40 Years of Achieve­ments and Ex­pe­ri­ence

Re­think­ing the achieve­ments and lessons of China’s re­form and open­ing up over the past four decades will help en­lighten and in­spire the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of China and the world at large.

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Hu Bil­iang

Forty years ago, Chi­nese leader Deng Xiaop­ing launched China’s re­form and open­ing up, push­ing the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment into a new his­tor­i­cal pe­riod. To­day, the times call for a care­ful re­view of the na­tion’s achieve­ments and ex­pe­ri­ences over the past four decades, which will en­lighten and in­spire the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of China and even the world. Achieve­ments and Ex­pe­ri­ences

The achieve­ments China has made in its 40 years of re­form and open­ing up are mainly ev­i­denced by in­sti­tu­tional in­no­va­tion and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

In­sti­tu­tional in­no­va­tion in­cludes five key as­pects: First, China has ex­plored a path of so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics that meets the coun­try’s na­tional con­di­tions. Soon af­ter the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China in 1949, it in­tro­duced the de­vel­op­ment mode of a planned econ­omy used in the Soviet Union. In 1984, China pre­sented the idea of build­ing a “sys­tem of planned com­mod­ity econ­omy,” and then set the goal of build­ing a “sys­tem of so­cial­ist mar­ket econ­omy.” Af­ter decades of ex­plo­rations, the na­tion has es­tab­lished and con­stantly im­proved the sys­tem of so­cial­ist mar­ket econ­omy with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics, laying the ba­sic in­sti­tu­tional foun­da­tion for its rapid eco­nomic growth.

Sec­ond, so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics has en­tered a new era. From re­form to com­pre­hen­sively deep­en­ing re­form, from open­ing up to cre­at­ing a new land­scape for all-round open­ing up, China’s re­form and open­ing up has also en­tered a new era.

Third, the per­sis­tent ur­ban-ru­ral dual struc­ture has been ba­si­cally bro­ken, and break­throughs have been made in forg­ing a frame­work

for ur­ban-ru­ral in­te­gra­tion.

Fourth, based on its na­tional con­di­tions, China has es­tab­lished and im­proved a poverty erad­i­ca­tion sys­tem with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics, which has been proven ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing poverty. To date, nearly 800 mil­lion im­pov­er­ished peo­ple in the coun­try have been lifted out of poverty.

Fifth, the new type of ur­ban­iza­tion has been in­creas­ingly pro­gress­ing. China’s ur­ban­iza­tion rate rose from 18 per­cent in 1978 to 59 per­cent at the end of 2017. More­over, its ur­ban ser­vice level and ca­pac­ity, en­ergy uti­liza­tion ef­fi­ciency, and so­cial gov­er­nance ca­pac­ity have con­stantly im­proved.

China’s achieve­ments in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment are demon­strated in the fol­low­ing five as­pects: First, its over­all eco­nomic strength has been re­mark­ably en­hanced. In 1978, its GDP was only US$150 bil­lion, rank­ing 11th in the world. The fig­ure rock­eted to US$13 tril­lion in 2017, sec­ond in the world. Sec­ond, the added value of its man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try ranks first glob­ally af­ter in­creas­ing from US$60 bil­lion in 1978 to to­day’s nearly US$ 4 tril­lion. Third, its cargo trade rade vol­ume ranks first in the world af­ter ris­ing from US$21 bil­lion in 1978 78 to US$ 4 tril­lion in 2017. Fourth, h, its for­eign ex­change re­serve ranks first in the world af­ter in­creas­ing from m US$170 mil­lion in 1978 to more e than US$3 tril­lion at the end of 2017. Fifth, food se­cu­rity in China ina is now guar­an­teed. In the early days ys of its re­form and open­ing up, China’s na’s to­tal grain yield was about 300 mil­lion tons— 300 kilo­grams per er capita. In 2017, its to­tal grain out­put ut­put ex­ceeded 600 mil­lion tons, and per capita out­put reached 450 kilo­grams. rams.

