Since the current leadership took office in 2012, the country has seen GDP rise and the number of poor people fall. [Special coverage]
Six years ago, Chu Chenggen was a driver carrying loads between his village in Anqing, Anhui province, and Hefei, the provincial capital.
Every morning, Chu, then age 30, got up before dawn. Although he could earn as much as 300 yuan ($47) a day, the long working day meant he didn't get home until late at night, which left little time to spend with his son, who often complained about his absence.
In 2013, Chu secured a job as a driver for a logistics company in Hefei, so he decided to move his family to the city, where his son would also receive a better education.
"There are many employment opportunities for blue-collar workers in the city and hardworking people like me can make a living," Chu said.
"My driving skills helped a lot when I applied for the new job, which finally gave me a chance to spend more time with my son at weekends."
Chu believes Hefei has benefited from the government's proactive employment policy that has helped to create more jobs in urban areas.
More than 13 million jobs have been created in urban areas every year since 2012, while more than 10 million migrant workers have flocked into cities in search of jobs, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
The proactive employment policy has created many jobs for urban residents and attracted migrant workers to cities, Bai Jingming, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, said.
Employment prospects also improved as GDP rose to more than 82 trillion yuan last year, from 54 trillion yuan in 2012. Meanwhile, growth targets, set in the Government Work Report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang every March, have all been fulfilled in each of the past five years. Last year, GDP grew by 6.9 percent. It was the first time in five years that the rate beat the one recorded the previous year.
Moreover, the consumer price index rose by an average of about 2 percent per annum. The biggest rise - 2.6 percent - occurred in 2013, while the lowest, 1.4 percent, came in 2015, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The economy has achieved a high rate of growth, with a low CPI and low unemployment. With the macroeconomic situation in good health, the rate of economic growth and the number of jobs have risen in a coordinated way, which has helped to improve people's livelihoods, Bai said.
Shortly after their move to Hefei, Chu's wife was hired by a company that sells bamboo flooring, which saw the couple's combined monthly earnings rise to about 12,000 yuan. That enabled them to purchase an apartment in 2015, using their savings of nearly 200,000 yuan as a down payment, and they began paying a monthly mortgage of 3,900 yuan after they received the property certificate.
The family's situation illustrates the surge in average disposable incomes in China over the past five years. According to the World Bank, the country ranked 65th globally in terms of gross national income in 2016, while in 2012, it was 112th.
Quality and rebalance
Between 2013 and 2017, China's economic success also saw growth in areas such as crop yields, industrial added-value, sales of consumer goods, exports of goods, express delivery services, the number of mobile internet users and per capita disposable income.
The most important change in the past five years has been the eradication of the structural imbalance in the economy, according to Sun Xuegong, director of the economic institute at the National Development and Reform Commission.
Investment and consumption are now basically balanced, as are internal and external demand and the manufacturing and service sectors, he said, adding that improvements are being seen in other problematic areas such as environmental protection.
As the World Bank said in a report last month, China's economic rebalancing is underway and the government's goals can be achieved by the promotion of innovation, market competition and the private sector.
For example, the reduction of overcapacity has been a key factor in the country's economic agenda in recent years. Last year alone, more than 50 million metric tons of iron and steel were cut, along with 250 million tons of coal production capacity.
Sun said excess production capacity in some industries is the inevitable result of changes in the types of economic development and restructuring. In many countries the problem can be persistent, but in China, the government has used coordinated policies and market mechanisms to rebalance supply and demand.
The change was reflected in the report General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October.
Xi said China has made enormous economic achievements as a result of concerted efforts to transform development methods and improve quality and efficiency. The economic structure has been optimized, with emerging industries such as the digital economy booming, while infrastructure has substantially improved in terms of high-speed railways, highways and airports, he said.
He also pointed out more than 80 million people from rural areas have become urban residents, and the coordination of regional development and innovation had been strengthened to produce scientific and technological breakthroughs. The State Council, China's Cabinet, has approved 19 independent innovation demonstration zones, including facilities in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and Ningbo and Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, to promote an innovation-driven strategy to improve original ideas and competitiveness.