Hu Angang, a well-known Chinese scholar, pointed out, China’s building of a well-off society in an all-round way is a great contribution to the world. Hu is director and professor of the Center for China Studies in the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University.
Hu, after studying Jiang Zemin’s report at the 16th CPC National Congress, said that by the year of 2020, millions of Chinese people will walk together in a well-off society, one of the most important developments in human history. It is of historical significance that China’s over 1 billion people will become “modestly wealthy” and bid farewell to poverty, a giant step in helping the international community realize its target of ridding poverty in the developing world.
The United Nations, World Bank and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have set goals for global development by 2015. These goals include reducing the number of people living in poverty by half, decreasing the infant mortality rate by two thirds, providing all children with fundamental education, creating equal rights for female and male students and reducing the number of illiterate people between the ages of 15 to 24.
Hu Angang said, “Against this backdrop, China’s development into a well-off society is no doubt an important contribution to helping achieve targets set out by global cooperative organizations.”
Hu Angang’s analysis suggests that currently the world’s highly-developed countries only account for less than 900 million people, taking over 200 years to their current levels of maturity. Semi-developed countries are made up of less than 600 million people, which have taken at least 100 years to achieve their present levels of development. However, China only requires 100 years, from 1949 to 2049, to raise its huge population to the same level as semi-developed countries, a “miracle” in terms of the development of human history.
So far, China is half way through its “miracle” process. In his report, Jiang Zemin pointed out that “efforts will be made to quadruple the GDP of the year 2000 by 2020, and China’s overall national strength and international competitiveness will increase markedly.” According to Hu this great blueprint will surely bring about rapid economic development, fundamental social change, wide reaching social reforms and a sharp reduction in poverty in China, thus contributing to the world’s overall progress.
In addition, Hu Angang listed some contributions China’s development has already made to the world.
First, it is generally agreed that the larger the scale of a nation’s economy or the greater its proportion of global economic output or the faster its economic expansion, the greater its contribution to the world. From 1980 to 2000, China has contributed 14 percent to the world’s economic development, taking second place on this issue.
Second, from 1980 to 2000, China’s increase in trade and services contributed 4.7 percent to the world’s total in these areas, ranking it third of all nations.
Third, China has significantly reduced the number of poor people in the country, playing an important role in alleviating world poverty. In 1990 China’s impoverished accounted for 28.2 percent of that of developing countries. By 1998 the country reduced this figure to 17.8 percent, showing a significant contribution to world poverty reduction.
In the words of the President of the World Bank Group, Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, China’s total number of poor has fallen from 250 billion to 34 million in the past 20 years.
As the 16th CPC National Congress report declares, China will concentrate on building a well-off society with a higher standard in an all-round way to benefit well over 1 billion people. China will further develop the economy, improve democracy, advance science and education, enrich culture, foster social harmony and upgrade the fabric of life for its people. If China can achieve this target, the country will have made a large contribution to global development and progress.
This prestigious economist also noted, since China has the potential to develop and expand over the longer term, the country’s ability to make further contributions to the world is on the horizon.
(china.org.cn by Zheng Guihong November 20, 2002)