(Yicai Global) Dec. 18 -- This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's economic reform, which helped the country rise from an underdeveloped country to the world's second-largest economy. This is a miracle in terms of economic growth rate, but more importantly, it boosted China's per capita income.
The country was home to 700 million farmers out of a total population of one billion in 1978, if we use 2011's annual per capita income of CNY2300 (USD333.4) as a benchmark for poverty, then 97.5 percent of China's population in 1978 was impoverished. Farmers' average income was CNY117 while 300 million people earned less than CNY100 per year.
Forty years later China is home to 300 million people who have become part of the high-income class with 900 million people hot on their heels. 740 million people have been brought out of poverty over the past 40 years, representing a great contribution to mankind. This is the greatest achievement of China's economic reform.
Cao Yuanzheng, chairman of the research unit at BOC International Holdings
Editor: William Clegg