Sun Ruizhe: Deepening reform and opening up and building a textile power

40th Anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening Up
Nov 23, 2018  |  by

Sun Ruizhe, President of China National Textile and Apparel Council

In 2018, China ushered in the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up. Over the past 40 years, the land of China that has been carrying out “the most courageous system experiment and development practice” all over the world has made remarkable achievements and experienced earth-shaking changes. This series of achievements and changes together are mighty forces, which promote the development and progress of Chinese society and reflect the great process of reform and opening up. Today, we specially invite the leaders of China's textile industry to sum up the past, look into the future, continue to conduct reform, persist in opening up and explore the road of high-quality development.
Since the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party made the historic decision of taking economic construction as the center and implementing reform and opening up, reform and opening up, the second revolution of China, has profoundly changed the prospect and destiny of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation, the global development pattern and world historical trend. During the 40 years of reform and opening up, China’s textile industry, as an important component of national economy, has continuously emancipated its mind, blazed new trails and made remarkable achievements. Marked by the convening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, socialism with Chinese characteristics has initiated a new chapter and entered a new era. In the new historical position, China's textile industry urgently needs to answer how to meet the requirements of the times and achieve high-quality development in the new era of reform and opening up. There is something in history that belongs to the future. To well solve the subjects of the times, we need to draw wisdom and strength from the 40-year practices of industry reform.
40 years of reform and opening up
A storm raging in all its fury, surging forward with great momentum
As the vanguard of opening to the outside world, the forerunner of economic system reform and the mother industry of the national industrialization process, textile industry has achieved all-round and groundbreaking development in the great historical process of reform and opening up, undergone deep-seated and fundamental changes, and made multi-dimensional and historical contributions.
Over the past 40 years, the textile industry has maintained steady and healthy development, and its position as a pillar industry has never wavered. In 1978, the textile industry realized the total industrial output value (constant price) of 47.32 billion yuan (full caliber); in 2017, the main business income of textile enterprises above designated size reached 68,893,565 million yuan, taking up 5.9% of industries above designated size in China. Regardless of the influence brought by changes in statistical caliber, it was about 140 times higher than that in 1978. The export of textiles and garments was as much as USD 274.51 billion dollars, 127.4 times that of 1978, accounting for 12.13% of the total national export, and the net foreign exchange earnings of the whole industry was USD 241.9 billion dollars, accounting for 57.3% of the country. Industrial textiles achieve rapid development, and the application fields are constantly enriched, and the role of new growth poles in the industry is increasingly prominent. Most of the top 100 county economies in China are developed based with textile as the main industry.
Over the past 40 years, textile industry has been committed to serving and improving people’s livelihood, and the position of people's livelihood industry is more prominent. In 1978, China’s per capita fiber consumption was only 2.9 kg, 38% of the world’s average. In 2017, the output of clothes of enterprises above designated size in the industry was 28,781 million pieces, and if estimated by 55% of the country, it is equivalent to providing 6.89 pieces of clothes per person for the world population (calculated at 7.6 billion). The industry has created a large number of jobs, and it is an important entrance for rural migrant workers, and the employment population in the whole industry exceeds 20 million. The in-depth promotion of informationization, servitization and creativity has made the absorption capacity of industrial ecology to labor force increasingly stronger.
Over the past 40 years, textile industry has been adhering to open and inclusive development, and its position as an industry with competitive advantages internationally has been consolidated with the passage of time. In 2017, China’s fiber processing capacity was 54.3 million tons (excluding glass fiber), nearly 20 times higher than that of 2.76 million tons in 1978 and accounting for more than half of the total amount of fiber processing in the world. The overall self-sufficiency rate of fabrics exceeded 95%, and the proportion of general trade in clothing exports was increased from 35.7% in 1996 to 89.3% in 2017. China’s textile industry has become the core strength to support the smooth operation of the world’s textile industry system and an important industrial platform to promote the governance of global economic and cultural cooperation.
40 years of reform and opening up
No matter how chaotic and turbulent the general condition is, try and see the Mans world
The development of 40 years has laid a solid foundation for the construction of China’s textile power, and accumulated rich experience as well, which can be summarized into three changes:
One is the extension from domestic market to international market by opening up increased space. In the 1980s, the industry firmly grasped the historical opportunity of global industrial transfer and opening up, and the export-oriented economy of “three-processing and one compensation” developed in leaps and bounds. After joining WTO in 2001, China’s textile industry has entered the “fast track” of global development, and the industry’s ownership structure, development model and equipment technology have made great breakthroughs. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, taking the cooperation initiative such as “The Belt and Road” as an opportunity, China has formed a new pattern of comprehensive and open development, and the industry is playing an increasingly important role in the construction of community of shared future for mankind.
