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China's staggering 40 years of change in pictures

Forty years ago, China introduced major economic reforms - lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and leading to it becoming the second-largest economy in the world.

Here's the story of how China changed - in pictures.

This is what Chang'an Avenue - a major street in the capital Beijing - looked like in 1978.

Four decades on, the street looks pretty different.

Car ownership in China has soared - there are now over 300 million registered vehicles in the country - while bike ownership has dropped.

It's a result of China's urbanisation and economic growth - but has also come at a price.

Frequent traffic jams in many cities have led to licence plate quotas being imposed.

And the World Health Organization says more than .

Compare a 1978 shop window...

... with one from this decade.

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