How China became a superpower: 40 years of economic reform | DW News


40 Years ago China
opened up its economy to the rest of the world.
A move, that ultimately turned China into
a global economic powerhouse, second in GDP
only to the US.
In his speech at the Great Hall of the People
in the Chinese capital Beijing Chinese President
Xi Jinping vowed to press ahead with economic
reforms.
But he also made clear that Beijing will not
deviate from its one-party system or take
orders from any other country.
His comments come as the United States demands
more transparency in trade relations
with Bejing.
China’s economy has grown faster than that
of any other major country.
Once poor and underdeveloped, the Asian giant
has now grown into one of the most important
export markets for manufacturers from all
over the world — a true heavyweight in international
trade.
The architect who laid the foundation stones
for its economic miracle: Deng Xiaoping.
He became the country’s leader in December
of 1978, and subsequently left a lasting mark
on the communist country’s economy.
Under him, private companies were allowed
into China, along with foreign investment.
Deng also created special economic zones.
In the four decades since, China has changed
in dramatic ways.
Millions of rural workers have streamed into
the country’s megacities.
The gap between rich and poor has grown…along
with overall prosperity.
Many more people there now earn enough money
to spend on more than just simple survival.
I hope that China will continue to insist
on opening-up because clearly the opening
that we have seen in the last 40 years has
been very beneficial for the Chinese people
and for the Chinese economy.
But hopes that a market economy would usher
in more democracy and freedom have remained
largely illusory.
Foreign companies complain that the state
still has too much influence over trade, or
that its oversight is even on the rise.
And the country has also paid a high price
for the last 40 years of rapid growth….it
was purchased in many parts
of
the country
at the cost of the environment.

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