"Development is overriding principle": the power of one sentence
GUANGZHOU, Aug. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Travelers to China might be amazed to come across the slogan "development is overriding principle" in the country, which often appeared on walls and billboards and spoken on TV.
But 12 years ago, when late senior Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping uttered his idea for the first time while on an inspection tour of the southern part of the country, he might not have imagined the power his words would one day hold.
On January 29, 1992, Deng stopped at the Zhujiang Refrigerator Company. When he heard how the company had emerged and grew in scale, Deng connected their success to the entire country saying: "development is overriding principle."
The company, then a small township enterprise, produced 16 times more of refrigerators after seven years of expansion. The growth rate lead the country and its products had been exported
to some countries in southeast Asian countries.
The Zhujiang Refrigerator Company is now one of the biggest electronic appliances producers and changed its name to Kelong Electrical Appliances Company. Its refrigerators have been sold
to all over the world. One out of three refrigerators now on English market is produced by the company.
Chen Kaizhi, chairman of the Guangzhou city committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference, recalled that at that time, the merits of foreign-funded companies were uncertain. The popular opinion was "having more foreign-funded companies means more capitalism."
"Guangdong, as a leader of China's economic reform and opening to the outside world, needed someone of high prestige to set a direction at that time," Chen recalled.
Then there came the classic sentence. Deng's idea became the core principle of economic development, cooling down then hot debate concerning socialism vs. capitalism and bringing the country to a new economic stage.
In a three-year period from 1989 to 1991, the country's gross domestic products increased by 5 percent annually. In 1992, the growth rate rose further to 12.8 percent.
Since then, Deng's words have become a catch phrase for
In 2002, when China's football fans were at heated debate on the strategy of state football team, a well-known newspaper published a story with a big title "Scoring goal is of overriding importance." In that year, the state football team went into the World Cup.
At a small grocery market near the city hall in Guangzhou, the stand owners of sea food would also justify its price cut with the words like "price cut is of overriding importance."
"Deng played a historical role in changing the mindset of the Chinese people," said Wen Xianyuan, a noted expert on Deng's theories in the southern province of Guangdong.
Deng's brilliant idea is still guiding China towards
prosperity. Its per capita gross domestic products has exceeded 1,000 US dollars. And the country's total import and export volume is also expected to top 1 trillion US dollars this year.