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Key Points by Chinese Ambassador Ren Yisheng at the Dialogue on the Secrets and Enlightenment of China's Reform and Opening-up
2022-05-26 17:19

(May 25, 2022)

I. The main course of China's reform and opening-up

The reform and opening-up which started in 1978 is the most important reform initiative in Chinese history. China's reform and opening-up can be roughly divided into four stages. The first stage is the initiation and target exploration stage of reform and opening-up, which was from 1978 to 1991. During this period, reforms first started in rural areas and gradually advanced to cities. State-owned enterprises began to carry out pilot projects to expand their autonomy, and the individual economy was gradually restored and developed. Meanwhile, reforms were carried out in pricing, taxation, financing, planning and circulation systems. Reforms in the fields of political affairs, science and technology, education, and culture were also gradually launched. Opening to the outside world started with the establishment of special economic zones (SECs), and then gradually expanded to coastal cities, cities along transportation lines, rivers and borders, as well as inland central cities.

The second stage is the stage of the initial establishment of the socialist market economic system framework from 1992 to 2002. During this period, the basic economic system was established with public ownership as the main body and the joint development of various economies. The reform of state-owned enterprises was actively promoted by invigorating large enterprises and relaxing control over small ones. The dual-track system of the prices of production means was abolished. The prices of competitive goods and services were further liberalized, and the factor market was gradually formed.

The third stage is the stage of further improving the socialist market economic system from 2003 to 2011. During this period, market access for the non-public economy was further relaxed, and state-owned commercial banks began to carry out shareholding reform. The investment autonomy of enterprises has been gradually expanded, and other factor markets such as land, labor, technology, property rights, and capital have been further developed. Then China abolished agricultural tax, animal husbandry tax, special product tax and so on.

The fourth stage is a new stage of comprehensively deepening the reform from 2012 till today. At this stage, we have evolved from focusing on the reform of the economic system in the past to comprehensively deepening the reform, which is a multi-faceted reform of the systems of economy, politics, culture, society, ecology, judiciary, national defense, supervision and so on. A total of more than 1,600 reform plans have been launched to comprehensively promote the modernization of the state governance system and capacity.

II. The main achievements of China's reform and opening-up

Over the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, great achievements have been made, and China has undergone earth-shaking changes. China's economic aggregate has grown by 33.5 times, with an average growth rate of 9.5%. As the world's second largest economy, China currently contributes 18% of global GDP. The contribution rate of China's economy to the world economy has increased from 2.3% in 1978 to more than 30% in the past decade.

China's comprehensive economic strength has increased significantly. From 1978 to 2021, China's total GDP has risen from about 150 billion US dollars to 17.7 trillion US dollars, the second largest in the world; GDP per capita from more than 150 US dollars to 12,600 US dollars exceeding the world average; the added value of the manufacturing industry has increased from 60 billion US dollars to nearly 5 trillion US dollars, which is the first in the world; the total value of China's trade in goods has increased from US$21 billion to US$6 trillion, ranking first in the world's trade in goods for five consecutive years;China's foreign exchange reserves are the largest in the world, from 170 million US dollars to more than 3.25 trillion US dollars;China's total grain output has risen from 300 million tons, or about 300 kilograms per capita, to more than 680 million tons, or about 600 kilograms per capita.China has won the campaign against poverty in 2020. Nearly 800 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda (SDG) poverty reduction goal has been achieved 10 years ahead of schedule. China's urbanization level has been continuously improved, jumping from 18% in 1978 to 65% by the end of 2021. Rapid progress has been made in the level and capacity of urban public services, urban energy utilization efficiency, urban social governance capabilities, urban low-carbon development, and green development.

China successfully achieved the first centenary goal on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC in 2021, and has started the journey towards the second centenary goal, that is, on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 2049, to build China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally civilized, harmonious and beautiful modern socialist country. We have full confidence in realizing the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

III. The successful experience and enlightenment of China's reform and opening-up

The first is to adhere to the centralized and unified leadership of the Party over reform, adhere to the correct direction of reform, and  cultivate and forge party members and cadres with a spirit of reform. The second is to adhere to the people-centered philosophy. Each step is concerned with the improvement of people's living standards, which has effectively enhanced the people's sense of gain and won the heartfelt support of the people. The third is to mobilize all positive factors. We have mobilized the enthusiasm of farmers through the household contract responsibility system, mobilized the enthusiasm of many enterprises through deepening the enterprise reform and implementing the shareholding system, and mobilized the enthusiasm of all strata through the implementation of the market economy. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, we have focused on mobilizing the enthusiasm of cadres and officials to devote themselves to reform, and promote the reform to continue to deepen. The fourth is to firmly focus on the reform of the economic system. It is precisely because we firmly seize the key points of reform that we have played a driving role in the overall development and enabled China to develop steadily and make progress. The fifth is to emancipate the mind and encourage exploration. "Crossing the river by feeling the stones" means that it will be piloted in a few areas in an experimental way, and then it will be promoted after successful practice. It has become China's unique economic reform model.

IV. Strengthen the exchange of experience in state governance, and carry out win-win and friendly cooperation between China and Liberia

Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and President George Manneh Weah, China and Liberia have steadily advanced pragmatic cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, infrastructure construction, agriculture, education, people-to-people exchanges, and public health, with fruitful results, by docking the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Pro-Poverty Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). In November last year, at the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar, President Xi made four proposals for building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, and announced that China will work closely with African countries to implement Nine Programs. This is a new milestone in China-Africa and China-Liberia relations.

At the recent launching meeting of the "PAPD" National Steering Committee chaired by President Weah , the Liberian government stated that it will promote the smooth realization of PAPD through reforms. We are willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Liberia in the field of state governance, and share the successful experience of China's reform and opening-up. We will continue to uphold the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principles of pursuing the greater good and shared interests, and actively promote the development of China-Africa and China-Liberia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. I believe that with our joint efforts and contributions, the friendship and cooperation between China and Liberia will be further strengthened and developed in the future with broad prospects.

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