China's Overall National Strength Remarkably

From 1996 to 2000, China's national economy has been in a macro-domestic and international environment seldom seen in all previous Five-Year Plan periods. In the face of the complicated environment, the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CCCPC) and the State Council have made a timely readjustment of the policy and, relying on the joint efforts of the people of the whole country, have overcome various difficulties and maintained a sustained, rapid and healthy development of the national economy and have thus comprehensively fulfilled the second-step strategic plan for the modernization drive and brought about a marked enhancement in China's comprehensive national strength.

Following the achievement of the goal of quadrupling the 1980 GNP ahead of time in 1995 and through efforts in the first two years of the ninth Five-Year Plan, China fulfilled the task of quadrupling the 1980 per-capita GNP in 1997 three years ahead of schedule, a task set down in the ninth Five-Year Plan. The national economy is expected to grow by 8 percent in the ninth Five-Year period. Meanwhile, the country has brought about notable improvement in the quality and benefits of the economic growth and effectively boosted the shift in the mode of economic growth.

During the ninth Five-Year Plan period, China ended its shortage era as evidenced by the fact that the level of social productive forces has advanced to a new stage, the buyer's market for material products has taken initial shape and the supple-demand relationship has undergone historic changes. The position of agriculture as the foundation of the national economy is being constantly strengthened. The comprehensive production capacity of grains is stabilized at about 500 billion kg. On the basis of paying more attention to quality and efficiency in industrial production, products which are in great demand and of great competitiveness continue to grow. Post and telecommunication services have developed rapidly. The tertiary industry has become an important channel for employment.

By the end of the ninth Five-Year Period, China's per-capita GDP will have exceeded US$ 800. The annual increase of per-capita income for urban residents and net income per farmer will have exceeded the planned targets of 5 percent and 4 percent respectively. The per-capita housing space for urban residents will surpass the planned nine square meters. The TV penetration rate of the country will exceed 100 percent. People's living standards will witness marked improvement. The system guaranteeing the basic living standards of laid-off workers from SOEs, unemployment insurance, and the minimum living standards of urban residents, as well as the social insurance system, which mainly includes basic endowment insurance, unemployment insurance and medical insurance of urban residents, will be initially established. The impoverished rural population will have decreased from 65 million in 1995 to 34 million.

In the ninth Five-Year Plan period, the reform of China's economic system has been further deepened, the socialist market economic structure has been set up by and large. SOE reform has been intensified. Positive progress has been made in the readjustment and perfection of the ownership system and major progress has been achieved in the reforms of state-owned enterprises, the housing system, and government institutions. Continued headway has been registered in the reform of finance, banking, sci-tech and education. At the same time, the general pattern of China's opening to the outside world has been further improved, the scale of foreign trade has been unceasingly enlarged, the composition of export commodities has been further optimized and the scale and quality of the use of foreign capital has been enlarged and improved.

(People's Daily 09/21/2000)