Reform, opening-up break new ground
Reform and opening-up have been the key reason for the rise of the Chinese economy and thus the Chinese nation. It is through reform and opening-up that China has blazed a unique trail, creating new space for the development of and injecting vitality into socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Four decades of reform and opening-up have facilitated the "epic progress" of China in modern times. It has also integrated China with the world and helped the world to rediscover China, benefiting both the world and the Chinese people in the process.
The per capita disposable income in China's urban areas increased from 343 yuan in 1978 to 36,000 yuan ($5,245) in 2017 while rural per capita net income rose from 134 yuan to 13,400 yuan. And more than 800 million Chinese have been lifted out of absolute poverty, accounting for over 70 percent of global poverty reduction.
The Chinese economy has grown rapidly to overtake Italy, France, Britain, Germany and Japan to become the second largest in the world.
China is now the world's largest exporter and the second-largest importer. It has also been the largest contributor to world economic growth and stability for years.
China's achievements have enabled the world to develop a whole new understanding of socialism and showed that the Western model of modernization is not the only one that other countries can follow to develop and modernize.
Even at the height of the Cold War, Chinese leaders had emphasized that peace and development are the leading trends of the times. In this context, China's development path, based on its 5,000-year-old civilization, conforms to the trend of peace and development.
Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, China has launched a great revolution, the most profound in Chinese history, by combining scientific truth and China's actual conditions.
Contemporary China has opened its doors to and remains committed to promoting economic globalization while deepening reform and strengthening its innovation capacity. Learning from other countries, China has stimulated innovation in theory, and in the fields of science and technology, and culture.
True, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era after the CPC's 19th National Congress in October, but there are still mountains to climb and treacherous seas to cross.
China needs to build a modern economic system, shift from quantitative growth to qualitative growth, and make innovation a major growth engine. And given that China has vowed to eliminate abject poverty by 2020, and protect the environment and ecology as one protects his or her own eyes, it has no choice but to meet the mounting challenges, risks and uncertainties from home and abroad, while maintaining national security, social stability and sustainable development. Only in this way can it realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
It is not easy to fulfill any of the tasks. But since China today, after 40 years of exploration, struggle and experience, is more firm and confident than ever to deepen reform and opening-up, it will complete those tasks.
In the new era, reform and opening-up have a clearer direction and distinct value orientation, thanks to China's mature methodology and broader vision. To deepen reform, and to chart its future development path, improve its governance and strengthen the rule of law, China will adhere to the leadership of the Party, which is the fundamental characteristic of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
And the opening-up of the Chinese economy will be larger in scale and at a higher level, which will inject new vitality into China's growth while contributing to world peace and development.
People will get to share more dividends of China's development, as reform and opening-up are oriented toward, and centered and reliant on the people, which lend righteousness and vitality to their cause.
The nation will thrive only if it strives to perform better. Reform and opening-up are all about solemn promises and putting them into practice. In this sense, the new era demands greater efforts from generations to achieve the desired results from reform and opening-up, which have broken new ground for China and should be resolutely and courageously advanced.
This is an translated excerpt from an article published in People's Daily on Aug 12.