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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

China at 74: Opening up markets to ‘improve themselves’

China commits to an open economy and green development. Investment in R&D and high-tech industries shows promising year-on-year increases.

Celebrating 74 years since its founding, the People’s Republic of China yesterday committed to opening its economy through pursuing high-quality, innovative, coordinated and green development.

Chinese embassy chargé d’affaires Li Zhigang said 2023 has ushered in the opening up of China’s market to further modernisation.

“This is to better coordinate domestic and international imperatives, better integrating development and security.

“We have made steady strides toward our second centenary goal. We have found reform and opening up as the only choice to improve ourselves.

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“In the past 74 years since the founding of New China, especially in the 40-plus years of reform, the Communist Party of China has led Chinese people of all ethnic groups to work hard in unity, achieving long-term social stability and rapid economic growth.

“The reason for this miracle is that we’ve carefully handled the relationship between reform, development and stability,” said Li.

China’s total investment in research and development exceeded R7.7 trillion last year – an increase of 10.1% over the previous year.

“In the first half of this year, investment in high-tech industries grew 12.5% year-on-year and the added value of the manufacturing industry for aircraft, spacecraft, equipment and lithium batteries went up by more than 20% year-on-year.

Coordinated development advances progress.

From 2012-2022, China’s urbanisation rate increased from 53% to 65%.” The ratio of per capita disposable income for urban residents over rural residents dropped from 2.88 to 2.5.

“In recent years, China stepped up efforts to build a unified national market.”

The coordinated development for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area and the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta entered a fast track. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has produced new benefits, he said.

Green development, said Li, addressed “humanity’s common challenges”.

“In July, China witnessed its new energy vehicles, installed wind power capacity and charging stations rise by a quarter. China’s installed renewable energy capacity has surpassed that of coal and wind power has ranked first in the world for 13 years in a row and solar PV power for eight years in a row.

“Foreign capital is actively expanding their China blueprint. In the first half of this year, a total of 24 000 new foreign-invested companies were set up in China, a year-on-year increase of 35.7%.

“Last year, half of Tesla’s global deliveries came from its Shanghai Super Factory, which produces one electric car every 40 seconds.”

Li said the Brics’ cooperation “has started a new journey”.

“China is ready to work with fellow Brics partners to act on the Brics’ spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation.”

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