China’s economic development has been miraculous since its transition from a planned to a market economy in 1979. This article provides answers to six related questions: Why was it possible for China to achieve such extraordinary performance during its transition? Why was China unable to attain similar success before its transition started? Why did most other transition economies fail to achieve a similar performance? What costs does China pay for its extraordinary success? Can China maintain dynamic growth in the coming decades? And what are the implications of China’s experience for other developing countries and for economics?