Substantial success has been achieved in China's economic development since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, notably after implementation of reform and opening up in 1979. From 1979 - 1997 China 's average annual GDP growth rate come to 9.8 percent; and its over all economic strength ranked seventh in the world. The production force has been further emancipated and overall national strength has increased markedly. The outputs of several major industrial and agricultural products rank first in the world in terms of absolute figures. These include grain, cotton, meat, oil-bearing crops, coal, steel, cement, cloth, and TV sets. In addition, production of chemical fiber, wood fabrics, non-ferrous metals, generated energy, oil, chemical fertilizers and sugar are among world leaders. At present China is able to equip large mines, power stations and heavy industries including metallurgy, chemicals, automobile and shipbuilding with its own technology. Progress is reported in educational, scientific and cultural programs and people's living standards are greatly improved. These accomplishments provide a material and technological foundation for socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics.

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