In China, the change has been fast, and it has been remorseless. When Hu Jintao assumed the chairmanship of the Communist Party a decade ago, China's economy was only a bit larger than Italy's, it had just joined the WTO, and it stayed on the sidelines of global disputes.
No longer. Since 2002, China has gradually donned the mantle of superpower for the first time in modern history, locking up access to strategic resources across Africa and Latin America, pouring billions into its military, and throwing its newfound weight around the Pacific. At home, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, seen as an opportunity to showcase the country's progress on a global stage drove massive -- some would say too massive -- in new roads, airports, and high-speed rail. But the sweeping changes in China's fortunes go far beyond a few flashy bridges and skyscrapers. Here, Foreign Policy has selected 10 images that shows how China has changed in the last decade.
Above, China celebrates the one-year countdown to the 2008 Olympics in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.