BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Six decades ago, the town of Beijiao was home to vast stretches of paddy fields.
Beijiao in Shunde District of Foshan City in south China's Guangdong Province, was previously one of the lowest ranking township-level divisions in Shunde, said Wang Chongxi, head of Beijiao township.
With reform and opening up, incentives for production were promoted and the commodity economy has rapidly developed. The GDP of Beijiao in 2018 surpassed 60 billion yuan (8.89 billion U.S. dollars), an annual increase of 7.5 percent.
The township is now an economic powerhouse with two Fortune Global 500 companies.
Wang said the change was made possible through "indomitable and fearless reforms and the guarantee of socialism with Chinese characteristics."
China has set 2020 as the target year to finish the building of a moderately prosperous society (Xiaokang) in all aspects, with poverty eradicated and GDP and per capita income doubling that in 2010.
The miracle of Beijiao reflects the miracle of China. Through reform and opening up, Chinese people have used innovation and hard work to move ahead.
"Only through independent innovation can China's manufacturers hold their heads high in the global market," said Zhu Yunlong, a senior vice president with Goodbaby, now a world-leading parenting products company.
The brand was founded 30 years ago, when its founder took over a factory on the verge of closure.
Goodbaby's stroller sales ranked first in China in 1993. It became the largest stroller supplier of the United States and the European Union in 1999 and 2006 respectively.
A total of 9,200 patents have been created by Goodbaby, equal to the total number of patents of its top five global competitors, Zhu said.
"Reform and opening up has brought not only opportunities but also innovation vigor and a striving spirit," he added.
China rolled out more than 100 important reform measures in 2018. The country hosted the first China International Import Expo and started construction of Hainan Pilot Free Trade Zone.
Supply-side structural reform and institutional reform have made further headway in recent years, demonstrating China's determination to accomplish rejuvenation.
Reforms, which China says will never stop, have also brought impressive opportunities for foreigners.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in December reached 92.34 billion yuan, up 24.9 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Adrien Duisberg Brill, having finished his freshman year in Arizona, moved to Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, in 2009.
Falling in love with China, he applied to Sichuan University the next year and completed his undergrad education.
Brill now operates a company in Huangshan City of east China's Anhui Province.
"I have spent 10 years in China and now hold deep feelings toward this country. I regard myself as one of you," Brill said. "China has a friendly environment for entrepreneurship. I think my current success could not be reproduced in any other country."
Brill said he wanted to share his experiences with more American friends, deepening their understanding of China as a bridge. "I hope some of them can come here like me and fall in love with the country."
HOPE FOR BETTER FUTURE
Huangshan has stepped up protection of its ancient villages in recent years. Its natural scenery, culture and history have not only attracted increasing domestic tourists but also visitors from afar.
Starting in 2016, dozens of undergraduate students from leading American universities including Harvard and Yale have conducted a week-long visit to the region.
They visited ancient villages to learn tea farming and production, craftsmanship, architecture, philosophy and history.
Frida Calderon, now a senior at Yale University, came to Huangshan when she was a freshman. "There is a lot to learn from China's extensive scholarship."
"People living in the ancient villages shared many stories about changes in their lives since reform and opening up," she said. "I believe that they will continue to have better and better lives."
Changes do not only take place in more developed east China.
Karmapemo, a graduate student at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA), comes from rural area of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
"When I herded yaks during childhood and saw planes in the sky, I dreamed of flying in the sky in the future too," she said. "Back then my parents never would have thought their daughter could one day attend university by taking a train or a plane."
She was elected class monitor when she entered NUAA as a freshman, and for years, with the support of NUAA, Karmapemo spent a considerable amount of time teaching Tibetan children in her hometown.
"The economy is booming and people's lives progress with each passing day as a result of reform and opening up," Karmapemo said. "I witnessed the changes. As a Chinese, our country's achievements make me proud."
In 2001, Yuan Jianhua, a scholar at Harvard University, returned to China and founded JET Bio-filtration in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.
Yuan's enterprise has provided more than 50 countries such as the United States, Japan and Germany with products, including laboratory consumables.
"Without reform and opening up, my company's development, from small to large, would be impossible," Yuan said. "Though I spent many years studying overseas, I am on the same wave as our nation and, always from the bottom of heart, I hope our country can become stronger."
(Video reporters: Mei Yuanlong, Zhou Ziyang, Tang Yang, Deng Ruixuan, Xiao Sisi, Chen Nuo, Chen Gang; Video editors: Yin Le, Xie Xie)