Opening Up a Chinese Miracle

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. Just as Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out in the report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Chinese people today are closer, more confident, and more capable than ever before of making national rejuvenation a reality. The major reasoning for President Xi’s statement is China’s achievements over the past 40 years. In 1978, China’s per capita GDP stood at only US$155, and more than 80 percent of its population lived in rural areas. At that time, China’s imports and exports accounted for only 9.7 percent of the country’s total GDP. Essentially, 90 percent of the country’s GDP was not related to the international economy. However, over the 40 years since China’s historic reform and opening up, the country’s GDP has averaged an annual growth rate of around 9.5 percent in comparable prices. In human history, never has a country with such a huge population and weak foundation been able to realize such a high-speed and long-term growth. It is more than appropriate to call China’s progress over the last 40 years a “China miracle.” In the 1980s and 1990s, almost all developing countries, socialist countries included, carried out reform and opening up. However, instead of prosperity, these reforms caused economic collapse, […]