Editor’s note: In this column we introduce phrases frequently used in the Chinese media and by the Chinese government, thereby providing a succinct overview of China’s political thinking, its policies and ongoing reforms and transitions.






Alleviating poverty


Since China introduced the policy of reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, great economic and social progress has been made, leading to significant improvements in the overall standards of living. As a result, several hundred million people have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for more than 70 percent of poverty reduction worldwide during the same period. Much remains to be done, however, to eliminate the still substantial pockets of poverty, given the fact that China, a country with a large population, is still in the primary stage of socialism, and its diverse regions show varying levels of development.


At the end of 2015 China’s 55.75 million rural residents still lived below the national poverty line, that is, had an annual net income of less than RMB 2,300 per capita. China’s poverty alleviation initiatives are now facing some of their most daunting challenges.


Against such a backdrop, China launched in 2014 its first National Poverty Alleviation Day, to be held on October 17 each year. China will allocate more resources to poverty relief and mobilize all sectors of society to join the fight against poverty. Development efforts aimed specifically at reducing poverty will be stepped up, so as to put an early end to poverty. Effective measures will be implemented to steadily improve access to adequate food and daily necessities, compulsory education, basic medical services and housing.






The Two Centennial Goals


At its 18th National Congress the Communist Party of China presented a roadmap and issued the call to achieve the Two Centennial Goals: successful completion of the process of building a moderately well-off society; and accelerated socialist modernization. Specifically, this means doubling China’s 2010 GDP and per capita income of both urban and rural residents by 2021, when the CPC celebrates its centenary; and building China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious, and which has reached the level of moderately developed countries by 2049, when the People’s Republic of China celebrates its centenary. The Two Centennial Goals embody the grand vision and ambitious ideals which the Chinese Dream represents, and achieving these goals will provide the basis on which to make the Chinese Dream a reality.






Coordinated development


Coordinated development is one of China’s five development concepts. China’s high-speed growth has given rise to the problems of imbalance and unsustainable development, which are points of weakness that hinder its further development. The 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) envisions strengthened policy coordination aimed at (a) promoting coordinated urban and rural development, so as to overcome the usual urban-rural dichotomy; (b) facilitating coordinated economic and social development, so as to bridge the broad gap currently existent between the two processes; and (c) synchronizing its new model of industrialization through efforts to expand access to information technology, urbanization, and agricultural modernization. Seamless integration of development efforts in different areas is essential to upgrading China’s hard and soft power.


Selected from Keywords to Understanding China published by China Academy of Translation and China International Publishing Group.