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40 Years of Reform and Opening Up: China's Rural E-Commerce Going Global
Chinese-English Web series on rural entrepreneurs with global reach coming up soon
By Ma Xiaowen | Web Exclusive

At a conference on China's economic transformation held at the University of Chicago in July 2008, Steven Ng-Sheong Cheung, a Hong-Kong-born American economist, called it "the greatest program for economic reform in history."

The past 40 years of reform and opening up validate his argument.

In 1978, 18 farmers in Xiaogang, a village in Anhui Province in east China, secretly agreed to divide communally owned farmland into individual plots--household contracts--thereby inadvertently lighting the torch of China's rural revolution. Since then, led by the Communist Party of China (CPC), the nation began to transform into a modern market economy with unprecedented speed.

In the first two decades of the 21st century, the development of the Internet has brought huge opportunities. Thanks to industrialization and informatization, rural residents have played a major role in the rural revitalization strategy by exploiting e-commerce technologies.

While visiting a major exhibition at the National Museum of China to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up, President Xi Jinping said in the four decades, the Chinese people, under the strong leadership of the CPC, worked hard persistently, made epic accomplishments, and brought great changes to China.

He said the 19th CPC National Congress has laid down the blueprint for national development. "As long as we continue to take the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guide, fully implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, remain committed to deepening reform in all areas and opening wider to the world, socialism with Chinese characteristics will surely have a brighter future," he said.

Beijing Review's Chinese-English Web series--40 Years of Reform and Opening Up: China's Rural E-Commerce Going Globa--has been made against this background and will be online soon. The five-episode series tells the amazing story of how China's villagers seized the opportunities brought by the Internet, shook off poverty, and changed their fate as well as the fate of their villages. It is also the story of how they promoted the social and economic transformation of rural areas by integrating rural industrialization with informatization.

The story is told through three-minute episodes that show how the life of each protagonist changed, and even his or her way of thinking.

The series will be simulcast on Bjreview.com, as well as Beijing Review's Weibo, WeChat, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. Please stay tuned.

Comments to mahsiaowen@163.com

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