Every day a stream of people climb a winding path to the peak of Shenzhen’s Lotus Hill where a huge bronze statue of Deng Xiaoping surveys the economic boomtown he helped create out of nothing almost 30 years ago.
Guo Xiao, a 24-year-old migrant worker who was snapping pictures of his girl friend near the statue, said, ‘China’s strides toward prosperity belong in some part to Deng Xiaoping. When we look at him, we think of Shenzhen’s development. He is a great Chinese man.’
Now Shenzhen is about to move with the times.
China’s leaders have said growth must no longer yoke itself to cheap exports, leaving many to wonder where next for the economy and where next for Shenzhen.
Some of Shekou’s radical policy precedents included the provision of social insurance, the launch of labor markets and the democratic election of officials.
Export-oriented Guangdong now has a GDP of $404 billion and if it were a country, would rank as the 23rd largest economy in the world, according to research by Standard Chartered Bank. Shenzhen also now boasts GDP of around a third that of Hong Kong.