On the streets of the mainland's largest cities in the lead-up to the anniversary, praise for the financial reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping was tempered with some criticism of the problems they have brought. 'If there was no Deng Xiaoping, Shanghai wouldn't have flourished,' retired worker Wu Shiquan said at an exhibition of artworks commemorating the life of the late paramount leader. Mr Wu credited Deng with reviving the mainland after the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. 'If there was no Deng Xiaoping, then all of these artists would still be in the cowshed,' he said, referring to a common punishment during the period. Shanghai student and party member Xu Huaping agreed. 'Shanghai has benefited because Deng Xiaoping introduced the policies which made the city an international financial centre.' But a worker laid off from a state company and now working as a low-paid security guard expressed anger at the changes brought by a more market-orientated economy. 'I don't understand Deng or his policies.' In Guangdong, 51-year-old taxi driver Liang Deming said he had not seen many benefits from Deng's reforms. 'People like me have been through many economic difficulties. First came the Cultural Revolution and then came jobs in state-run enterprises...which didn't pay us that much. 'Deng's policies did help to boost economic growth in Guangdong, but also resulted in severe corruption. 'I think Deng's policy to let some people get rich first was not in accordance with China's situation. Those who got rich were not the general public, but officials.' Agricultural Bank of China employee Luo Chun, 22, described Deng as a man of vision.