Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 31st, 2020

China – From a Backward Country to World’s Second Largest Economy


China – From a Backward Country  to World’s Second Largest Economy

Within the past seven decades, China has made great strides, especially after adopting its reform and opening-up policy. In 1949, Mao Zedong stood in Tiananmen Square in Beijing urging a war-ravaged state into a new era with a founding speech and a somewhat plodding parade that could muster only 17 planes for the flyby.
This year, Chinese President Xi Jinping stood in the same spot in Tiananmen Square, where Chairman Mao announced the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and delivered his opening speech. Subsequently, a strong military parade featuring sophisticated weapons was held. It was followed by civilian parade narrating China’s economic and political success.
Xi said that the founding of the PRC had reversed the country’s plight of poverty and weakness, of being bullied and humiliated for over 100 years since the advent of modern times, and that the Chinese nation had since embarked on the path toward national rejuvenation.
Over the past 70 years, China has grown into the world’ second largest economy, the largest manufacturer, and the largest trader in goods, with its GDP exceeding 90 trillion yuan, about 13.4 trillion USD.
According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, China’s foreign trade in goods skyrocketed from USD1.1 billion to USD4.6 trillion, which makes it number one in the world. Moreover, its inbound and outbound investment, which was almost nonexistent 70 years ago, has increased to USD138.3 and USD143 billion respectively, both number two in the world.
The Ministry of Commerce added that China for many consecutive years had contributed more than 30 percent of global economic growth serving as source of power for world economic development. And China held the China International Import Expo to build a public platform for the international community to safeguard the multilateral trading system and support economic globalization.
The ministry vowed to adhere to the basic national policy of opening-up, mutual benefit, win for all, and common development, and ensure stable foreign trade and investment so as to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Regarding ecological conservation and pollution control, Chinese officials of Ministry of Ecology and Environment said in a press conference last week that China adhered to the principle of “conservation first, natural restoration as the main approach” and had carried out a series of major ecological conservation projects such as natural forest conservation and the Grain-for-Green Project. According to China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, NASA satellite data showed that in the last 20 years, China contributed around 25 percent to global lead area increase, more than any other country in the world. It added, “We have contributed over 50% of the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances by developing countries, making us the biggest contributor to ozone layer protection in the world.”
Enjoying the fruit of reform and opening-up within the last 40 years, Chinese officials have reiterated opening-up policy, promoting unimpeded trade, building an open platform for mutual benefit, and working with more countries to achieve great result. Chinese officials, including President Xi, reiterated the policy of opening wider to the outside world on multiple occasions so as to promote both commercial and cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts.
Speaking in the media forum themed “China in My Eyes: 70 year of Impressions and Reflections”, Hua Chunying, China’s Director-General of Information Department of MFA, said that the national policy of reform and opening had been the code of China’s progress. Stressing “generosity and inclusiveness”, he added that true cooperation relied on inclusive development.  
China is also the largest trading partner for Afghanistan. I pointed out in the forum that high-ranking official visits between China and Afghanistan, signing strategic cooperation declarations and agreement indicated the expansion of friendly relations between the two countries. I added that the two countries extended their relations in various areas, and then both Kabul and Beijing were determined to promote their bilateral relations based on mutual trust and respect. I stated that China was “a distinct neighbor and honest partner for Afghanistan”.
China has made remarkable achievements, especially in terms of trade and economy, within the last 70 years and can be a role model for developing countries. Afghanistan is one of the countries to learn from China, mainly its reform and opening-up policy.
Meanwhile, Chinese officials hold press conferences to describe their monthly and yearly achievements and answer to the public questions. Afghan officials have to learn to answer to the media and nation through holding regular press conferences so that people are not kept in the dark.

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

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