Laborers make pencils at the A.W. Faber-Castell stationery factory in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, on Nov. 26, 2013. (Photo/CHINA DAILY)
Leung Chun-ying has been a keen participant in process of reform and opening-up
Editor's note: This year marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of China's reform and opening-up policy. China Daily talks to people who have experienced or witnessed the important drive.
Hong Kong's former chief executive, Leung Chunying, gazed in fascination at photographs showing the stunning transformation of the Pearl River Delta during the 40 years of reform and opening-up.
The images were satellite images of the delta showing its remarkable evolution from 1992 to 2010.
"I always like to bring along these images when I'm asked to talk about China's reform and opening-up," Leung said. The policy, introduced by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1978, has lifted around 700 million people out of poverty and has been the driving force of the Chinese economic miracle.
Leung pointed to a satellite photo of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, in 1992. It was almost all green, with barely a sign of urban development. Then he unfolded a 2010 image, revealing the vast expansion of the city's urban development.
"Reform and opening-up has urbanized China with unprecedented speed. It amazed the world and we should promote the policy to more people in Hong Kong," Leung said.
Under the reform policy, Shenzhen has been transformed from a poor fishing village into one of the country's special economic zones. It will soon play a key part in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the largest economic zone development in the world.
Shenzhen's official data reveals that the city's urban development has grown from 3 square kilometers in 1979 to 934 sq km today.