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Achievements in figures: 2003 review
2004-03-09 00:00

US$ 1090-new phase new start

9.1 percent, the greatest growth rate since 1997, was in the answer sheet of China's GDP (Gross National Product), a new signal of China's economic development.

9.1 percent marks that China's economy, has, after hard adjustment from anti-inflation to anti-deflation, completely shaken off the negative impact of Asia financial crisis, entering a new growth cycle.

Accompanying the rapid economic growth, China's per capita GDP exceeded US$ 1000 to US$ 1090. It has become the starting point of a new phase of China's economic development in which the consumption level of city dwellers will step onto a new level, social consuming structure will upgrade into developmental and enjoyable, cars, computers and advanced electronic appliances will enter households at a higher rate, people's demand of housing conditions will constantly increase. Meanwhile, according to experience of foreign countries, the period in which per capita GDP strides from US$ 1000 to US$ 5000 has always been the one with great changes in the industrial structure and adjustments in social structure and intensifying conflicts in interests. Therefore, the new mark and new starting point raise for us new requirement in development: to turn the focus of the economic development to the adjustment of economic structure, the transformation of the way of growth, to raise the quality of the increase and profits for the sustained, fast, coordinated and health development of the national economy.

2 trillion yuan - strengthened financial regulation and control

In the year 2003, China's financial revenue exceeded 2 trillion yuan (US$ 241.50 billion), stepping up to a new stage.

The two trillion yuan indicates the increasingly strong financial capacity. In 1993, the figure was only 434.9 billion yuan (US$ 52.52 billion), and in 1999 exceeded for the first time one trillion yuan to 113.77 billion yuan (US$ 13.74 billion). Four years later it reached a new high of two trillion.

From over 400 billion yuan (US$ 48.31 billion) to last year's over two trillion yuan (US$ 241.50 billion), the consecutive fast growth of China's fiscal revenue was the result of the fast growth of the national economy, and second the marked improvement of the quality of the nation's economic operation and the profit of enterprises. In 2003, the total tax saved throughout the nation was 204. 61 billion yuan (US$ 24.71 billion) (tariff and agricultural tax not included), 20.3 percent or 345.8 billion yuan (US$ 41.76 billion) up from the previous year.

Important, urgent and difficult things can be done only when the nation has the money. Last year, the over-two-trillion-yuan (US$ 241.50 billion) fiscal revenue further strengthened the macro-control and the safeguard. In 2003, the finance made great contribution to fighting against SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak, solving the employment and reemployment problems and the "agriculture, rural area and farmers" problem and backing the reform of the export tax rebate mechanism, forcefully promoting the development of the national economy and various causes of the society.

8.50 million jobs- marked headway in employment

Despite the severe conflicts between the demand and supply of laborers plus the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak, China made great headway in the employment work in 2003: newly increased jobs 8.50 million, urban registered unemployment rate 4.3 and the goal of no higher than 4.5 percent all year round realized.

Since last year, the central government put forward a series of favorable policies to promote employment. Various regions strengthened establishing responsibility system, drafting relevant policies, developing jobs, increasing capital input and doing well employment services, and all these made the number of the employed and reemployed increase greatly. Nationwide there are 10.38 million laid-off received their Card of Reemployment Favor, most of whom enjoyed policy support such as reduced and cancelled tax and fees, petty mortgage loans and various kinds of subsidies. 4.40 million people realized reemployment, including "4050" totaling 1.20 million with difficulty. Residence committees of over 97 percent localities of prefecture-level and above established work platform for labor safeguard and many communities even recruited specialized staff in labor and safeguard. A network providing social management services for the unemployed for reemployment and for the retired has been gradually formed.

At the end of 2003, there are 2.60 million laid off from State-owned enterprises, 1.50 million fewer than the previous year, and the role of unemployment insurance was strengthened.

100 million people - social insurance increasingly consummated

In 2003, China made a breakthrough in social security as pension insurance, medical and unemployment insurance covered more than 100 million people, work injury insurance, birth-giving insurance developed rapidly. Social security system entered the stage of consummation.

According to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, over 80 percent of the employed in various kinds of enterprises were included in pension insurance, and people covered by the insurance exceeded 150 million, including self-employed and casual laborers 11.77 million. Basic balance maintained good. All year round, the income of the pension insurance fund totaled 358 billion yuan (US$ 43.24 billion) with the increased income over 14 billion yuan (US$ 16.91 billion) more than the increased expenditure during the same period. The population covered by medical insurance exceeded for the first time 100 million to 108.95 million at the end of 2003. The operation went well in various regions and fund was balanced. Unemployment insurance developed steadily: totally 103.73 million were covered, 1.91 million more than the end of the previous year. Additionally, there are also 45.75 million covered in work injury insurance and 36.48 million birth-giving insurance.