The second is the transformation from planned economy to market economy by increasing market vitality. From “focusing on planned economy and supplemented by market economy” to “planned commodity economy”; from “the basic role” played by the market in resource allocation to “the decisive role”; the reform of economic system keeps deepening and the vitality of industry development is released continuously. Business entities of enterprises have gone through the transformation from state-run enterprises to state-owned enterprises, and individual economy, foreign economy and township enterprises have achieved great development; “reducing spindles to relieve the predicament” further promotes the development pattern of “state-owned enterprises withdraw and private-owned enterprises enter”. In 2016, among state-holding industrial enterprises, there were 186 textile enterprises with the total assets of 123,825 million yuan; 163 garment enterprises with the total assets of 27,548 million yuan; and 43 chemical fiber enterprises with the total assets of 92,277 million yuan. And among privately-owned industrial enterprises, there were 13,614 textile enterprises with the total assets of 1,149,894 million yuan; 8892 garment enterprises with the total assets of 540,423 million yuan; 1,260 chemical fiber enterprises with the total assets of 219,212 million yuan.
The third is the rise from scale development to quality development by increasing the value of innovation. In the process of reform and opening up, China’s textile industry is based on innovation and continuously promotes the enhancement of total factor productivity and product added value of the industry. Especially, since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at the core, the textile industry has taken the supply-side structural reform as the main line, pushed forward quality reform, efficiency reform and dynamic reform in depth, and industry development has presented a fairly good situation in which growth and structure, pattern and innovation bring out the best in each other. From 2013 to 2017, the main business income of enterprises above designated size in the textile industry was increased from 6,375,986 million yuan to 6,893,565 million yuan, and the profit was increased from 350,605 million yuan to 376,881 million yuan. The industry's independent innovation ability, technical equipment level and product development capacity are greatly enhanced as a whole. Intelligent manufacturing is advanced in an orderly way, format innovations develop vigorously, scene economy, platform economy and sharing economy are widely infiltrated, and new modes and services of the industry are constantly emerging.
40 years of reform and opening up
Vegetation grows outward constantly, and verdant hills in spring can be foreseen.
At present, reform and opening up has also reached a new historical gateway. The complexity and arduousness of industry reform is not inferior to that of 40 years ago. Driven by the new round of industrial revolution and technological revolution, the development pattern of world textile industry is undergoing profound adjustment. Industry chain, value chain and innovation chain are intertwined with each other, and all sorts of problems indeed affect the whole industry. New entrances, modes and interfaces of the industry are constantly emerging, and the original ecology is in the process of fluctuation and deconstruction. The instability and uncertainty of industry development is obviously enhanced. Great opportunities and changes happen once in a blue moon, great challenges and leaps are filled with numerous difficulties. To seize the opportunity and brave the tide, the industry needs to deepen reform and act positively.
To deepen the reform, we should be problem-orientated. Paradoxical movement is the motive force of development of things, and the core of reform is to solve problems and resolve contradictions. The main contradiction of the current society has been transformed into the contradiction between the people’s growing needs for a better life and the unbalanced and insufficient development. This is a fundamental change concerning the reform and development of the industry and we must actively adapt to it. On the one hand, consumption upgrading keeps deepening, and market demand presents the characteristic of changing from valuing quantity satisfaction to pursuing quality improvement, etc., which puts forward higher requirements for industry supply. On the other hand, the unbalanced and insufficient problem of industry development needs to be solved urgently. The structural contradiction of factor supply and the homogeneous tendency of product supply are both relatively serious; the allocation of resource elements is dislocated from the existing regional pattern and interest pattern; the innovation and application of core technologies, key common technologies and frontier leading technologies still seem to be insufficient; the existing financial supply can not meet the needs of industry development; the construction of the industry’s social responsibilities and credit system needs to be deepened. These problems are the direction of industry reform and the touchstone of reform achievements.
To deepen reform, we should be innovation-oriented. Reform and opening up are innovative practices, there are no existing modes to refer to and no existing paths to follow, and innovation is the only way to achieve success. We should cultivate innovative consciousness, advocate innovative spirit, perfect innovative mechanism, create innovative atmosphere, and use new thinking, methods and tools to resolve the industry’s traditional pertinacious ills and the pains of the times. We should “cross the river by feeling the stones”, explore bravely but not advance rashly, cut a road when come to a hill, build a bridge when coming to water, and achieve gradual development from point to surface; be realistic and pragmatic, “no matter it is a white cat or a black cat, catching mice is a good cat”, realize real effect, see the truth and not pursue undeserved reputation; attach importance to scientific and technological innovation, adhere to the principle that “science and technology is the first productive force”, aim at the forefront of world science and technology, and highlight the innovation of key common technologies, frontier leading technologies, modern engineering technologies and subversive technologies; reinforce learning and learn to meet practical needs, seek truth from facts in practice, find rules in exploration, and constantly form new experiences and push forward new deeds.
