A fourth version of a famous portrait of Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China's reform and opening-up drive, went on display Monday in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, one of China's first special economic zones and the icon of China's reform and opening up.
The portrait is located at the center of a newly completed square named for the portrait.
New changes to the city in recent years have been added to the portrait, including the newly completed concert hall, the citizen center, the TV center, the newspaper mansion, and sea and red forests, exhibiting how the city developed from a small seaside town to a mature modern city.
In the background are words describing the relationship between Deng and the city. From Shenzhen's establishment as a special economic zone to Deng's twice inspection of the city, Deng's speech has not only greatly encouraged the citizens of Shenzhen, but also showed a clear way forward for the reform and opening up process around the country.
Behind the portrait is a large park newly completed to memorialize Deng, covering an area of 13,500 square meters with a green area of 8,500 square meters.
Many citizens have paid homage to the portrait.
"Without Deng's reform and opening up policy, we would not have today's Shenzhen. So as we know the new square will open to the public today, we decided to visit and pay our respect too," said Mr. Cai, who, along with several of his neighbors, paid tribute to the great man with a flower basket.
The first portrait of Deng was erected at the center of Shenzhen in 1992 after Deng's second inspection of the city. A mansion group and construction representing the famous "Shenzhen speed" was drawn as the background along with the light of sunrise.
The second version was exhibited in 1994 on which Shenzhen was drawn with wandering mountains and the Great Wall of China, demonstrating the pioneering role of Shenzhen in the reform and opening up process of the country.
Before National Day (October 1) in 1996, the third version of Deng's portrait, drawn with modern computer technology, was exhibited to the public. On the large-sized poster, Deng is under the blue sky and white clouds and is surrounded by green trees and beautiful flowers, looking at the city's modern construction.
Shenzhen was selected as one of China's first four special economic zones in 1980 together with Zhuhai and Shantou of south China's Guangdong Province and Xiamen of eastern Fujian Province.
As the experimental site of reform and opening up policy, the special economic zones were granted many privilege policies to attract foreign investment and advanced technology, and to perform under the rules of a market economy when most parts of the country were still under the control of a planned economy.
(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2004)