To outsiders, China can seem large, impenetrable and supremely powerful.

It can smash world markets if it stops buying. It builds islands in waters claimed by not only China but other countries - with critics calling such actions belligerent and militant.

But what do China's own people think about where their country is going?

What do they make of their leader Xi Jinping and his economic reforms, his quashing of dissent and his drive against corruption?

101 East takes the pulse of the world's most populous nation through the lives of seven people in a single city - the old capital Nanjing.

Join the conversation @AJ101East

Source: Al Jazeera