Today's celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening up should have been euphoric for the country and the world - for the benefits to both are all too apparent.
Instead, amid the global economic gloom, they will be muted.
|A girl appreciates an old photo taken in 1980 at an exhibition featuring China's 30 years' reform and opening-up at Wangfujing Street in Beijing, China, on Dec. 16, 2008. The photo exhibition presenting near 800 pictures in memory of the past 30 years'development was unveiled here on Tuesday. [Xinhua]
The decoupling theory has gone out of the bedroom window as economies around the world find themselves in a tighter embrace than before.
So in China, there will be some inevitable grouses about how reform and opening up have not brought home riches and ever-rising prosperity to all.
The laid-off State enterprise worker would no doubt prefer the days of job and perk security for life. The Dongguan toy factory worker will wonder whether the sacrifice of leaving home for a job thousands of kilometers away only for his overseas boss to decamp overnight is worth it.
State-owned enterprises, brought to the altar of the marketplace - some eagerly, some reluctantly - in ongoing market reform will be carefully evaluating their position. They are global market players seeking innovation, adequate levels of capital, the right technology and marketing strategies; yet there are calls all round for them not to lay off any workers - indeed, not even cut year-end bonuses.