The president of China, Xi Jinping, has only been at the head of the communist regime for five years but is the undisputed protagonist of the exhibition on the 40th anniversary of the opening and reform, the so-called "Chinese miracle", which the Asian giant exhibits in a show on a large scale in Beijing.
After the death of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping promoted the economic reforms that managed to transform the country into the second economic power in the world, thanks to an unprecedented development in history that, nevertheless, brought some of the greatest challenges to the that China faces, including pollution.
On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of this transformation, the Asian country boasts of its progress with a large propaganda display in which it strives to attribute most of the merit to Xi, despite taking the reins of the party at the end of 2012 and the Government in 2013
More than half of the giant space that reviews the last four decades of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is centered in its figure, with impressive photographs in which its work is praised, evidencing the ever-increasing return to the personality cult of the regime.
There are also references to "Xi Jinping's thought about socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era", recently included in the Constitution and which equates it with Mao.
"Xi's work has been better than that of other leaders," says Efe Wu, one of the exhibition's visitors, who predicts that China's future will be "getting better" with the policies of Xi, who continues to open the economy abroad and champion the defense of multilateralism.
The regime also boasts some of its pioneering technologies in virtual reality, its space race - which began in 1992 and in 2003 has already become the third country to send astronauts into space - or its high-speed train, the fastest of the world, linking the cities of Beijing and Shanghai at 350 kilometers per hour.
"If we continued with the socialism of the Soviet Union, there would be no future for China," comments another visitor, Efe Zhai, who believes that if the opening and reform have not been pushed forward now, the country "would resemble North Korea."
Another reason for pride for the Asian giant is its effective fight against poverty: "If China wants to be rich, the peasants have to be rich," the public reminds a large poster.
The international community is constantly praising the fight against poverty in the world's most populous country, where more than 800 million people have left poverty since 1978, according to data from the World Bank (WB), and all the forecasts suggest that it will eradicate poverty. in 2020.
However, the years of unbridled growth seem to come to an end and, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China, which in the third quarter of this year grew by 6.5%, the lowest level since the beginning of the The last major economic crisis will gradually slow down its growth to 5.5% in 2023.
"What creates more dissatisfaction among citizens is the price of housing," says Zhai, referring to the housing bubble that has boosted market prices in recent years.
Anyway, Zhai recognizes that there is still much to be done and warns that the so-called New Routes of Silk, the ambitious infrastructure project worldwide promoted by Xi, "is not enough."
Chinese progress has also been accompanied by increasing social control and curtailment of freedoms, and Tiananmen Square, where the exhibition is located, represents one of the darkest chapters in China's recent history. There, in June 1989, hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators in favor of democracy were killed by the Army.
While many visitors immortalize "the Chinese miracle" taking selfies, a cloud of smog ('smog') envelops Tiananmen and covers the great portrait of Mao, a scene that is usually repeated in one of the cities with the worst air quality in the world.
"Protecting the environment is the big challenge now, we have developed too fast, but only being healthy can we build the country," says Liu Pequinesa, who still recognizes that the Chinese economic explosion has been important and necessary.