China: Xinyin Chen and Lei Chang
Mainland China established a socialist political system with the creation of the People’s Republic in 1949. Since the late twentieth century, however, China has carried out a full-scale reform toward a market economy that allows for the adoption of many aspects of capitalism. The centrally planned command economy has rapidly been transformed, which has led to major changes in economic and social structures. As a result, the living standard in most parts of China has improved signifi cantly. According to China state statistics ( Bulletin of China’s Economic and Social Development in 2009 , 2010), the annual per capita income was 5,153 yuan (approximately $736 USD) for rural residents and 17,175 yuan (approximately $2,435 USD) for urban residents in 2009.