Last year, China totally issued basic pension 263 billion yuan (US$ 31.76 billion) and over 38 million retired received timely and adequate pension and 29.33 million retired were provided with social management services.

US$ 851.2 billion----foreign trade a new high

China's foreign trade in the last year reached US$ 851.2 billion with an increase of 37.1 percent as the fourth in the world following the United States, Germany and Japan. In retrospection of the foreign trade since the reform and opening-up, the changes in the figures were encouraging: US$ 20.6 billion in 1978, about US$ 60 billion in 1984, over US$ 236 billion in 1994, US$ 360 billion in 1999 and more than US$ 620 billion in 2002 and 800 billion in less than one year, a big stride.

With the general sluggishness of the world economy, China's foreign trade keeps running fast. The most fundamental reason was that we well gave play to the positive effects of joining the WTO (World Trade Organization), and seized the opportunities against challenges to win advantage in international competition. China also enhanced its ability to make use of "the two markets, two resources", creating enough room for the domestic industries and enterprises to expand foreign trade and economic cooperation. Meanwhile, it was also the result of the quickened adjustment of the economic structure. For instance, last year the export of machinery and electronic products took up over half of the total for the first time, that of high and new technological products exceeded one fourth. This indicates the increasing driving force of the industries and products with high technological component and good adaptation to structural optimization for foreign trade.

US$ 403.3 billion --- international solvency greatly strengthened

US$ 403.3 billion as the second high in the world was China's foreign exchange reserve till the end of 2003 with an increase of US$ 116.8 billion, the largest growth since the establishment of the new China.

8.2767:1, this was the exchange rate of Renminbi to US dollar which maintained basic stability in 2003.

Adequate foreign exchange reserve and stable exchange rate of Renminbi helped strengthen the international solvency and raise the confidence at home and abroad in China's economy and currency; helped respond to emergency and maintain the nation's economic and financial security. International experience shows, with unduly inadequate foreign exchange reserve, one country will incur serious risk in international payments and even financial panic.

Since China is undergoing rapid economic growth and transformation of system, there are many uncertainties, the financial system is not yet complete, Renminbi is not international currency and lacks response implement against risk. Therefore we must fully recognize the importance of maintaining the basic stability of Renminbi exchange rate. Of course, we must also pay attention to the necessity of improving the formation mechanism of Renminbi exchange rate to make Renminbi maintain basic stability in reform and development at a reasonable and balanced level.

4.3 Percent-hard-won increase of farmers' income

The latest statistics from the State Bureau of Statistics show that in 2003 rural residents' net income nationwide totaled 2, 622 yuan (US$ 316.67), an increase of 4.3 percent.

This indicates that after the nation's one-year effort, farmers' income maintained a good momentum of recovering increase.

The development of rural economy suffered much difficulty last year. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak blocked the sales of agricultural products and the export of husbandry products therefore numerous farmers returned home and agricultural and rural economic development were seriously undermined. Frequent flood, drought, typhoon and earthquake etc. natural disasters also exasperated the situation. Just against such difficulties, agricultural and rural economies gradually recovered and farmers' income realized a growth rate of 4.3 percent.

However we should notice the increase was still recovering and the problems ahead of increasing the farmers' income still need solution. First farmers' income has been growing slowly. With a four-percent average which is only half of the increase of that of city residents, none of the past seven consecutive years saw a growth rate higher than five percent. Second, the gap between the income of farmers and city dwellers keeps widening. Third, some grain-planting farmers' income kept still and even decreased. Additionally, till the end of last year, there were still 29 million impoverished under the poverty line the increase of whose income is especially hard.

461 billion yuan - new high growth rate of State-owned enterprises' profits

In 2003 China's State-owned enterprises' economic benefits saw marked improvement with new high rate and profits. Statistics from the Ministry of Finance show that all year round State-owned enterprises and State-holding enterprises realized 750 billion yuan (US$ 90.60 billion), 23.6-percent over 2002; profits realized was preliminarily estimated as 461 billion yuan (US$ 55.67 billion), an record high increase of 21 percent, an important contribution to the rapid, coordinated and healthy development of the national economy.

Among the State-owned enterprises, central enterprises played as the backbone. Last year the sales and profits realized exceeded four trillion yuan (US$ 483.09 billion) and 300 billion yuan (US$ 36.23 billion), a new high respectively. In 2003, central enterprises' assets totaled 8.09 trillion yuan, 11.2 percent up from the year 2002; owner's equity totaled 3.47 trillion yuan (US$ 419.08 billion), an increase of 5.6 percent including State-owned equity 2.76 trillion yuan (US$ 333.33 billion), up 7.5 percent.