Ten key lessons can be drawn from China’s re­mark­able achieve­ments: First of all, China’s pro­found his­tory and cul­ture have been con­verted into driv­ing forces for its de­vel­op­ment. Sec­ond, China has cho­sen the right, unique de­vel­op­ment road suited for its na­tional con­di­tions, which is a road to so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. Third, China ad­heres to mar­ket- ori­ented re­form. Fourth, China has con­stantly pushed for­ward its open­ing up to the world. The coun­try’s open­ing up can be roughly di­vided into four phases: in­tro­duc­ing for­eign in­vest­ments through build­ing Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones ( SEZS) start­ing in 1979, join­ing the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion in 2001 to align China’s trade and in­vest­ment rules with the world, de­vel­op­ing pi­lot free trade ar­eas ( FTAS) since 2013 to fa­cil­i­tate in­ter­na­tional trade and in­vest­ment, and in­tro­duc­ing the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive in the au­tumn of 2013 to take bolder and wider steps in open­ing up. Fifth, China has al­ways placed eco­nomic work at the top of its agenda. Sixth, China has main­tained po­lit­i­cal and so­cial sta­bil­ity. Sev­enth, China has taken ac­tive mea­sures to fa­cil­i­tate and pro­tect benign com­pe­ti­tion. Eighth, China places pri­or­ity on the de­vel­op­ment of ed­u­ca­tion. Ninth, China has for­mu­lated and en­acted a se­ries of de­vel­op­ment plans. Tenth, the Chi­nese peo­ple are dili­gent and en­ter­pris­ing.

An­other se­cret be­hind the suc­cess of China’s re­form and open­ing up has been tak­ing grad­ual steps along the road of re­form and open­ing up. For in­stance, the house­hold con­tract re­spon­si­bil­ity sys­tem started in Xiao­gang

Vil­lage in An­hui Province, where re it was stan­dard­ized and in­sti­tu­tion- ion­al­ized be­fore be­com­ing na­tion­wide wide prac­tice via the for­mu­la­tion and d im­ple­men­ta­tion of rel­e­vant poli­cies cies af­ter it was proven ef­fec­tive in rais­ing grain yield by a large mar­gin. rgin. Just like re­form in ru­ral ar­eas, ur­ban rban re­form, SEZS and FTAS all fol­lowed owed a sim­i­lar pro­gres­sive process. Global Sig­nif­i­cance

The suc­cess of China’s re­form m and open­ing up has been glob­ally ly sig­nif­i­cant.

China’s eco­nomic strength has greatly im­proved due to its re­form rm and open­ing up, so the coun­try is now able to pro­vide more and d bet­ter pub­lic goods and ser­vices s

for peo­ple all over the world and make greater con­tri­bu­tions to ac­cel­er­at­ing global eco­nomic growth and safe­guard­ing world peace. In re­cent years, China has con­trib­uted more than 30 per­cent of the world’s eco­nomic growth.

Specif­i­cally, over the five years since it pro­posed the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, China has in­vested a large vol­ume of funds in in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion around the world, in­clud­ing a rail­way project in Ta­jik­istan, a tun­nel project in Uzbek­istan, power plant projects in Pakistan, a rail­way project in Laos, high-speed rail projects in In­done­sia and Thai­land, port projects in Myan­mar and Sri Lanka, an in­dus­trial park project in Be­larus, and high­way and rail­way projects in Africa. All of th­ese projects have made di­rect con­tri­bu­tions to im­prov­ing in­fra­struc­ture con­nec­tiv­ity around the world.

Presently, China im­ports about US$2 tril­lion of goods and US$500 bil­lion of ser­vices from around the world an­nu­ally and has be­come a mas­sive com­modi­ties and ser­vices mar­ket. In re­cent years, China’s out­bound in­vest­ment has sur­passed its in­bound in­vest­ment, mak­ing it a ma­jor net cap­i­tal ex­porter of the world. China also took the lead in the es­tab­lish­ment of the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank and the BRICS New De­vel­op­ment Bank, which have pro­vided re­mark­able amounts of de­vel­op­ment funds for less- de­vel­oped coun­tries.