To deepen reform, we should be strategy-oriented. The fundamental reason why the industry has made tremendous achievements in reform and opening up lies in that it always adheres to the correct leadership of the Party, insists on the socialist road with Chinese characteristics, concentrates on the development reality and follows the objective law, serves the overall situation of the country and conforms to the trend of the times. At present, China is in the decisive stage of building a well-off society in an all-round way. It is an urgent task for us to fight the tough battles of prevention and resolution of major risks, accurate poverty alleviation and pollution prevention and treatment, and realize high-quality development. Industry reform should fully implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, make top-level planning and strategic arrangement of the industry with the guidance of Xi Jinping’s socialist thoughts with Chinese characteristics in the new era, find the accurate combination points and points of strength, meet the development needs of building a well-off society in an all-round way, and satisfy the practical requirements of three major tough battles and high-quality development. According to the changes in the current situation, CNTAC is making scientific adjustments to the development objectives of “The Outline of Building A Textile Power (2011 - 2020)”, promoting the implementation of “The Outline” and coordinating with the national 2025 strategy of building a manufacturing power.
The textile industry put forward the development goal of building a textile power in 2001; in 2012, the industry released “The Outline of Building A Textile Power (2011 - 2020)”, further clarifying the four main directions and mission objectives of “science and technology power, brand power, sustainable development power and talent power”. It is the development accumulation of many years that has given the industry such confidence and pursuit; it is the baptism of grand tide of market economy that endows the industry with such vision and courage; it is the experience of opening to the outside world that cultivates the horizon and mind of the industry. From a practical point of view, the key strategic tasks put forward in “The Outline” have achieved fairly good phased results. China’s textile industry is fully capable and qualified to take the lead to building a power in the industrial field, and make “science and technology, fashion and green” a new label for the high-quality development of the industry.
40 years of reform and opening up
Glistening wave light and far shadow, and gaining momentum to start out
“At 40, one begins to understand the world.” In Chinese culture, 40 years is related to thinking and perceiving through meditation. Forty years ago, as reform and opening up drew the curtain, the textile workers worked hard and wrote a splendid chapter in the world textile history; forty years later today, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, the conditions for the industry to realize the construction of the textile power are more mature and we get a clearer understanding as well: To achieve growth, the industry must advance in the logic of historical progress, develop in the trend of era development, persist in reform and deepen opening up.
In the new historical position, the deepening reform of textile industry needs to keep to the general requirements of high-quality development, focus on the industry’s new labels of “science and technology, fashion and green”, and deepen quality reform, efficiency reform and dynamic reform. In this process, we need to perfect the combination of top-level design and crossing the river by touching stones, promote overall advancement and key breakthroughs together, emancipate our minds and change our thinking, seek truth from facts and engage in real practices and solid work.
From quantitative thinking to quality thinking. With quality first and benefit preferred, shape a new pattern of supply with quality at the core, and deem quality as the lifeline of building a textile power. Deepen the structural reform on the supply side of the industry, with improving the quality of the supply system as the main direction, push forward the adjustment of technology structure, product structure and capacity structure, enhance the supply capacity of industry products and services, eliminate invalid supply and reduce homogeneous competitions, and turn the industry from scale economy to lean development.
From individual thinking to system thinking. Seek common development, share achievements and shape a new pattern of benefits aiming at win-win results. Guide industry enterprises to shift from focusing on competitions to seeking cooperation, break through organizational boundaries, share resource capability and realize increment of value. Constantly enrich the participants, extend the participants from enterprises to stakeholders, including consumers, keep enriching the interest structure, and build more flexible industrial cooperation frameworks and platforms.
From boundary thinking to integrated thinking. Be interconnected and inclusive, optimize imports and exports, and shape a new pattern of cooperation oriented by openness. Coordinate and promote the industry to “attract foreign investment” and “go out”, strengthen the open cooperation of innovative ability, and boost the formation of regional open pattern of internal and external linkage between land and sea and mutual aid between east and west by industrial development. Deeply advance industry’s integration of industry and finance, integration of IT application and industrialization, military and civilian integration and skill and art integration, and motivate the high degree of coordination of resource capabilities among countries, regions, industries and enterprises. Accelerate building the industrial system of coordinated development of textile manufacturing, scientific and technological innovation, modern finance and human resources.
From responsibility thinking to value thinking. Green hills and clear waters, gold and silver mountains, shape a new pattern of value with sustainability as the standard. With green raw materials, green design, green production and circular application as the points of strength, produce more high-quality ecological textile products to meet the growing demand of people for beautiful ecological environment. Save resources, protect the environment, establish and perfect the economic system of green and low-carbon circular development, build the market-oriented green technology innovation system, and integrate industry development into the construction of beautiful China.
“China’s open door will not be closed, but will only be opened bigger and wider!” The link between China and the world will not be disconnected, they will only be getting closer and closer.
Calm is the tide and the banks are broad, gentle is the wind and the sail is stretching. Let’s take Xi Jinping’s socialist thoughts with Chinese characteristics in the new era as a guide, and at a new starting point, push forward the reform and development of the industry with high spirit and youthful vigour, and create a better future for the industry.



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