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DPRK Can Learn Plenty From China's Reform
Dec 10, 2018

Editor's note: 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's 'reform and opening up' that opened the doors for a more prosperous China that helped hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens escape poverty as the nation had enjoyed rapid economic growth and development. takes a closer look at Beijing's comprehensive reforms with a series of special reports focusing on various fields where tremendous changes have taken place ever since the introduction of the policy.

A brand new era begins for the the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s government and its people. Pyongyang has recently announced intentions to move forward on a de-nuclearization pledge in the midst of DPRK leader Kim Jong-un forging ahead on diplomatic breakthroughs, such as meeting United States President Donald J. Trump face-to-face at the Singapore Summit last June and he participated in a series of meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The imagery says it all. DPRK wishes to embrace the world with peaceful gestures and we can anticipate that Pyongyang would like to usher in dramatic measures to boost its economy in order for its citizens to embark on a path of prosperity, which can inspire its people to welcome more foreign trade and investments after United Nations economic sanctions imposed on the country are lifted at a later date, if everything goes according to plan.

Nevertheless, DPRK has a long way to go, before it can jumpstart its development by building more infrastructure, setting up free trade zones, which could be located at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, and providing better standards of living for its society.

Such efforts would require full-fledged support for the industrialization, modernization and urbanization of the nation. Pyongyang holds a strong bond of friendship with Beijing, while DPRK officials can gain much more wisdom from their Chinese counterparts to learn how best to implements reform and opening up policies.

China holds forty years of rich experiences in the field, since the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping had introduced the reform and opening up policy with a formal declaration at the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in December 1978.

In 1978, China was a nation mired in widespread poverty and many Western nations looked at Beijing with so much suspicion. When Deng announced the reform and opening up policy, many Westerners expressed skepticism over the sincerity of the Chinese government. And few people really believed that even when China went ahead on allowing more free market measures that it would succeed in the long-run.

But Deng and the Chinese proved all those doubters wrong. China has now emerged as the world’s second largest economy in total aggregate GDP (gross domestic product) value. The country is still on pace to witness approximately a 6.8% GDP growth rate for this year, which stands well above the global average.

China had been one of the poorest nations, but the nation’s 40 years of reform and opening up policy had lifted around 800 million Chinese out of dire poverty and with its rising Middle Class, the Chinese can enjoy sustainable development for many years and decades to come.

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