laurent_ Wu JunjieChina News ServiceVCG via Getty Images_china pollution Wu Junjie/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

China’s Myth-Busting Miracle

On the 40th anniversary of China's great "opening up" under Deng Xiaoping, its leaders deserve praise for lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and surpassing the United States as the world's largest economy. But China's experience has also dispelled three myths about the impact of economic growth.

PARIS – Forty years ago, on December 29, 1978, the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China released the official communiqué from its third plenary session, launching the greatest economic-growth experiment in human history. In newspeak understandable to CPC insiders, the country’s leaders, channeling the wishes of Deng Xiaoping, announced a series of unprecedented “modernizations” that would transform one of the world’s least developed countries into a leading economic power.