2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening-up. After 40-years of development, Chinese GDP is now 32 times higher than it was in 1978, amounting to 80 trillion yuan in 2017, an increase of 9.5% yearly, while more 700 million Chinese residents have thrown off the yoke of poverty.
"China's development has been remarkable these past 40 years," former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea Han Seung-so said in an interview with Chinese media at the 2018 Imperial Springs International Forum. "China now is not only the second largest economy in the world, but also has lifted hundred of million of Chinese people out of poverty."
Han Seung-so, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea (Photo: Steven Yuen)
Since China carried out the reform and opening-up in 1978, China's foreign trade volume has increased from 10.9 billion U.S. dollars to 4.11 trillion U.S dollars over the 40 years. Furthermore, China’s total export-import volume accounts for 11.5% of the world total.
"People around the world have enjoyed goods exported form China at a reasonable price," said Han. "It is remarkable (to note) that China has contributed 30% to global growth."
China, especially Guangdong was once regarded as the "world's factory", because of its manufacturing of low-value-added products. Due to increasing labor costs and the financial crisis in 2008, China started focusing on transforming and upgrading its manufacturing sector from labour-intensive to technology-centric.
Panel discussion of the the 2018 Imperial Springs International Forum (Photo: Steven Yuen)
After several years' development, "made in China" is transforming into "created in China", a maxim especially true of Shenzhen, the pioneer city of China's Reform and Opening-up, becoming the center of innovation in China with a great number of world famous high-tech companies, such as Huawei, Tencent and DJI.
"It's amazing," Han said before adding. "China now is focusing on developing high-technology, such as AI, big data and self-driving vehicles."
Han hoped that people around the world can come to China and learn from the country's experience (in developing hi-tech), while China should proactively share the experience with other developing countries. In his opinion, cooperation is the premise for success.
One of the six sub-forums of the 2018 Imperial Springs International Forum. (Photo: Steven Yuen)
Since the theme of 2018 Imperial Spring International Forum was set as "Advancing Reform and Opening-up, Promoting Win-Win Cooperation", multilateralism has been one of the buzz words during the forum's panel discussions.
"We have to learn lessons from the great depression in 1930s," Han stated. "Every country was trying to protect their own economy by raising tariffs at that time, which was useless for the global economy."
Author: Steven Yuen, Song Hainan (intern)
Editor: Wing Zhang, Simon Haywood