Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 26th, 2019

The Fruit of China’s 4o Years Reform and Opening-up


The Fruit of China’s 4o Years Reform and Opening-up

This year China marks the 40th anniversary of its reform and opening-up, which promoted China to the world’s second largest economy. The opening-up policy, ushered in by Deng Xiaoping, has played a highly instrumental role in China’s economic development and its contribution to the world.
Since its reform and opening-up, China has made remarkable achievements in economic development and improved the living standards of people as it lifted more than 800 million out of poverty. Its economic aggregate multiplied 225 times since 1978. Now China is the world’s largest industrial country with the largest foreign exchange reserves and the largest volume of trade in goods.
Take transportation for example, three decades ago, bicycles were the most popular means of transportation. A total of 63 percent of residents in Beijing traveled by bike and a total of more than 10 million bikes could be found in the city. Hence, China was dubbed “the Kingdom of Bicycles”. But today, public transportation and sharing bicycles are encouraged to cope with traffic congestion after the explosive increase in private car ownership.
China launched a high-speed railway, with the top speed of 350 km per hour, connecting Beijing to Tianjin. With high-speed trains, China entered the world high-speed railway and with tickets purchased online, traveling in China is becoming easy and easier.
In May 2017, China’s homemade C919 passenger jet completed its maiden flight, an important step in competing with global aircraft giants thanks to reform and opening-up.
E-commerce on day-to-day basis holds strong sway in the daily life of Chinese people, who have everything at their fingertips. Rather than spending time, the Chinese are able to easily purchase online through clicking a button. If you do not have time in China to go shopping, just shop online at midnight while you are reclining on your bed. Likewise, you can call a taxi at any time just through a click.
Meanwhile, the traditional method of payment is hardly in use in China. Chinese people pay through their mobiles in shopping malls. They do not bother themselves to carry wallet with them, mobile payment has swiftly replaced the traditional payment. In other words, China is now accelerating its pace towards becoming a cashless society, as digital and online payments cover almost all aspects of daily life. The country plays a leading role in the global mobile payment market.
China is setting an incredible pace when it comes to digital transformation and innovation. China’s opening-up to the outside world allowed both domestic and foreign enterprises to invest in China. High-speed growth, higher productivity and foreign investment have led to a much bigger industrial and consumer base.
Joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 was one of the milestones in China’s history, which changed China to the world’s factory setting a good example of accelerating economic reform through opening-up policy. That is to say, China accomplished two major tasks by joining the WTO: First, making its trade and investment compatible with international rules so that the world could better recognize China. Second, it was integrated into the global industrial chain and value chain.
China seeks to provide further opportunities for foreign enterprises. At the 2018 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia in April, China announced several significant measures to enhance opening up, including cutting auto import taxes, and has promised to ease limitation on foreign equity in banking, security and insurance industries.
With the opening-up policy, the cultural interaction and people-to-people exchanges between China and the rest of the world also have been stepped up. Now a large number of people have been familiarized with Chinese culture around the world, albeit there leaves a lot to be desired. Annually, China hosts scores of tourists from around the world and countless number of Chinese people travel across the globe as tourists, which do not only contribute to countries’ economic development but also cultural interaction.
Considering all the aforementioned issues, Chinese officials have reiterated on multiple occasions that China’s door will be never closed, rather it will open wider to the outside world. China is ready to share the fruit of its reform and opening-up with the world so that other nations could also live a moderately prosperous life. In fact, “multilateral trading system”, which has been stressed by Chinese officials, cultural ties and people-to-people exchanges will be mutually beneficial and win-win result.
China’s rapid economic development can be a perfect example for the rest of the world to pursue open-up policy. In the current global village, closing door will lead to dead-end and no country on earth will improve alone. To pursue common development, all nations have to embrace one another with open arms, enhance bilateral and multilateral ties and strengthen trade and connectivity. 

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan and freelance writer based in Beijing . He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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