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

How China became a superpower: 40 years of economic reform | DW News
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    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
    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
    was purchased in many parts
    the country
    at the cost of the environment.
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