More­over, China has car­ried out in­ter­na­tional pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity co­op­er­a­tion with global part­ners and built in­dus­trial parks in many coun­tries. Th­ese mea­sures rep­re­sent great con­tri­bu­tions to pro­mot­ing the in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion process of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and help­ing them cre­ate more jobs and rev­enues.

China is also mak­ing greater con­tri­bu­tions to im­prov­ing global gov­er­nance. Start­ing in 2019, China will be­come the sec­ond-largest con­trib­u­tor to the UN reg­u­lar bud­get, af­ter the United States. Of all of the five per­ma­nent mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, China has dis­patched the largest num­ber of per­son­nel to UN peace­keep­ing mis­sions. China has moder­ately in­creased its in­vest­ment in the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund and the World Bank ac­cord­ing to needs. All of th­ese are con­ducive to im­prov­ing the global gov­er­nance sys­tem and en­abling in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions to play a more pos­i­tive role.

On the other hand, the suc­cess­ful ex­pe­ri­ences China has ac­cu­mu­lated across the past 40 years of its re­form and open­ing up, es­pe­cially those con­cern­ing de­vel­op­ment path suited for na­tional con­di­tions, poverty alle­vi­a­tion, gov­er­nance and en­ergy struc­ture trans­for­ma­tion, will pro­vide use­ful ref­er­ences for other coun­tries in the world, es­pe­cially de­vel­op­ing na­tions.

Back in the 1980s, Bu Xin­sheng (cen­ter), di­rec­tor of a state- owned T-shirt fac­tory in Zhe­jiang Province, in­tro­duced man­age­ment meth­ods of a mar­ket econ­omy that led to a wave of en­ter­prise re­form. For this rea­son, he was dubbed a “pi­o­neer in China's ur­ban eco­nomic sys­tem re­form.” The pic­ture shows Bu work­ing on a new de­sign with em­ploy­ees at a work­shop in 1984. by Dai Jim­ing/ Xin­hua

The re­form and open­ing up has en­abled many Chi­nese farm­ers to be­come wealthy. Here, Sun Guiy­ing, a chicken farmer in Bei­jing's Chang­ping Dis­trict, poses for a pic­ture with her fam­ily be­side a car they just bought in 1984. Sun was the first farmer to own a pri­vate car in the his­tory of the Peo­ple's Repub­lic of China. by Li XI/CFB

1981: Chi­nese young peo­ple read un­der the street lights at Tian'an­men Square in Bei­jing. Since China re­sumed the col­lage en­trance ex­am­i­na­tion in 1977, the coun­try's higher ed­u­ca­tion has de­vel­oped rapidly with the re­form and open­ing up. by Liu He­ung Shing

China's first KFC restau­rant opened in Qian­men, Bei­jing in 1987, be­com­ing the first Western fast-food brand to en­ter the Chi­nese mar­ket. CFB

1984: The top­ping- out cer­e­mony of the In­ter­na­tional Trade Cen­ter Build­ing in Shen­zhen. In­de­pen­dently de­signed by China, the 150-me­ter­tall build­ing was the high­est struc­ture across the coun­try at that time and dubbed an “icon of China's re­form and open­ing up.” by Jiang Shi­gao/cfb

Oc­to­ber 1, 2010: A na­tional flag-rais­ing cer­e­mony is held in front of the China Pavil­ion at Shang­hai Expo 2010. The 2010 World Expo in Shang­hai show­cased China's re­mark­able achieve­ments since the be­gin­ning of its re­form and open­ing up in the late 1970s, and pushed the coun­try to fur­ther open its door to the out­side world. by Chen Fei/ Xin­hua

July 13, 2001: Peo­ple cel­e­brate on the street af­ter Bei­jing wins its bid to host the 2008 Olympics. Af­ter decades of re­form and open­ing up, China has wit­nessed im­pres­sive eco­nomic growth and showed a new look to the world. by Zou YI/CFB

Novem­ber 28, 2018: The first train de­parts from Han­dan to Mos­cow, one of the routes of China Rail­way Ex­press, car­ry­ing 41 com­part­ments and trav­el­ing 9,500 kilo­me­ters in 15 days to ar­rive in the Rus­sian city. Xin­hua

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