Premier Li Keqiang laid a flower basket adorned with ribbons at the foot of a statue dedicated to the memory of reform mastermind Deng Xiaoping in Shenzhen, Guangdong, on Monday morning, in a gesture that was both a tribute and rich in symbolism to demonstrate his commitment to reforms.
After the basket was placed at the foot of the statue, Li carefully laid out the red ribbons which read “In remembrance of Comrade Deng Xiaoping, presented by Li Keqiang”.
He then took a deep bow at the foot of the six-meter high bronze sculpture and bowed another three times with ministers who accompanied him on his trip to Shenzhen.
The sculpture is situated on top of Lianhua mountain in Shenzhen, a city at the forefront of Deng's reforms and an early window to the outside world.
Deng decided to set up special economic zones in four coastal cities, including Shenzhen, to boost trade with overseas markets. In 1992, he visited south China where he delivered a series of keynote speeches to support special economic zones amid doubts among some that the zones and economic reform were incompatible with socialist ideology.