China, economically extremely backward before 1949, has become one of the world's major economic powers with the greatest potential, and the overall living standard has reached that of a fairly well-off society. The Chinese government strengthened and improved its macro-control and China's economy maintained its steady and rapid growth into the 21st century. The gross domestic product (GDP) for 2005 amounted to 18,232.1 billion yuan, 9.9 percent higher than the previous year. At the 2005 average exchange rate, GDP equated to US$2,225.7 billion, and US$1,700 per capita.
China adopts the "five-year-plan" strategy for economic development, and has implemented altogether nine five-year plans between 1953 and 2000, laying a solid foundation for China's economic development. The 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-2005) was outstandingly successful, most of its economic targets being achieved ahead of schedule. During these five years, China's average GDP growth reached 9.5 percent and its economy entered the ranks of the world's strongest.