4 November 2010
Last updated at 07:14
China's young rural people are rapidly moving out of the countryside, leaving only the the old, like this woman, behind. The urban population is to surpass its rural counterpart for the first time by 2015.
This farmer is one of more than 600 million Chinese people who still live in the countryside working the land, as they have for millennia.
But modern China is far from a communist rural idyll. This woman in Shanghai is a retired worker, who now spends her days whiling away the hours at her favourite hobby - playing the stock market.
Capitalism and entrepreneurship are the driving force of modern China and those, like restaurateur Qi Yan, who succeed are feted by the Communist Party.
A premium is put on technological and scientific development. Shanghai surgeon Baiyong Shen specializes in surgery using robotic equipment that he can operate from his desk. The treatment is cutting edge, but many will not be able to afford it.
The pressure for economic growth is immense, with an estimated 10 million jobs needed every year. Ying Ming Shan, president of a Lifan Motorcycles, began the company with just nine members of staff. He now employs 14,000 people in 14 factories.
The party too is set on continuing the economic boom. Men like World Expo second-in-command Dr Bo Xu are managing infrastructure projects on a scale rarely seen outside China.
The social impact of the upheaval will last for generations. Millions of children in rural families are left behind in the countryside, with grandparents as their carers.
Parents, who often go to earn money in the cities, return to see their children only once or twice a year.
But the authorities are in no mood to slow the pace of change. Government advisers, such as Wu Jainmin, are certain that the Communist Party’s "socialism with Chinese characteristics" is the right path for the country.