Compared with America, China's economic expansion has happened at breakneck speed. It has sparked mass urbanization and led to tens of millions of rural workers heading to the cities to find work. Some statistics:
• According to UN data, the number of urban centres in China with a population of one million or more has leapt from 16 in 1970 to 106 in 2015. This compares to 45 in the US, and about 55 in Europe.
• China's economic growth has come at a cost to the environment. Pollution levels have soared, much of it due to the coal-fired power stations which China relies on for its energy needs.
• After opening up to foreign investment in the 1980s, China became one of the world's largest manufacturers, as factories took advantage of low labor costs.
• China's economy grew at an average rate of 10% a year for the three decades up to 2010, although growth has since slowed down.
• Dramatic stock market falls over the summer have prompted questions about the lasting strength of China's economic transformation.
• China's growing GDP has been accompanied by rising disposable incomes. China has the world's highest number of outbound tourists, and its visitors rank first in the world for expenditure, spending $165bn during holidays.
• As Chinese spending power has increased, the amount of pork eaten has soared. China now accounts for about half the pigs consumed in the world.
• Despite the rise in personal income, not everyone has benefited equally- the gap in disposable incomes between China's rural and urban households has widened sharply since 1990.
• China has 61 million "left behind children" who live in rural villages without their parents.
Read more at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-33802777.