China's long march toward economic modernization

China will grow and prosper by developing the institutions of a market economy while maintaining social harmony.

Economists like to compare the People's Republic of China with the Republic of India as global success stories in reducing poverty and moving toward prosperous market economies. Their sustained productivity growth, based on their respective stable macroeconomic environments and increasingly educated labor forces, has distinguished both countries from many other parts of the world in recent decades. Since China initiated economic reform in 1978, its national income has more than quadrupled. Since India began liberalizing its economy in 1991, its per capita GDP has almost doubled.

But the successful economic growth of the two Asian giants is not the only feature that invites comparison. Standard Poor's Ratings Services believes that the...

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