The latest official information shows that the year 2001 will go down in history as a milestone for China as well as a good beginning for the country's five-year (2001-2005) plan for economic and social development.
Zeng Peiyan, minister in charge of the State Development Planning Commission, said earlier this week the Chinese economy is expected to grow by 7.4 percent, exceeding 9 trillion yuan (1.09 trillion U.S. dollar) for the first time in history.
This year's fast economic growth, characterized by higher efficiency and low inflation, indicates "a good beginning" for the five-year plan, said the minister, describing it as a hard-won achievement as the world economy has experienced a marked slowdown in growth.
During the first 10 months of this year, the total industrial profit increased by 9.3 ercent to 364.7 billion yuan (44 billion U.S. dollars) over the corresponding period of last year, while fiscal revenue rose by 256.8 billion yuan (31 billion U.S. dollars), Zeng said.
According to a forecast by the commission, the inflation rate for this year will remain basically stable, while the per capita disposable income for urban residents will grow by 7 percent and the net per capita income for farmers will increase by at least 4 percent.
Meanwhile, the registered unemployment rate for urban China will be below 4 percent.
Encouraging progress has been made in industrial and agricultural restructuring.
In coastal areas in eastern part of the country, priority has been given to farm produce with higher added value, while in major grain producing areas in the middle and western parts, the output of quality and special-purpose farm produce has been increased.
The share of such major crops as wheat reported by regions with better natural growing conditions has been increasing.
The country's coal mining industry, the only loss-making industry of traditional industrial sectors, is set to become profitable this year for the first time in years thanks to massive cuts in redundant jobs and higher coal prices.
Highlights of China's economic development include the new record high of its foreign exchange reserve, which had exceeded 200 billion U.S. dollars earlier this year.
The outstanding amount of deposits by Chinese residents topped the 7 trillion yuan (853.6 billion U.S. dollars), also a record high, earlier this year.
In July, China overtook the United States as the world's biggest user of mobile telecommunications, with the number of mobile phone users totaling 120 million.
Other highlights are new highs in recent years in fixed asset investment and investment by overseas investors in the country, and some expensive products priced at the 100,000 yuan (12,195 U.S.dollar) level -- such as cars -- are gaining popularity.
In addition, China has launched a number of projects to commercialize high-tech achievements, which have attracted nearly 20 billion yuan (2.4 billion U.S. dollars) worth of social capital using small amount of capital collected through issuing treasury bonds.
To facilitate the flow of human resources and urbanization, governments at all levels have eased, to varying degrees, the restriction on migration from rural areas to urban areas.
China's western development strategy has gone into full swing as several gigantic infrastructure projects were launched, such as the first railway line linking the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai province, and the projects designed to transmit electric power or natural gas from the resources-rich west to the rapidly-industrializing east.
China's entry into the World Trade Organization is viewed at home and abroad as "a historic event" which will trigger more changes for China than the country has seen in the past two decades.
Despite the sluggish demand outside the country, China managed to achieve a 7.9 percent increase in foreign trade during the first 10 months of this year, with export up by 6.1 percent.
Senior Chinese economic officials believe overseas investment in China will total 59.4 billion U.S. dollars this year.
Meanwhile, China has continued to deepen its reform, regulate market and economic order, improve its pricing system and maintain financial stability.
The year 2001 also witnessed progress in China's bids to improve the standard of living for its people in terms of material goods and cultural life, and the overall concept of ethics in society.
A number of high-profile sports events also helped boost the morale of the Chinese people.
Economist Liu Guoguang attributed the economic and social achievements China has made this year mainly to the country's adherence to the policy of expanding domestic demand and
commitment to a positive fiscal and stable financial policies. The economist said the achievements will lay a solid foundation for the country's economic development in the coming years.
But he warned that the uncertainty of the international economic environment will restrain to some degree the Chinese economy, as the better-than-expected increase in domestic demand has failed to offset the drastic slump in overseas demand. "We must remain cool-headed amid optimism," Liu said.
(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2001)