In February 2005, Erik Izraelewicz unveiled his new book, When China Changes the World, which instantly became a bestseller. The author acclaimed the rapid development of China, a country with a population of 1.3 billion, is unprecedented in human history, especially considering the relatively short time it took. "The awakening of China is shocking the world," Izraelewicz said.
Looking back at China's development in the last two decades of the 20th century, 1978 is undoubtedly a watershed year when the country initiated the reforms and opening-up policy, focusing on economic construction and development. In the ensuing 20-plus years, the Chinese economy maintained an annual growth rate of 9 percent on average and more than 250 million rural poor shook off poverty. Its foreign trade ranking in the world rose from 32nd in 1978 to the third place in 2004. As more than half of the world's 500 largest conglomerates have invested in China, annual foreign capital inflow has soared to $60.6 billion from $2 billion. The Chinese now, on the whole, lead a moderately well-off life. It is comprehensible that the whole world has paid increasing attention to the peaceful development of this most populous country and has given China its high remarks.
Praises for the achievements aside, many people still remain puzzled by quite a number of "why" and "how" concerning China's growth. Why did China introduce reforms and the open policy more than 20 years ago? How have they been implemented? What are the major challenges in the process of economic restructuring, and what are the solutions? For many developing countries, problems that China has encountered or is facing also stand in their way to economic prosperity and social harmony, and they hope to draw on China's experiences. The best way to meet the need, in our opinion, is to offer them an inside look into China's development over the past two decades, its achievements and setbacks. This is why we have compiled this book.
China – Questions & Answers discusses more than 100 topics in Q&A forms in 10 major categories: "Agriculture, Rural Areas and Farmers," "Open Policy and Foreign Trade," "Economic Construction and Restructuring," "State-owned Enterprises and Non-public Sectors," "Financial and Banking Reform," "Education, Health, Tourism and Environmental Protection," "People's Life, Ethnic Groups and Women," "Social Life," "Political System, Religion and Human Rights" and "Political Parties." We hope this book will present a vivid, real, and on-going picture to its readers.