China’s economic performance over the last 30 years has been impressive. It is the world's fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging 10% per year. It is the world's second largest economy, the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods. On a per capita income basis, China ranked 90th by nominal GDP and 91st by GDP (PPP) in 2011, according to the IMF. The white paper, titled New Progress in Development-oriented Poverty Reduction Program for Rural China indicates that China's poverty-stricken rural population fell from 94.22 million at the end of 2000 to 26.88 million at the end of 2010. Poverty rate fell from more than 65 percent to less than 10 percent as 500 million people were lifted out of poverty.
It is the success of China's economic policies and their implementation that has resulted in significant and steady growth. The economic reforms taking advantage of market principles began in 1978 and were carried out in two stages. The first stage, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, involved the decollectivization of agriculture, the opening up of the country to foreign investment, and permission for entrepreneurs to start up businesses. However, most industry remained state-owned. The second stage of reform, in the late 1980s and 1990s, involved the privatization and contracting out of much state-owned industry and the lifting of price controls, protectionist policies, and regulations. The Chinese government has always made poverty reduction an important goal and task of national development and worked hard to enable all the people to enjoy the fruits of economic and social development. It was in the mid-1980s that the Chinese government started the development-oriented poverty reduction program in the rural areas in an organized and planned way. The 11th Five-Year Economic Program (2006–2010) aimed at building a "harmonious society" through more balanced wealth distribution and improved education, medical care, and social security.
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