Between China’s reform, contribution to global prosperity and miracle in poverty reduction

December 21st, 2018

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.

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