By John Okeke
China’s reform and opening-up is a good omen as it has not only contributed to the development of the country itself, but also to that of the world since it started in 1978.
As the world’s second largest economy, China has contributed to more than 30 percent of global growth for years. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said China is building the “bridge to the world”, the “bridge to prosperity” and the “bridge to the future” at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) concluded not long ago.
Over the past four decades, China’s foreign trade of commodities has increased 198 fold, and trade of services over 147 fold. The emerging economy has seen over $2 trillion of foreign investment during the period.
China has also become the world’s largest trader of goods, the largest tourism market and a major trading partner of over 130 countries. As the world’s largest exporter, China has delivered a large number of high quality and cost-efficient products to the world. Every $10,000 generated by China’s manufacturing exportation indirectly creates 11.52 manufacturing jobs on average in the world.
As the second largest importer of the world, China is expected to import more than $ 30 trillion worth of goods and $10 trillion worth of services in the next 15 years.
Over the past four decades, China has lived up to its image as a major power through actively taking part in global economic governance, firmly supporting developing countries to develop, and contributing much to global economic growth. The country has played its due role in addressing the Asian and global financial crisis, and promoted the building of a community with a shared future for mankind with its own wisdom and strength.
Determining to implement the Paris Agreement, China was highly hailed for its leading role in tackling climate change by Pacific Island countries during the 26th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
Additionally, China has also actively pushed forward the Belt and Road construction, building an international platform for openness and cooperation, and sharing its development dividends with the world.
By actively safeguarding multilateralism and free trade, China is an impeller and defender of the international order.
British scholar John Ross said that China constitutes one fifth of the world’s population, so it is not an ordinary country. Even the ordinary dreams of the Chinese people will bring remarkable changes to the world.
China’s development and the prosperity of the world are indispensable to each another. To continue to comprehensively deepen reform and expand opening-up, China is set to create even bigger miracles. By pushing for the construction of an open global economy and the building of a community of a shared future for mankind, China will make greater contributions to the world.
However, over forty years of reform and opening-up, China has managed to free more than 700 million people from absolute poverty, accounting for more than 70 percent of the global total in poverty reduction in the same period.
The country has reduced the incidence of poverty by 94.4 percent in the period.
As the first developing country to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals in poverty reduction, China has made significant contributions to poverty eradication around the world.
As the most populous developing country in the world, China has always been an active advocator and strong promoter of poverty reduction around the world.
From 2012 to 2017, China was at the forefront of poverty reduction, with nearly 70 million people being lifted out of poverty, an equivalent of at least 26 people shaking off poverty per minute; the incidence of poverty was reduced from 10.2 to 3.1 percent, and 153 impoverished counties were extricated from poverty.
With the positive interaction between reform and opening-up and poverty alleviation and development, China has managed to find its own way in dealing with the issue.
From a macro point of view, under the guidance of the primary strategy featuring targeted poverty reduction and elimination, China has effectively resolved such problems as who should be helped, who to provide the help, and how to help.
As to policy design, the country has built a poverty alleviation system which is dominated by the government and participated by multiple parties, providing an institutional guarantee for high efficiency in poverty reduction.
In terms of implementation, China has adhered to the idea of integrating poverty alleviation with helping people increase confidence in their own ability to lift themselves out of poverty and see that they can access the education they need to do so. The country also pays attention to drive up power for endogenous growth.
Such precious experiences accumulated in practice are gaining the recognition of the international community.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pointed out that targeted poverty alleviation is the only way to help the poorest people and achieve the major goals set for the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China has pulled millions of people out of poverty, and its experience in this area can offer valuable lessons to other developing countries, the UN official added.
China is working to ensure that by the year 2020, all rural residents living below the current poverty line will have been out of poverty, and poverty eliminated in all poor counties and regions. The 2020 goal is currently 10 years ahead of the UN agenda.
Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), said he expects more countries to create such success stories in the future as China has done.
He believes that as China is paying back to the international community as it moves its economy forward, adding that a country will make greater and faster achievements as long as it combines its efforts with international cooperation.
1978-2018, Chinese society has undergone earth-shaking changes. These 40 years are destined to be an extraordinary 40 years in Chinese history because of the reform and opening up policy.
China has been taking a long journey towards openness and connectedness, and so has everyone here. The ever-developing trains, roads and airports not only bring together Chinese people who live miles from each other, but also let them go out of their towns and cities, towards a bigger world.