Highlights of China's economic development in past decade

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A Fuxing bullet train runs on the Lhasa-Nyingchi railway during a trial operation in Shannan, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, June 16, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has made milestone achievements in economic and social development in the past decade, with its status as the world's second-largest economy cemented and improved, a senior official has said.

China has achieved the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and began a new journey toward the goal of building a modern socialist country in all respects. Here are some highlights of the country's innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development in the past ten years.

Leapfrog in economy 

China accounted for over 18 percent of the global economy in 2021, rising from 11.4 percent in 2012, said Han Wenxiu with the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs.

The country's gross domestic products (GDP) topped 114 trillion yuan ($16.79 trillion) in 2021, and per capita GDP reached $12,500, close to the threshold for high-income economies.

The contribution of China's economy to the world economic growth has stood at around 30 percent in recent years, making it the largest growth engine for the global economy, Han added.

More innovative society

China's spending on research and development (R&D) hit 2.44 percent of its GDP in 2021, up from around 1.9 percent in 2012, said Han.

Last year, China's spending on R&D was 2.7 times its 2012 level, and its basic research expenditure was 3.4 times its 2012 level, according to Li Meng, vice minister of science and technology.

China rose to 12th on the Global Innovation Index 2021, up from the 34th in 2012, making it the only country globally to achieve a sustained and rapid rise, Li said.

More coordinated development

Official data showed a more coordinated development pattern between China's urban and rural areas.

China's urbanization rate of permanent residence hit 64.7 percent in 2021, up from 53.1 percent in 2012, and the urban-rural income ratio narrowed by 0.38 to 2.5 in 2021 in the past decade.

China's Gini coefficient, an index reflecting inequality where zero equals perfect equality, declined to 0.466 in 2021 from 0.474 in 2012.

Better ecological environment

China's ecological environment has witnessed a historic turning point, Han said.

China's afforested land has accounted for about a quarter of the world's total, and its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP have dropped about 34 percent.

The country has also topped the globe in installed capacity of wind and photovoltaic power and other green energy and the production and sales of new-energy vehicles, Han said.

As a faithful advocate of the Paris Agreement, China announced targets of peaking CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, noted Han.

Wider opening-up

China has created a series of new highlands and set up pilot zones for opening up, said Han, citing that the country has established 21 pilot free trade zones and the Hainan free trade port in the past decade.

China has strengthened its position as the world's top trading nation in goods as products exported from China account for 15 percent of the global total, said Han.

China has also introduced the negative list system and signed nine new free trade agreements in the past decade, bringing the total number of such agreements to 19.

Shared development

China has eliminated absolute poverty after lifting nearly 100 million rural poor out of poverty, making significant contributions to world poverty reduction, Han said.

The country also established the world's largest education, social security, and medical and health care systems, with the average life expectancy of Chinese people increasing by 2.5 years to 77.9 in 2021.

The proportion of the middle-income group in China has expanded to one-third of the total population in the past decade, Han said.

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