Since the end of the 1980s, nearly all formerly Soviet-type countries have experi enced a period of transition toward market economies. The People’s Republic of China has not been an exception. The difference between China’s transition and those of most other countries is that of so-called gradualism versus “big bang.” From the point of view of economic growth, China has achieved a more impres sive record than her former “big and little brothers.” Thus the average annual growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP) was as high as 12.2 percent during the period from 1991 to 1994. All indicators of economic performance show that the Chinese economic pie has grown larger and larger. Important sociodemographic indicators also point toward better living conditions on average for the Chinese population. During the transformation period in Russia, life expectancy has de creased, while the opposite is the case for China.