Sun Qixiang, Dean of School of Economics, Peking University:
The two sessions of the NPC and CPPCC of 2018 are taking place on schedule. These sessions are of great significance as the first “Two Sessions” since the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress held in late 2017, and a grand event on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. After this, the People’s Republic of China will mark the 70th anniversary of its founding in 2019 and the CPC will celebrate its centenary in 2020 as the nation realizes its goal of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.
In this new era, we must build on past achievements and pursue new progress. The “Two Sessions” are an occasion for the NPC deputies and CPCCC members to draw on past experience and chart a new course for the future by reflecting on lessons, analyzing problems and putting forward rational proposals. China is a nation with the tradition of “examining oneself three times a day”. A nation with the courage of self-examination can always retain its inexhaustible power. In self-examination, China has come this far. In self-examination, China will further advance.
Tremendous changes have taken place in China over the last 40 years of reform and opening-up. The per capita disposable income of urban residents reached 36,396 yuan (US$5,600) in 2017, as compared with 343 yuan (US$55) in 1978. The net per capita income of rural residents reached 13,432 yuan (US$2,065) in 2017, as compared with 134 yuan (US$20) in 1978. With the transition from a planned economy to a market economy, China has seen the basic needs of its people met, making it possible for the people to live decent lives. Meanwhile, it is moving closer to the world’s center stage.
The tremendous changes China has seen are a miracle in human history. What’s more, they are conclusive proof that reform and opening up has been a great success, and that “Practice is the sole criterion for testing truth”. They are also proof that to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, it is essential to uphold the leadership of the CPC and follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.