U.S.-China Economic Relations: Present and Future

By Richard H. Holton; Wang Xi et al. | Go to book overview

7. China's Open-Door Policy and Trade Problems with the United States

WU JIXIAN and TANG SHAOYUN

After the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in December 1978, the first step in the reform of China's economic system was taken by making an important breakthrough in the villages. The reform was the adoption of a responsibility system in production by individual families. This system conformed well with the level of production in villages at the present stage. The reform thus greatly stirred up the peasants' productive zeal, which led shortly to considerable changes in the stagnant economy in the villages. According to the data supplied by the World Bank, in the period of 1980-84, the total value of China's agricultural production rose at a rate of 10 percent a year, which was much higher than the rate of increase in the previous years in China and also exceeded the average annual rate of increase of 3.9 percent in the developing countries as whole.1 The success of the reform in the villages provides us with valuable experience, proves the necessity and importance of the reform, and strengthens our faith and determination in carrying it out.

In October 1984, the Third Plenary Session of the Twelfth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China made a strategic decision to shift the main object of the reform from villages to cities. The central theme of the reform is to strengthen the vitality of state enterprises, especially that of large and medium-sized enterprises. Although we are faced with great difficulties in the course of reconstructing the system and the road of progress is by no means smooth and even, the achievements we have made are rich and huge.

During the economic reforms of the last ten years, our national economy showed unprecedented large-scale developments. Main indicators of the development of our national economy rose rapidly, as shown in Table 1. As the table shows in the period 1953-85, the total value of our

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1
World Bank, World Development Report 1986 ( Chinese Edition), p. 156.

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