Shenzhen’s history didn’t start in 1979

The fishing-village-turned-metropolis hook thrown out by countless journalists when writing about Shenzhen neatly encapsulates the fact that a relative nowhere became a serious somewhere after Deng Xiaoping earmarked it as ground zero in the spearheading of reforms, in 1978. To this day, 40 years after the Chinese leader unleashed its long-dormant entrepre­neurial zeal, there is no better (or more readily applied) metaphor for the transformation of China than the sky­scraper-studded cityscape north of the Sham Chun River.

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