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Shenzhen’s Game-Changing Reform

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HONG KONG – Early this month, on the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen’s designation as a special economic zone (SEZ), Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled a blueprint for building the city into a trade, finance, and technology hub. Most China-watchers have focused on what this means for Hong Kong, Shanghai, or at most the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. But such narrow assessments fail to capture the true significance of Xi’s plans for Shenzhen.

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    In fact, Xi’s tour of the Guangdong province, which culminated in his speech in Shenzhen, was reminiscent of Deng Xiaoping’s famous 1992 southern tour, during which he delivered a series of speeches that formed the foundations of Deng Xiaoping Theory. In this sense, it may well mark the beginning of a new era of China’s “reform and opening up.”

    It was Xi’s own father, Xi Zhongxun, who, as the Guangdong province’s first Communist Party secretary, played a central role in establishing the initial SEZs in Shenzhen, Zhuhai,........

    © Project Syndicate

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