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China 88: The Real China and How to Deal with It by Phillip Day, Zhijian Wu, Andrew Delios

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Chapter 4. China’s Growing Pains

The story of Shenzhen has become a cliché in descriptions of China’s growth. But like many clichés, it has survived because it illustrates reality. In August 1980, Deng Xiaopeng announced that a fishing village with 30,000 residents directly north of Hong Kong would become the country’s first special economic zone, where foreign investment money would be welcomed, business encouraged, and taxes kept low. Accounts of what has become known as the Shenzhen “miracle” usually describe the town as a “sleepy” fishing village prior to that experiment. Maybe it was a bustling little village or maybe it was sleepy. It is hard to think of any place in China as sleepy. But compared with what happened next, just about anywhere ...

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