China’s Opening Up: Idea, Process and Logic

Social Sciences in China

Vol. 40, No. 2, 2019


China’s Opening Up: Idea, Process and Logic



Zhang Yuyan


China’s opening up since 1978 has been a historical process of continuous expansion and deepening. In the course of this process, Chinese policymakers and the mass of the people have gradually deepened their understanding of reform and opening up, and China’s relations with the world, especially its role in the world, have been constantly adjusted. At the beginning of reform and opening up, China adapted to and was integrated into the international economic system; it then became engaged in participating in and improving that system, and then became an advocate and leader in the reform of the international system. Moreover, in practice, an incremental series of coherent open economic policies and theories with Chinese characteristics that facilitate an open economy have come into being. Under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory of reform and opening up, China’s practice of opening up to the outside world is not only a good fit with China’s traditional trade theory, the Huainanzi/Sima Qian Theorem, under which people benefit by exchanging their surplus goods for those that they lack, but is also explicable in terms of modern economic trade theories. With the entry of socialism with Chinese characteristics into the new era and profound changes in the international environment, China still needs to open further to lead and promote mutual and shared openness for all countries in the world, so as to create good international conditions for promoting the construction of a shared future for mankind and building a world of lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness, inclusiveness, cleanliness and beauty.


Keywords: opening to the outside world, historical process, economic logic