6 billion U.S. dollar foreign currency reserve of the country.

Local economists said that the miraculous growth in economic power was due to the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which has been focusing on realizing the independence, liberalization, rejuvenation and prosperity of the nation and on improving the benefits for the people.

In the next five decades, China will continue to explore new horizons in its economic development. The completion of the Three Gorges Dam and the Qinghai-Tibet railway will become milestones in the country's drive to become a moderately developed country.

The CPC, which came into being as China was overwhelmed by various disasters 80 years ago, will continue to lead China to achieve prosperity. The experience of the past 80 years proves that the CPC always earnestly represents the development requirements of China's advanced social productive forces. It will continue to lead the people of China to build a strong, modernized, socialist country of prosperity, democracy and civilization.

People's Daily Online ---