Reform and opening-up achievements over past decades
During the 40-years of Reform and Opening-up, authorities say major achievements have been made in three main industries, including agriculture, manufacturing and services.
China's reform efforts in rural areas trace their history back to an agreement among farmers in Xiaogang village in Anhui Province.
In 1978, they subdivided their communally-owned farmland into family plots, a move which later became known as the family land contract responsibility system.
Dozens of farmers from Xiaogang village sign an agreement in 1978. Under the secret agreement, they subdivided their communally-owned farmland into family plots. [Photo: China Plus]
The following year, the village's grain output reached some 70-thousand kilograms, equal to what that same land had produced over the previous 15 years.
The system was soon copied by neighboring villages, and later spread to other rural areas across the country.
Xiaogang is now burned into Chinese history as the place where China's reform took hold.
75-year-old Yan Jinchang is one of the leading villagers who took the chance to sign the secret agreement.
"Under the planned economy, we were only able to plant what we were allowed to plant. We couldn't decide on how to use our land. In order to improve grain yields to have enough food to eat, we decided to divide the land into plots and every family had the freedom to use the land they were allocated."
The system helped motivate local farmers.
It also changed mindsets across the country, particularly in rural areas, where farmers had previously been wholly-resigned to their position in society, much like their ancestors had been for generations.
Over the past 4 decades, farmers became able to seek jobs in urban areas, establish their own businesses or expand their farms through the leasing of other lands.
In 2005, a new system dubbed "land circulation" was trialed in Xiaogang village.
Under this system, farmers are allowed to transfer their land rights in return for compensation, giving them even more opportunities.
Yan Jinchang says major changes have taken place in his family since 1978.
"I have five sons and two daughters. My daughters are now married. My sons own a bathhouse, a restaurant and a supermarket. We are living a very good life. We are not very rich, but we can make money every day. It's the good policies in this country that enable us to live such a good life."
Screen shot shows operations at the Chint Group. [Photo: China Plus]
Reform and opening-up has also been extended to the manufacturing industry.
In the 1980s, the Chint Group was a small private workshop selling only kettles in Zhejiang Province.
Motivated by the reform movement, Chint decided to invest 4 to 12 percent of its annual income to carry out research and development.
The company now operates a national technology center and research and development centers in Europe, North America and the Middle East.
In 2016, the Chint Group entered into a deal with a German company to gain the technology necessary to automate its solar panel production line.
Huang Haiyan is the vice president of the company.
"The automation technology has saved us around two-thirds of our previous investment in human resources. Before the deal, we were only able to produce around a thousand photovoltaic modules every day. Now that figure is 2,000. Productivity and efficiency has been increased by more than three times."
Official data shows cross-border e-commerce retail imports to China hit 67 billion yuan in the first ten months of 2018. [Photo: China Plus]
Over the past four decades, China has become the world's second largest economy, the largest exporter and the second largest importer of goods.
The value of China's services trade has sky rocketed from 5 billion U.S. dollars in 1982 to 700 billion dollars last year.
Deputy general manager of Tmall International, Wei Chen, says the Chinese market is attractive to traders from around the world.
"In recent years, Chinese consumers have developed a more personalized demand for goods. What they want to buy is not merely big brands, but rather paying more attention to what really suits them. So a huge number of overseas ordinary brands began appearing on e-commerce platforms. In the past, it wasn't easy for them to enter the Chinese market. But now there are numerous opportunities in China to sell their products through these types of platforms. If just one out of 100 Chinese consumers likes their products, then its potential market in China is much bigger than that of many countries around the world."
The most recent stats show that through the first ten months of this year, cross-border e-commerce retail imports to China hit 67 billion yuan, up 53 percent from a year earlier.