January 27, 2011
According to data recently released by National Bureau of Statistics, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 39.8 trillion yuan in 2010. Although Japan’s GDP data for 2010 has not been disclosed, it is generally believed that China will overtake Japan to become the world’s second largest economy.
While feeling proud of the splendid achievement, we have to keep a clear head, because having the second largest GDP does not make China the world’s second strongest country.
GDP cannot truly reflect a country’s economic structure and quality, nor can it fully reflect the levels a country’s education, health care and other areas have reached. Compared with developed countries, China is still in the relatively low level of development, and its infrastructure is still weak. Ranking about 100 in the world, China’s per capita GDP has just reached 4,000 U.S. dollars, roughly 10 percent of Japan’s. According to international standards, China is undoubtedly a developing country.
GDP is not the sole criteria in measuring a country’s strength. Both hard and soft power, including economy, technology, military and culture should be taken into account. China is still at the low end in the chain of international division of labor. It is a major exporter but not a country that reaps big profits. It is a major manufacturer but not an innovative power. China ranks 43rd on Global Innovation Index 2010, which is far behind the United States and Japan. China’s influence is relatively limited in the fields of international finance, which is essential in the modern economy.
In today’s world, where the trend of international multi-polarization is quickly developing, a large number of emerging countries are developing robustly . Each country has advantages in different areas, making it increasingly harder to simply rank them. The blend of national interests and interdependence has reached unprecedented levels. On the international stage, no country can be dominant. Face emerging global challenges; it has become an inevitable trend that countries respect each other, share opportunities and meet challenges together.
To become a strong nation, China has a long way to go. Only by improving the quality of economic growth and economic volume together, can China achieve the transition from the manufacturer of “Made in China” goods to “created in China” products and transform from a processing base into a center of innovation.
Facing the brilliant GPD figure, we should neither be complacent nor belittle ourselves. Only by realizing comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development, can China take on the road of rejuvenation steadily and successfully, making greater contribution to world peace and development.
By People’s Daily Online
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