Today, it is a world power with sweeping influence -- it is financing America's debt, snapping up access to natural resources in Africa and Latin America, and making its voice heard on major diplomatic issues.
This remarkable transformation -- to be celebrated on October 1, communist China's 60th birthday -- occurred thanks to a radical change in tactics at the midway point in the PRC's history, after three turbulent decades of Maoism.
But then as the rest of the world was in "great transition", moving towards market-based economies and privatisation, Beijing embraced a "policy shift to economic and political pragmatism", Ren said -- and everything changed.
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