Economic Development of Communist China an Appraisal of the First Five Years of Industrialization

Economic Development of Communist China an Appraisal of the First Five Years of Industrialization

Economic Development of Communist China an Appraisal of the First Five Years of Industrialization

Economic Development of Communist China an Appraisal of the First Five Years of Industrialization

Excerpt

This work is neither a general survey nor a historical study of the Chinese economy, but an economic analysis of its growth from 1952 to 1957. Virtually all quantitative and qualitative information was derived from Chinese-language sources published in Peiping up to the last quarter of 1957. The data were checked for reliability and consistency, and the statistical concepts were carefully examined before they were used. Interpretation was based on the facts thus established, and every effort was made to maintain objectivity and to provide an accurate appraisal of the economic transformation in Communist China during the period of her First Five Year Plan.

The manuscript was completed in March, 1958. The preliminary statistics for 1957 have since become available. According to them, the gross agricultural value product fell below expectations while the gross industrial product went beyond. This development strengthens the observations and conclusions in the text. However, in order to bring the data up to date, an addendum to the Statistical Appendix has been prepared, showing the preliminary figures for 1957 as well as the planned quota for 1958.

This work may also be taken as a case study of economic development of a low-income, agricultural country which has adopted a program of rapid and concentrated expansion of heavy industry. Both the mechanism of the industrialization process and the ramifications of change should be of interest. But the importance of the case goes beyond its instructive value. Steel production in Communist China in 1957 is now estimated to be 5,240,000 metric tons as against 1,350,000 tons in 1952. It was 21,000,000 tons in the United Kingdom in 1956. At the end of the First Five Year Plan, the chairman of the State Planning Commission in Peiping declared before the All-China Labor Congress that the country would be expected to surpass the United Kingdom by the end of the Fourth Five Year Plan (1972) "probably in steel production with about 40,000,000 tons, and certainly in the output of coal, lathes, cement, and chemical fertilizers." This, in fact, was a decision taken . . .

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