File photo of Tian’anmen in Beijing. [Photo/IC] The Communist Party of China continually seeks to improve its governance capabilities, and this has enabled China‘s rapid development in the past decades, as it has led China the path of the reform and opening-up.
For the first time, the National Bureau of Statistics has released a variety of information and data that shows China‘s progress and development over the years. Even as China‘s population has grown from 575 million in 1952 to nearly 1.4 billion in 2018, China‘s GDP has risen from around 67.91 billion yuan ($ 9.59 billion) in 1952 to 90.03 trillion yuan ($ 12.71 trillion) at the end of last year. And from only 1.8 percent in 1952, China‘s economy now accounts for 16 percent of the global GDP
Moreover, China has gone from being an overwhelmingly rural economy to being the world’s largest manufacturing hub with 27 percent of worldwide manufacturing value added. In 1952, a large part of China‘s population battled to nourish themselves, and starvation was common. At that point, the rural economy accounted for 50.5 percent of the country’s GDP, with farmers making up 83.5 percent of the work force
Maintaining such miraculous numbers over the years has been a daunting task, but, by continually advancing of reform and opening-up, the CPC has managed to accomplish this. The question thus arises whether the CPC will be able to continue to push ahead reform amid the headwinds of an economic slowdown
History suggests that it will. Every time there has been a broad consensus that China would stumble, such as during the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s and the global financial crisis a decade later, China has proved its critics wrong by devising and implementing pragmatic, persistent and workable policies. Although Western observers are now predicting China‘s growth in 2019 onwards will witness a significant slowdown from the 10 percent aggregate average gains from 1980 to 2012, they ignore the size of China‘s economy today, and that the country is still pushing forward a challenging reform policy, including market-oriented reforms of State-owned enterprises even while navigating a difficult external environment
China‘s rapid development over the past four decades is significant for global governance, as it has been achieved without resorting to “zero-sum” tactics or coercion, and instead has been realized through mutually beneficial partnerships. This is something new
The author is an international relations analyst working as director of media at the CPEC-Centre of Excellence, Islamabad. The views don’t necessarily represent those of China Daily.