Policy Conflicts in Post-Mao China: A Documentary Survey with Analysis

Policy Conflicts in Post-Mao China: A Documentary Survey with Analysis

Policy Conflicts in Post-Mao China: A Documentary Survey with Analysis

Policy Conflicts in Post-Mao China: A Documentary Survey with Analysis

Synopsis

This is a collection of essays exploring the deep-rooted problems presented by the Three Gorges dam project that the Chinese government are trying to disguise or supress, brought together by Dai Qing, an investigative journalist, at the risk of her own freedom.

Excerpt

Among the senior leadership of post-Mao China a consensus has emerged that rapid economic development should be given high priority. This policy orientation, the leadership generally concedes, necessitates certain other policies. First, it requires the active cooperation of China's intellectuals, scientists, and technicians. Political authorities are as a result attempting to woo this group by liberalizing Party controls over their professional activities, by abandoning the practice of using class labels to curb their behavior, and by "licensing" certain forms of limited participation. Second, leaders also agree that fostering rapid economic development requires the institutionalization of the political system, the regularization of the bureaucracy, and the abandonment of the ad hoc mass mobilizations that characterized the Maoist era. Third, in the leadership's view rapid economic development also requires the rule of law to reduce the arbitrariness of administration and to protect both specialists and politicians from the abuses that many of them experienced during the Cultural Revolution. Finally, the new policy orientation requires the rapid expansion of both human and capital resource bases. On these requirements, there is little dispute.

If China's political leaders have agreed on the broad outlines of the policy orientation, and on the general requirements for beginning to realize rapid economic development, they have failed to agree on a host of other political, economic, and social issues. Within the Party and within society public debate has centered on (1) the methods that are appropriate for achieving these goals; (2) the likely consequences of rapid economic development for the Party, and the new relationship of the Party with the state and society; (3) the nature of the state in the changed circumstances brought on by rapid economic development; and (4) the lessons to be drawn from the thirty-five years of post-Liberation China. More generally, having discredited the radical version of Chinese socialism as "sham Marxism," the leadership must decide which components of the post-1949 central belief system should be retained or refashioned for the formation of the new "socialism with Chinese characteristics."

Elite groups and individuals in post-Mao China have publicly advocated competing policy options and have sought support for their programs from among specialized constituencies. To a limited extent advocates have turned to national . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.