Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
The breathtaking growth of the economy since the pro-market reforms launched by Deng Xiaoping has led to an extraordinary increase in real living standards and an unprecedented decline in poverty. According to World Bank estimates, more than 60 percent of the population lived under the $1 per day poverty line at the beginning of economic reform. This had fallen to 10 percent by 2004, so - on this narrow measure at least – about 500 million people were lifted out of poverty in a single generation.
“Only development makes hard sense,” said President Hu Jintao in a December 18 speech to mark the anniversary of reform, reviving a slogan that Deng used to spur on investment and spending.
And yet vast swathes of China’s countryside were bypassed by the economic boom that transformed its cities and eastern seaboard. Agriculture now accounts for only about one-tenth of China’s GDP even though it supports more than half the population.