Jumping into the sea is obviously pretty risky, especially if you can't swim!
But jumping into the sea is exactly what many Chinese people have done -- although not literally. Here, the phrase “jumping into the sea” means quitting your job to start your own business.
When China's reform and opening-up policy was launched, many people quit their secure state-owned enterprise or government jobs to try their luck in the relatively-unknown private sector. They recognized the potential of a market economy in a country the size of China.
This would have been seen as an unconventional or even a bold move in the China of the early 1980s.
But times have certainly changed since then -- and from a few isolated cases 40 years ago, now millions of people who dare to jump into the sea of business every year. In some places in China, nearly everyone works in the private sector.
The 1980s was a time of real change and excitement in China -- and that excitement is still here today.
CGTN's special series “Chinese Terminology”, which was launched on November 26, marks the 40-year anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up program. The episodes, hosted by CGTN anchors Jeff Moody and Jonathan Betz, are being aired every day at 20:15, 12:00 and 16:00 BJT.