BEIJING, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Since entering the World Trade Organization (WTO) 15 years ago, China has witnessed robust economic growth, and an increasingly prosperous China has created significant opportunities for countries around the world.
China joined the WTO as its 143rd member on Dec. 11, 2001. Since then, the country has grown into the world's second-largest economy and largest trading country, while millions of Chinese have been lifted out of poverty.
Changes for the Chinese include buying cheaper cars, enjoying international products and traveling more.
"China's WTO entry has brought benefits not only to the country's people, but also for the rest of the world," said Lei Da, economics professor at Renmin University of China.
China has long been vital in helping shore up world economic growth, especially in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Despite slower growth in recent years, China's economy still contributes 25 percent of the world's growth.
As the vast Chinese market has grown, countries as diverse as Zambia, Australia, Brazil and the United States have seen their exports to China soar.
It is clear that China's strong demand for imports has been a major stabilizing factor amid a sluggish world economy.
China's imports have surged from 243.55 billion U.S. dollars to 1.68 trillion dollars in 15 years, an average annual growth of 10.3 percent.
For many developing countries, no matter in Asia, Africa or Latin America, the Chinese market has been vital in ensuring growth and development stay on track.
China has also been ready to help poorer partners develop. As the world's second biggest investor, the country's outbound direct investment rose for a 13th straight year in 2015, reaching a record high of 145.67 billion dollars.
Dubbed the factory of the world, China manufactures everything from toys and shoes to bullet trains and industrial robots.
From 2001 to 2016, thanks to imported goods from China, consumers around the world saved billions of dollars. Quality yet inexpensive Chinese products contributed to an increase in consumer purchasing power and helped reduce worldwide poverty.
Companies that opened operations in China have profited. Foreign-invested industrial enterprises reported combined profits of about15 trillion yuan (around 2.2 trillion U.S. dollars) over the past 15 years.
Despite a tepid global recovery, the continuous growth of foreign investment in China shows that investors are upbeat about the country's business climate.
Looking ahead, China will remain a center of trade and other global activity, playing a leading role in global governance.
As China plans to be more proactive in opening up to the outside world, its stable growth will produce more benefits for the world.