Visions for the future: China's choice to open up



In his keynote speech at the Boao Forum for Asia on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed China's reform and opening up as the country's second revolution.

Forty years after China began its opening up process, the international context is vastly different, but some argue the rationale is the same.

The location of the forum, Hainan, is an example of the the results of opening up. When the island became a province in 1988, families were eating rationed food and the island didn't have a single highway.

Now, Hainan is connected by a bullet train that runs all around the island. Over the past four decades, China has managed to lift more than 700 million people out of poverty, and the per capita GDP of Hainan has jumped from 49 dollars a year to 7,000 dollars a year.

The story of Hainan encapsulates China’s success. And the story will continue with further liberalization, leading to an open island economy.

To open up or close off? To move forward or to go back? These are the choices all nations have to make. And China’s answer is unequivocal – further reform and opening up.