How China opened up over four decades

By George N. Tzogopoulos Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/30 15:43:39

download phan mem idm crack full Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

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When Chinese President Xi Jinping is speaking at international organizations, summits and fora, he is able to project the image of a country which is undergoing an impressive change. Giving a speech at the BRICS Business Forum in Johannesburg, for instance, he talked about China as "the world's biggest developing country" and talked about the reasons for its success, which is "hard work." In particular, Xi referred to China's reform and opening-up and its impact on development.

For external observers, a single glance at current trends is not sufficient to satisfactorily understand China. By contrast, a journey back to history can better contribute to an explanation of the present. This year the country is commemorating the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up.

In 1978, the reform philosophy of Deng Xiaoping was at first endorsed by the Communist Party of China, paving the way for a gradual process of economic and social change. The principal objective was the achievement of modernization, affecting several sectors including industry, agriculture and national defense. So, important decisions were constantly made after 1978 to transform the national economic management system, introduce mechanisms providing economic incentives, help the collaboration with foreign countries and facilitate adaptation to foreign technology.

The reform and opening-up yielded important results in 2001 when China acceded to the WTO. As a recent White Paper suggests, this was a milestone for the country's integration into economic globalization. Since 2001, China has significantly integrated into the global trading system. Reducing tariffs and slashing some restrictions on the domestic distribution of products became a requirement. Non-discrimination and opening-up principles for foreign companies had also been respected by successive Chinese governments. On the whole, China had gone from a position of having virtually no foreign investment to one of acting as a global recipient of foreign investment.

Although China's Market Economy Status was not recognized by the EU and the US 15 years later, at the end of 2016, the Chinese government was not discouraged to continue with reforms. More importantly, it is doing so by paying more attention to qualitative than quantitative growth and realizing the so-called "New Normal" model. As a result, the domestic consumer market has been broadened. According to experts, the rise of the middle-class, the creation of affluent households, more free-spending and the incorporation of e-commerce into the national economy can, among others, explain the continuing successful transformation.

Also, this year the Chinese government is determined to speed up the pace of ownership reforms in banking, securities, futures, asset management and insurance sectors. Recently, for example, the Financial Times referred to the decision of the cracked ipad 1 for sale to ease foreign ownership limits on some mining, shipbuilding, aircraft manufacture, power grids and crop science businesses. While some analysts believe this has been prompted by US President Donald Trump's tariff policies, measures are in line with the standard objectives of the Chinese government to implement the "New Normal." 

In 1978, almost no one could imagine how much economic and social progress China would make in the next 40 years after deciding to embark on economic reforms and introducing open-door policies. The combination of market forces with the preservation of socialist nature of the economy is delivering.

And now, in a period during which Trump is challenging the very notions of free trade and globalization, China is guaranteeing their continuity. Speaking in Johannesburg, Xi talked about a choice "between opening-up and a close-door policy." He then called upon BRICS "to build an open economy" and achieve mutual benefits, shared prosperity and sustainable development. Clearly, he would hardly be confident to urge others to do it, if his own country did not set the right paradigm.

The author is a lecturer at the European Institute in Nice, France. [email protected]

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