2010/09/06

China's 'miracle' Shenzhen marks 30th anniversary

BEIJING, September  6, 2010 (AFP) - Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday hailed as "a miracle" the Shenzhen special economic zone that helped set off China's boom decades ago, as the nation celebrates the city's 30th anniversary.

"The Shenzhen special economic zone created a miracle in the world's history of industrialisation, urbanisation and modernisation and has contributed significantly to China's opening up and reform," Hu said on a visit to the southern city.

"The central government will, as always, support the brave exploration of the special economic zone (SEZ) as well as its role of testing and carrying out reforms ahead of others," he said, according to state-run television.

Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, is a noted laboratory for reform. In 1980, it became the first area in China designated as an SEZ that could accept foreign investment under reforms pioneered by late leader Deng Xiaoping.

It offered lower taxes and less cumbersome bureaucratic procedures in order to attract overseas investors and was held up as a model for China's manufacturing-based economic growth.

Several other special economic zones followed later.