In the 55 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, particularly since the reform and opening up, new words and phrases and new concepts keep emerging. China Business Times selected 55 new terms related to economic life from them. They reflect the huge changes that have taken place in China's social life and people's mind over the 55 years.
In 1984 China returned to the big Olympic family and won the first Olympic gold medal. Today the Olympics not only displays the strength of the China's competing sports but also has become a carrier of national pride for the Chinese people. The 2008 Beijing Olympics has furnished a new engine for the Chinese economy.
White collar is a term designating a person who works in a luxurious office building for a firm with foreign investment and earns a higher salary than ordinary people. There are now also derivatives such as "gold collar" and "pink collar". More often than not people love to call girls "white collar ladies" who are dressed in neat business wears but are much busier than other people. The white collar is a special stratum in the city. They represent a kind of life mode and attitude, which have nothing to do with the amount of salary.
When the government and unit no longer take care of everything for the individual, when various problems such as unemployment and medical care are put on the table the safeguard significance of insurance to people's lives is particular obvious. Therefore various commercial insurances appear in people's lives and are gradually recognized and accepted by people. After all, what insurance buys is a certain kind of safeguard for the future.
China no longer shies away from discussions of wealth. "Letting some people get rich first" became a very enlightened policy. Therefore today's China has several dozens of magazines related to "wealth" and 201 websites with the word "wealth" in their names. Search the word on the Internet with your computer you will find millions of web pages discussing wealth. Also related to wealth foreigners and Chinese put forward various lists of rich men whilst ordinary people are becoming more and more concerned with family and individual financing.
CBD means core business district. It is a loanword, which has become fashionable in recent years. A place in a city where office buildings, foreign enterprises and the white collar are concentrated is probably a CBD. A CBD is the mirror of a city's economy, which represents the city's level of internationalization. Amid the surge of CBD construction in many cities the true CBDs up to international standards are hard to find.
Spring Festival Gala
In China Spring Festival Gala designates specifically the annul TV gala held by the CCTV on the eve of Spring Festival. Its annual appearance is referred to by the Chinese as a main course in the banquet on Spring Festival Eve. The 20-odd-year-old Spring Festival Gala, which is held every year no matter what, has made stars many actors including Chen Peisi, Song Dandan, Zhao Lirong and Zhao Benshan, and has left behind many oft-quoted and widely loved works. Watching the Spring Festival Gala together with the whole family has become a new custom of spending the Lunar New Year for the Chinese. However, as times change the decline of the Spring Festival Gala is all the more obvious.
Honest and trustworthy
It is an old term. But it has for a long time been forgotten and ignored. With the development of market economy and as trade rules and credit system are increasingly improved the term - honest and trustworthy is again called for and defined as an indispensable rule.
In the press and publishing circles the emergence of the concept - "media" brought with it an imperceptible yet profound impact. Although China has not enacted corresponding press law, the Constitution does endow the media with basic right and responsibility of "supervision by public opinion".
Crackdown on counterfeits
A young man called Wang Hai wearing a pair of sunglasses invented a new method of fighting counterfeits by which he knowingly buys fake products and then makes claims for compensations. Although his behaviors gave rise to many reproaches the consumers fed up with sham and counterfeit products gave him enough understanding and tolerance.
The word, which originally means a willingness on the part of the seller to give up a portion of profit, has more and more become a strong request from the buyer. The concept of discount usually occurs in one of two situations. One is when supply exceeds demand and competition is fierce. Discount under this circumstance is also called "price battle". The other is when the pricing mechanism of monopolized industries is not transparent enough or prices of products and services are not reasonable, and the consumer hopes to cut loss through "discount".
Non-public ownership economy
As an important part of the socialist market economy the birth and growth of China's non-public ownership economy are of particular importance. Broader non-public ownership economy includes enterprises with foreign investment, private enterprises and self-employed businesses etc. Today non-public ownership economy accounts for more than two thirds of the national economy and is continuously increasing its contribution ratio to the general economic growth. Non-public ownership economy is a main channel of employment and a fresh force in export. Its industrial distribution is expanding from traditional industries into newly-emerged hi-tech industries. Sticking firmly to developing non-public ownership economy has become one of the basic economic policies in China.
Poverty alleviation through development
After some people have become rich first China began to adopt measures to help needy people lift out of poverty, who live in former revolutionary base areas, areas inhabited by minority nationalities, remote and border areas and poverty-stricken areas. Various policies and measures such as the Seven-Year Priority Poverty Alleviation Program and "transfer payment" have achieved evident successes. The "Honorable Cause" initiated by private entrepreneurs such as Liu Yonghao features alleviation of poverty through development and is regarded with high opinion in the society. The project has been affirmed by relevant UN institutions. For now Chinese population living in poverty has been drastically reduced. However the task of poverty alleviation is till heavy and the road long.
Reform and opening up
In the 55 years since the founding of the New China no term is more exciting than "reform and opening up". Symbolized by the Third Plenum of 11th Central Committee of CPC (1978) China had entered a new era of reform and opening up which centers on economic construction. Reform and opening up changed the fate of the nation and made Chinese people rich. For this reason reform and opening up became an important content of Deng Xiaoping theory.
Corruption has always been a malignant tumor in the body of the Republic. Meanwhile anti-corruption has also become a core task of the ruling party in strengthening governing capabilities. In recent years as anti-corruption steps up intensity corrupt officials follow one another to be caught. However, statistics show that the "corruption latency period" of corrupt officials has increased from the average 1.4 years in the 1980s to current 6.3 years. So anti-corruption task is still arduous.
