Quick Guide: China's economic reform
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Early years

Opening up

Cooling off

Renewed growth

Economic giant

Early years
Mao (left) wanted to turn China into a modern, industrial state

China has the world's fastest-growing major economy but it has been a rocky road from socialism to consumerism.

When Communist Party leader Mao Zedong took power in 1949 he was determined to transform China from a rural economy into an industrial giant.

Farms were collectivised into large communes and resources shifted to heavy industry, which was nationalised.

But by Mao's death in 1976 it was clear these reforms had failed, leaving China impoverished and isolated.