China’s great economic reformer, the late Deng Xiaoping, launched his country on a path of three decades of 10% annual economic growth when he established the first Special Economic Zone in Shenzhen in 1980. The Shenzhen SEZ has just celebrated its 30th anniversary of success.
I traveled to Hong Kong almost annually between 1976 and 1994. In Hong Kong’s rural New Territories, there are vantage spots from which one can catch a glimpse of Shenzhen. What I saw in the 1970s was a small fishing village.
Contrast that with an ultra-modern city today of 9 million, the richest city in China with per capita income of US$13,600. A comparison of the photos shows what 30 years of sustained high growth can produce. Put your imagination to work and you may be able to visualize what most of China will look like 20 years from now.