After generations of state ownership and control of the economy, the trappings of capitalism are slowly entering the streets of China.
CANTON, CHINA (RECENT) (REUTERS)
GV Canton street with many cyclists.
GV Market centre with fish stall and customer making purchase. (2 SHOTS)
GV Dealer selling tobacco to traders. (2 SHOTS)
GV Street scenes with people on way home. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: After generations of state ownership and control of the economy, the trappings of capitalism are slowly entering the streets of China. Following the death of Chairman Mao in 1976, the new Chinese leadership embarked on a course of modernisation of encouraging a greater foreign role and relaxing state control of private enterprises. In the streets of Canton the provincial capital of Kwangtung province, food markets have become as competitive as any in the West. In this film the customers are seen bargaining for the purchase of fish, while dealers haggle for tobacco sales. The private markets are a small but growing sector of economic life. The Beijing government's policy of opening-up the system began four years ago. Special economic zones were set up along the south-east coast to lure foreign capital and technology in the hope of attracting jobs and producing more exports for foreign currency exchange. Government directives advised people to expect less from the state in terms of job security and look more to private business. But some reports indicate the free market has not been entirely successful. Popular criticism has been levelled at the instability of prices and shortage of supply which some say has been caused by the open market and its competitive pricing.