torsdag 15. oktober 2020

Xi Pays Tribute to Reform and Opening – and Deng Xiaoping

On October 14, Chinese leaders attended a celebration event marking the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in southern China – “a paragon of China’s reform and opening up,” as state news agency Xinhua put it. The event – and its ample coverage in Chinese state media – was an attempt to signal China’s continuing commitment to economic reform and opening at a time when outside analysts see a move toward control and closing off instead.

The Shenzhen SEZ was established in 1980, just after Deng Xiaoping introduced reforms designed to shift China toward a more market-driven economy. At the time, Chinese citizens were being encouraged to start private businesses for the first time since the founding of the People’s Republic, and the government was courting foreign investment. Shenzhen – with its location just across the Pearl River from hyper-capitalist Hong Kong – was to serve as the model for China’s economic opening to the world.