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Shenzhen speech puts Xi on the clock

In 2012, Xi Jinping promised market forces would play a “decisive” role in economic decision-making. On Wednesday (October 14) in Shenzhen, the Chinese president finally gave the globe a glimpse of what that might look like.

The where of this very, very big story is obvious to any Asia watcher. Forty years ago Shenzhen, a town at the end of the railroad near Hong Kong, became China’s laboratory for trade, industrialization and economic engagement with a fast-changing world.

The Special Economic Zone has, in the decades since, morphed into one of Asia’s alpha-plus megacities, a testament to the thriving success of politically communist China’s flirtation with capitalist economics.

So it made perfect sense for Xi to reaffirm Beijing’s commitment to “opening up and reform” there. And to deputize Shenzhen anew to lead Asia’s biggest economy into a future that is China’s for the taking.

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