TO Be More and More Prosperous

Updated: 2010-12-12 18:08

Old China’s backward economy worsened through long years of war. The history of economic development in the People’s Republic of China since is one of arduous struggle by the Chinese people.

The new Chinese government had to spend its first three years (1949-52) rehabilitating the economy before it could undertake any significant socialist transformation and construction. Thanks to land reform, China’s 300 million peasants owning little or no land received more than 46 million hectares of cultivated land, plus draught animals, farm implements, houses and other types of property. This marked the end of feudal landownership in China, the basis of feudal exploitation for 2,000 years and the root cause of the country’s poverty and backwardness.

By the end oTO Be More and More Prosperousf 1952, China’s economy and finances had taken a basic turn for the better and lay a foundation for the transition period. During 1953-1957, the First Five-Year Plan for national economic development was carried out. At that time,the economy grew at a relatively fast pace, the economic performance of enterprises was generally good and major economic departments were on the whole balanced with one anther.

During 1957-1966, it stretched from the basic completion of socialist transformation to the eve of the “cultural revolution” . Despite serious setbacks, China achieved great success in her economic development as a whole.

However, in the following 10 years,the “cultural revolution” brought China the biggest setbacks and losses since 1949, causing a loss of 500 billion yuan in national income, but the harm done to the economy was mitigated through a joint struggle waged by Communist Party members and the masses of workers, peasants, People’s Liberation Army men, intellectuals and educated young people.

The convention of the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in December 1978 marked a significant turning point in China’s post-Liberation history. The Party shift the focus of work to socialist modernization, readjust the national economy and restructure the economic managerial system. Through practice, a course of socialist modernization suitable for China’s conditions has been found. Gross agricultural output value rose at an annual rate of 9.4 percent between 1979 and 1984, and output of food grain, cotton, edible, oils, sugar bearing crops and meat has topped records time and again.

The reform and opening-up policy,which was approved by Deng Xiaoping,has reaped great achievements in improving the performance of the China’s economy and the people’s living standards.

One of the outstanding achievements is that China’s economic and comprehensive national strengths have witnessed continuous enhancement and the living standards and welfare of the people have seen much improvement. China is currently the world’s third largest trader. Suffering shortages of many necessities in the past, China today has now a surplus of production capacity on the whole. At the same time, with continuous improvement in living standards the people in general lead a comfortably well-off life.

In 2008, China’s per-capita GDP exceeded US$3,000. The population in abject poverty has decreased from 250 million in 1978 to 21.48 million in 2006, down from 30 percent to 2.3 percent of the country’s total population, a remarkable achievement in the history of the world.'

Another important change is one that has taken place in the mindset of the people. Opening up has brought new vitality to the people’s tedious and uniform lifestyle and way of thinking. The people’s spiritual and cultural life has been enriched and their thinking tends to be much more diversified. Concepts as competition, efficiency, democracy and rule of law that they had rarely heard of frequently roll off their tones and they are free to talk about almost everything now. This shows that Chinese people today are enjoying much great freedom in thinking, making their own choices and deciding on their own fate. Thanks to reform and opening up, the Chinese people now enjoys more freedom, and are more self-reliant and more independent. In turn, greater freedom in spiritual and intellectual life have mobilized hundreds of millions of people to devote themselves with creativity and enthusiasm to China’s socio-economic development.

Over the past decades and more, China has succeeded in establishing a market economy. Market forces have replaced the government control and are playing a decisive role in resources allocation. China has gradualTO Be More and More Prosperously been assimilated into the global mainstream. Throughout the process of reform and opening up, China has consciously observed the laws governing the development of human society and overcame many traditional concepts to promote the augmentation of national welfare and revitalization of the Chinese nation.

The reform and opening up of the past three decades or more represented the first time that an “opening-door” policy was adopted in real earnest throughout China’s history. In this process, China learned from Western countries not only technologies but also experience in developing a market economy and democracy. China has successfully seized the opportunities provided by the third wave of globalization and effectively took part in the international division of work to develop its economy. With its accession to the WTO, China is now universally acknowledged an active player in the global economy—its commitments and credit in the capacity of a sovereign country warrant that China will adhere to the reform and opening-up policy for a long time to come.

CPC Heroes

Zhu De

Zhu De, born in Yilong County of Sichuan Province in 1886 and passed away in 1976, is a great Marxist, proletarian revolutionary, statesman and military strategist.

Chen Yi

A native of Le Zhi, in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, and awarded by the People's Republic of China the military rank of marshal; Served as the country's Vice Premier (1954-1972) and Foreign Minister (1958-1972)

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