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Photo Essay: China’s 30 Years of Economic Overdrive

Thirty years ago, China set in motion economic reforms that have transformed it into one of the most powerful countries on the planet today. The country may be officially “communist,” but it knows how to play the capitalist game—well.

Change agent: This month marks the 30-year anniversary of economic reforms launched by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. The opening up of the economy unleashed an explosion of economic development that since 1981 has freed an astounding 600 million plus Chinese from extreme poverty and made China a leading world power. Here, a man passes a billboard of Deng with a modern-day skyline near the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, about 340 miles (550 km) southeast of Beijing, on July 1.

Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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