Speeding up the reform and the adjustment promoted the rapid development of State-owned enterprises. First, active pushing the reform of the State-owned assets management system quickened the share-holding renovation of State-owned enterprises. Second, active pushing the joint restructuring among enterprises, cultivating those with advantages. Third is continuing the liberalization and invigoration of State-owned small and medium-sized enterprises through a variety of forms. Fourth is active redirecting and arranging the redundant staff and safeguarding the steady reform.

17% gross enrollment rate--higher education reaches world average level

China's gross enrollment rate for higher education reached 17 percent in 2003. This is the first time that China's higher learning reached world average level, as well as a new step following the realization of mass higher education in 2002.

Gross enrollment rate of higher education is an important index measuring a country's education level. According to international practice, higher education is accessible to the masses when the figure reaches 15 percent, and enters popularity stage when the figure reaches 50 percent. Currently there are more than 70 countries whose gross enrollment rate exceed 15 percent, and those of Canada, United States, Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Norway and ROK go beyond 50 percent.

In 2003 Beijing and Shanghai's higher education gross enrollment rates stood at 53 and 52 percent respectively, that is to say, in the two cities, half people aged between 18 and 22 can enjoy higher education of various types. The third Chinese city hopefully to join the rank is Tianjin, whose figure was 44 percent in the past year. By now areas with a figure above 20 percent also include Jiangsu Province and Liaoning Province.

152 billion yuan-enterprises play major role in sci-tech input

During the whole year of 2003, China spent a total fund of 152.01 billion yuan (18.36 billion US dollars) on sci-tech research and development (R&D), or 1.3 percent of GDP, further narrowing its sci-tech input gap with developed countries. The input was 18.1 percent higher than the previous year, much higher than the growth of 2001 (7.1 percent) and 2002 (11.3 percent).

There is a deep background for the nation's increasing input on sci-tech activities in recent years. In the past two decades, China's sci-tech progress have been driven by demands rather than pushed by supplies, with sci-tech progress lagging behind economic development.

In the two decades to come, China's sci-tech will be driven by both demands and supplies. Only by independent innovation can we solve key technological problems occurr in economic and social development, therefore providing important means for the nation's sustainable development.

What worth noticing is over 60 percent of the 152 billion yuan fund were provided by enterprises, a signal that enterprises are gradually becoming the majority of technological innovations.

4.4 million vehicles-rapid growth seen in auto production and sales

If you ask which sector grew fastest in 2003 and maintained high-rate growth for two years on end, then the answer is auto industry.

In 2003 China's auto industry grew firmly and forcefully. The nation produced a total of 4,443,700 vehicles and sold a total of 4,390,800, 1,193,000 and 1,142,700 higher than 2002 respectively, or 35.20 percent and 34.21 percent up. The net growth of production and sales registered at over 1 million for the year alone, a figure rarely seen in world auto history.

Viewing from vehicle types, in 2003 China manufactured a total number of 2,018,900 sedan cars, or 83.25 percent year-on-year growth; sold a total of 1,971,600 sedans, or 75.28 percent growth. The net growth of production and sales registered at 928,100 and 845,600 respectively over the previous year. The bus sector saw dramatic changes. A total number of 443,400 light buses was made and 440,200 sold, up 32.45 percent and 29.89 percent respectively; growth of minibus saw noticeable decline. Growth of freight car saw an overall decrease, with a total production and sales of 1,229,600 and 1,211,400 respectively, up 10.04 and 10.35 percent respectively over the previous year, of which growth for heavy truck was the lowest, only up 3.62 and 4.30 percent respectively.

371.2 billion yuan-tariff boosts financial strength

Customs nationwide reported a total net revenue of 371.2 billion yuan (44.83 billion US dollars) on tariff and import linkage tax in 2003, 112.1 billion yuan (13.56 billion dollars) higher than the previous year, or 43 percent up, hitting historical records in terms of both total volume and growth rate and greatly boosting the national fiscal strength.

Throughout the year monthly tariff growth had been kept over 20 percent. Except February, monthly custom income had been kept around 30 billion yuan, (3.62 billion dollars), which hit a record of 37.6 billion yuan (4.54 billion dollars) in September. The whole-year average income for each working day registered at around 1.5 billion yuan (181.16 million dollars).

The huge increase of customs tariff was fundamentally brought by the sustained, fast, coordinated and sound development of the national economy. Last year the nation saw high-speed increase in imports and exports, with much higher value of imported dutiable goods. Imports of mechanical and electrical goods, car and parts, crude oil and finished oil, steel and organic chemical goods grew particularly fast, which offset the impact of lowered tariff and laid a good foundation for customs revenue growth. Moreover, the huge increase of customs revenue is also a result of ever improving tax collecting work. Last year the customs system cracked down on smuggling and other crimes and uncovered a batch of tax-related cases and price frauds, making contribution to a historical record of customs revenue.

