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China commemorates former leader Deng Xiaoping


02-20-2017 08:29 BJT

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.  He was a revolutionary who dedicated himself to the country's development. Under his call for reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, the southern city of Shenzhen was the first to benefit from this policy. And the city became one of the most powerful engines of economic growth for China. 

This is Lianhua hill in central Shenzhen, where the statue of Deng Xiaoping stands. Citizens come to pay tribute to this great man of modern China.

40 years ago, Shenzhen was just a small and remote town few ever heard of. Locals made their living by fishing. In 1980, it became China’s first special economic zone approved by the central government. Since then, it has followed the way of reform and opening-up, led by Deng Xiaoping.
Unprecedented reforms included a transition from a planned to a market economy, introducing privatization and opening the market to foreign trade.

After decades of development, Shenzhen now has become the most successful model of the program -- and a real metropolis. High-tech industry, modern logistics and financial services are its pillar industries. A free trade zone was established two years ago to further boost its economic vitality.

In 2016, the city's GDP grew 9 percent year-on-year, and its export volume has ranked first nationwide for the past 24 years.
All these achievements could not have been made without Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.

Shenzhen was just a beginning. Deng’s policy turned China into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Chinese people have inherited Deng's legacy of reforms, inspiring them to keep forging a better future.

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