Throughout the whole week following Lantern Festival,which fell on February 14 this year, Beijing, “a city withazure sky” according to modern Chinese writer Lin Yutang(1895-1976), was shrouded in thick smog. GDP orclean air? The choice has become a pressing issue for both thegovernment and ordinary people.
Since its implementation of reform and opening-up in 1978,China has blazed a path to modern development with Chinesecharacteristics. While rapid development has afforded hugeachievements, it has also been accompanied by social conflictsand problems. To mark this year’s annual sessions of the NationalPeople’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s PoliticalConsultative Conference (CPPCC), China Pictorial produceda special feature in this issue. First, from the angle of “China andthe world,” we provide readers with three international scholars’understandings of “China and the Chinese Dream.” They discusscommon challenges everyone faces today and suggest ways tomake better choices for future development and life. Second, wepay attention to the past and present. On a macro level, we illustratethe development and changes over the past 60 years ofNPC, China’s top legislative body. At the same time, we carefullyobserve the subtle changes of everyday Chinese life. The rich imageryof Beijing Silvermine: Nostalgia from Negatives documentsthe drastic changes of Chinese life in various aspects from thelate 1980s to the turn of the millennium.
Reform has been the major driver of China’s development. Inlate 2013, the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Partyof China (CPC) Central Committee produced a new blueprint todeepen reform. The Chinese people have reached consensusthat deepening reform remains the only avenue for realizing theChinese Dream and that learning from past experience is the bestway to solve new problems arising along 30 years of lightningfastdevelopment.