BBC correspondent Juliana Liu has travelled to her native Hunan province in China to talk to relatives and catch up with some of the region's movers and shakers.
RAISING THE CHILDREN
Juliana's uncle is a subsistence farmer in Hunan province, known as China's rice basket.
He works the land as well as raising two grandchildren.
This is a common trend in rural areas as young people move to the city for better paid jobs, leaving older relatives behind to raise the children.
MAO'S MILLIONAIRE LEGACY
The birthplace of Chairman Mao is a national attraction.
And one of his relations has been able to cash in on her links to communist aristocracy.
Grandmother Tang Ruiren has made millions by running a chain of Mao-inspired restaurants.
The 80-year-old woman says the Chinese people have never had it so good.
THE HIGH LIFE OF A CHINESE TYCOON
Chinese tycoon Zhang Yue has made his fortune selling air conditioners.
He has the obligatory limo and helicopter which denotes the super rich.
But he also wants to inspire his workers - statues of famous thinkers are dotted around his headquarters.
As well as the fast lifestyle, the entrepreneur claims he is also a green crusader who is urging China to tackle its pollution problem.
TILLING THE FIELDS
Despite soaring food prices in China, small farmers are struggling to make ends meet.
They are facing rising fertiliser and pesticide costs which make it uneconomical to expand production.
At the recent National People's Congress in Beijing, the issue was top of the lawmakers' agenda.
China is to make the nation's environmental watchdog into a full government ministry to improve the enforcement of anti-pollution laws.
The State Environment Protection Agency has long been seen as powerless to enforce such laws, particularly in remote areas where factory bosses have huge power over the local communities.
Juliana reports on how one village in her native Hunan province has been affected.