Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ryan Pyle Blog: Reform and Opening: 30 Years Old


Today is a historic day. December 18th 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of Reform and Opening in China. That's right, modern China is exactly 30 years old today. And what an incredible 30 years it's been:

- 10%+ growth almost every year since 1980
- China now accounts for 6% Global GDP, in 1978 it was 1.8%
- A 70% increase in grain production
- 250 million people have lifted themselves out of abject poverty
- 200 million people have moved from the countryside to the city creating some dynamic world class cities like Shanghai and Beijing.

On December 18th 1978 Deng Xiaoping declared, after weeks of meetings and 2 years of internal in-fighting, that China was open for business. Since then the country has developed faster than any other country in history. This economic advancement has led to incredible social changes throughout the country and greatly altered the traditional way of life in China.

The key city to this Reform and Opening policy, and the economic boom that was to follow, was the border city of Shenzhen. Formerly a rice field, the city now boasts a stable population of over 10 million people, as well as one of the most successful, until recently, housing and job markets in the country. The city of Shenzhen has continually re-invented itself from being a border town, to a port and shipping town, to a manufacturing hub of textiles and low quality goods. Today it is home to some of China's most successful "home grown" companies like Huawei, BYD and Hansee.

Although, due to an economic crisis in around much of the world, much of the Shenzhen and Pearl River Delta manufacturing sector is currently struggling with rapidly falling demand in the United States and Europe; but the development of this region can not be overlooked as one of the main engines of Chinese growth for the last three decades.

I've been based in Shanghai, China for several years and I have shot extensively in Shenzhen and Dongguan, through many of the ups and down's. Please follow the link to view a selection of images, some recently shot and some unpublished. Of course a much wider selection of images are available on my archive. I hope you enjoy the images.

LINK: Click Here


Ryan Pyle

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Ryan Pyle