What caught Xi’s eye at the reform and opening-up exhibition?
chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-26
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits a major exhibition commemorating the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up at the National Museum of China in Beijing on Nov 13, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]
What attracted the attention from President Xi Jinping at a major exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up in Beijing? Let’s look at the story behind these exhibits.
An inscription by Deng Xiaoping
The first was an old photo of Deng Xiaoping in 1984, depicting the former leader writing inscriptions for special economic zones in Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Xiamen.
“‘Develop the special economic zone in a faster and better way.’ This inscription was written in 1984 for Xiamen,” Xi said while looking at the picture.
Xi recalled his work experience in Xiamen more than 30 years ago. One year after the inscription, “I went to work in Xiamen in 1985 and realized there was no time to lose,” Xi said. “Xiamen must catch up, as other special economic zones had developed fast.”
Xi took up the post of deputy mayor of Xiamen in the summer of 1985, when the State Council expanded the special economic zone to the whole island.
Xi said the special economic zones were born from the reform, and they play the role of a laboratory of reform and an important “window” in opening up to the outside world, making great contribution to the nationwide reform and opening-up and socialist modernization.
A graphic showing growth
This graphic compares China’s economic index, including GDP from 1978 and 2017. GDP has increased from 0.37 trillion yuan in 1978 to 82.7 trillion yuan in 2017. The fiscal revenue increased from 0.11 trillion yuan to 17 trillion yuan. The urbanization rate increased from 17.92 to 58.52 percent.
In 40 years, China has turned from the highly centralized planned economic system to a socialist market economy.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Xi has made development the top priority for the country, making a series of important judgments and deployments such as the “new normal” of higher-quality growth, as well as supply-side reform to deepen reform in an all-round way.
Xi is firm in pushing reform and opening-up. “China’s reform and opening-up will never stop, and China will make new achievements in the next 40 years that will impress the whole world,” Xi said in Guangdong in October.
A video showing food changes
The two-minute video shows the changes over four decades in the dinner for the eve of Spring Festival, the most important feast for the Chinese people every year.
In the past, people only ate Chinese dumplings. But now there are fish, shrimp and more delicate food, Xi said while watching the video.
From having barely enough food to eat, to having abundant food and seeking nutrition and health, Spring Festival dinners have changed a lot, which has demonstrated the achievements of the reform in the most direct way and the gains of the people that can be observed most directly.
“People’s yearning for a good and beautiful life is the goal for us to strive for,” Xi once said.
In his report at the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress in 2017, he said: “Meeting the fundamental interests of all our people is the ultimate yardstick for judging all the work of our Party. The issues of concern to the people, be they big or small, should be handled with utmost care and attention. We must start with addressing issues of public concern, delivering the outcomes that satisfy public needs, and work without rest to lead our people in pursuing a better life.”