Real estate is an industry related to the life of the general public, which is also an outcome of marketization. In the era of planned economy there was no commercial housing, let alone real estate speculation groups. Now real estate has become a barometer of economic development.
SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. This deadly disease, which made the whole world panic and has since not been deciphered, tested China's health care and disease prevention and control system. It also made people think about the relationship between growth and the cost of growth.
In the traditional thinking of Chinese they wouldn't easily borrow money from others. When this thinking faces the brand-new concepts of modern market economy people is beginning to actively or passively accept loans - loans can be borrowed to purchase a house; poor students can apply for student loans etc. Credit consumption is becoming a new consumption mode.
GDP is short for gross domestic product. It represents the aggregate of value growth of all industries in a particular accounting period. It is a quantitative index of a country's economic development. Since 1978 China's GDP grows at an average annual rate of 9.4 percent. Particularly after the 1990s when average annual world GDP was 1 percent China's GDP grew at an average of 10 percent. For this reason GDP became China's pride. Nevertheless people increasingly notice that GDP cannot measure everything and growth is not equal to development. People began to view GDP more objectively.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange opened on December 19, 1990. On July 13 in the following year Shenzhen Stock Exchange opened. Since then China's economic life has become even more bright-colored. The appearance of stock market provides enterprises with financing channel and the general public with investment and speculation opportunities.
College entrance examination
In the 1950s and 1960s few were able to attend the college entrance examination. During the "Cultural Revolution" higher education institutions were closed and college entrance examination canceled. In 1977 college entrance examination was reinstalled, which opened a new road for the young talents pent up for ten years. According to statistics enrolled college students in China have reached 20 million in 2004 and the scale of higher education in China has jumped to the No.1 position in the world. Apart from college entrance examination people who wish to obtain various qualifications must take numerous tests such as TOEFL and IELTS etc.
Following several sand and dust storms in the Spring of 2000 some reports said the desert on the north of Beijing was only 70 kilometers away from Tiananmen Square. Therefore the Chinese began to realize how important environmental protection is after committing such follies as destroying forests to make room for farmlands and enclosing lakes to create farmlands. Environmental protection is of course not only the restoration of farmlands into forests and retrieval of grasslands from livestock farms. Nor is it only the national tree planting in April each year. It also includes such comprehensive treatments as of atmospheric environment, water resource environment and urban living environment. What is more fundamental is that it entails the fostering and establishment of environmental protection awareness among all citizens.
In 1998 according to the newly-released Organic Law of the Villagers Committee more than 5 million villages in China could choose their own heads of villagers' committees through direct election. The general public describes it vividly as "sea-election". Today experiments have begun in the open recruitment and democratic election of officials at the department and bureau level.
Personnel, who returned from after obtaining an overseas education, are generally called overseas returnees. They were once the models and idols of the youth. They usually have an overseas educational background and the newest way of thinking. For many years lots of overseas students have returned to China to start an undertaking and achieved remarkable accomplishments.
"Laowai" has long been the term with which Chinese call a foreigner. Laowai was once a "rarity" in China, who often attracted the watching by crowds. Once upon a time foreigners and Chinese lived along two parallel lines of life in a city that never crossed. Now more and more foreigners come to China, many of whom have blended into the lives of Chinese while others have obtained China's green cards.
Chinese now enjoy three week-long holidays each year, which fall respectively on the Spring Festival, May Day and National Day. Of them May Day and National Day are customarily called "golden weeks". The change of working hour system shortened 6 working days each week to 5 days. The addition of leisure time has fostered the development of recreation industry.
The Internet is a brand-new thing that has changed people's life. What is more it may be called something that brings about subversive changes. People suddenly discovered that the world in front of the computer is made small at the clicking of keyboard. People can not only experience the real life but also feel the unprecedented virtual world through networks. There is no doubt that this kind of change is bound to continue.
Special Economic Zone
In the Spring of 1979 a great man drew a circle by the South China Sea. From them on China has its special economic zones and initiated a new mode of economic construction. Special economic zones are special in that it enjoys certain special policies during particular transition periods and have created development speeds that are especially fast. Meanwhile, it fully demonstrated the ingenious combination of the flexibility of "groping forward by feeling for stones to cross a river" and the principle of "development being the ultimate criterion". There may be one day when the special zone is no longer "special". But the experience it left behind is especially valuable.
On the zero hour of July 1, 1982 population on the Chinese mainland reached 1,031,882,511. Now China's population has exceeded 1.3 billion. Overpopulation brings enormous pressure on various aspects of social and economic development. For this reason starting from the 1970s family planning has become a basic national policy. In large and medium-sized cities it has become quite normal for a couple to have only one child.
Scientific development outlook
The SARS disaster that suddenly broke out in 2003 sank more people into reflection over the cost of growth. Overheating in certain industries and the following energy resource and transportation shortages alarmed people. Therefore the new generation leadership of the central government timely put forward the scientific development outlook of "all-round, balanced and sustainable development". The proposition of this thinking means that the old crude growth mode that emphasizes quantitative increase without considering resource environment and social cost will be put to rest. We will adopt a new growth mode that has an overall planning and pays more attention to quality and returns.
- Part one of two
By People's Daily Online