530 million-number of telephone users soars

In 2003 China's information industry realized an added value of 709 billion yuan (85.63 billion dollars), accounting for 6 percent of GDP, not only maintaining its position as the top pillar of the national economy, but with its exports nearing one third of the national total.

Viewed from the telecommunication sector, in 2003 China's number of telephone users maintained high-speed growth. After two successive years of user increase over 90 million each, 2003 saw the number of new users exceed 100 million again to reach 112 million, including 49.08 million fixed line users and 62.69 million mobile users. By the end of 2003 the total number of telephone users nationwide had reached 532 million, including 263 million fixed line users and 269 million mobile users, with the scale of both fixed line and mobile network ranking world first. What's more, the national telephone popularity had reached 42 sets per one hundred people, almost equal to world average. Besides, China's Internet surfers reached 78 million people, ranking world second.

China's electronic information industry scored a sales income up to 1.88 trillion yuan (227.05 billion dollars) in 2003, up 34 percent, and profit and tax 100 billion yuan (12.08 billion dollars), up 16 percent, achieving balanced development of a scale economy.

Glorious achievements in space flight

2003 is a year witnessing glorious achievements in space flight. The successful manned space mission in mid October, in particular, realized the thousand-year-old dream of space traveling cherished by the Chinese nation, turning China the world third country mastering independently manned space flight technologies.

On May 25, the Long March 3A rocket successfully carried the nation's third Beidou I navigation positioning satellite into space. On October 15, the Long March F rocket carried China-made "Shenzhou V" manned spaceship into space. On October 21, the nation sent the second earth resources satellite developed jointly by China and Brazil and another China-made small satellite into different preset orbits by a Long March IV B carrier rocket. On November 3, China launched a recoverable science experimental satellite into a preset orbit atop a Long March 2 D carrier rocket. On November 15, China launched its self-made Zhongxing-20 communication satellite into a preset orbit atop a Long March 3A carrier rocket. On December 30, China launched a high-altitude orbiting satellite "Probe No.1" into the preset orbit, using a Long March 2C/SM carrier rocket.

Public health-emergency system in improvement

In 2003 China achieved stage success in the war against SARS. With more funds on public health from central and local governments, an emergency system against public health accidents was gradually set up, and institutions on medical treatment and disease prevention were fortified. By the end of 2003, the country possessed altogether 305,000 medical institutions and a health staff of 4.24 million people, as well as 3,600 disease prevention and control centers (stations), and a staff of 159,000 health workers.

China has taken it a priority of establishing and improving its public health emergency system, with the focus laid on the prevention and control of SARS, AIDS, the plague, cholera, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, blood fluke and efforts directed to lower their infection, incidence, and morality rates. By now 304 pilot counties or cities for new-type medical service system have been set up, covering a rural population over 93 million, which greatly reversed the situation that farmers dragged into or back into poverty by illness.

City environment-more days of blue sky and white clouds recorded

The year 2003 saw more and more days of blue sky and white clouds. Beijing recorded 224 days during which air quality reached or went beyond grade II, 21 days more than the previous year. The percentage for the city proper of "foggy" Chongqing was 65.6 percent, 7.8 percent higher than the previous year; the figure for northwest city Lanzhou was 207 days, and Hohhot also over 200 days, both being best ever records.

National environment monitoring statistics showed that among the 340 cities monitored in 2003, 141 reached grade II in terms of air quality, accounting for 41.5 percent, 7.7 percentage points higher than the previous year; another 108 cities reached grade III, or 31.8 percent, 3.2 percentage points lower; and another 91 cities were recorded below grade III, or 26.7 percent, 4.5 percentage points lower than the previous year.

Last year also saw major Chinese cities strive to lower the content of pollutants sent into the air by adjusting industrial structure, promoting clean energies, scraping chimneys and small boilers.

Rich fruits in sports field

2003 marks a key year for Chinese athletes to prepare for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, for which they frequently participated in various related events. Most teams have fixed their name lists for the Games and some have begun to foster staff for the 2008 event.

During the year 2003 Chinese athletes reaped altogether 87 world titles in 17 games of the World Championships and the World Cup. Out of them 38 were Olympic sub-games titles, or 43.7 percent, including 32 summer Olympic sub-game titles and 6 winter Olympic titles. In the year China created 16 world records, including 5 Olympic ones.

On advantageous games such as shooting, weight lifting, gymnastics, table tennis, badminton, judo, diving, short-track speed skating, Chinese athletes won altogether 55 world titles, or 67 percent. Chinese players were also rising in basic games as track and field, swimming and canoeing.

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