For this week's cover story by Hannah Beech on China's place in the global economy now and in the future, TIME magazine looked to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to create this artwork. Ai Weiwei used Chinese paper cutting techniques to create this red-and-white image that seems to pop out of the cover to represent China's influence around the world. TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel called the image a work of "artistic supremacy," adding that for Ai Weiwei the image is an "acknowledgment of the country’s centrality in the world while at the same time challenging China’s leaders to make the future a freer and more democratic one."
Check out this video of the artist discussing his artwork:
Visit TIME's website to see more of the cover and pick up the issue on newsstands starting tomorrow.