Communist China's Economy, 1949-1962: Structural Changes and Crisis

Communist China's Economy, 1949-1962: Structural Changes and Crisis

Communist China's Economy, 1949-1962: Structural Changes and Crisis

Communist China's Economy, 1949-1962: Structural Changes and Crisis

Excerpt

Much has been written about the economy of Communist China within in the past few years. This hitherto relatively "virgin territory" has been fruitfully explored by both Chinese and Western scholars. Yet, a certain deficiency remains, for many of these experts have dwelt with economic growth, rather than structural changes. Consequently, although the present literature treats of industrial development, national income accounting and general growth, the changes of transformation of the economic structure have been largely relegated to a subsidiary or complementary position.

Having followed the developments of Chinese Communist economy since its 1949 origins,I believe that too little attention has been gevin to the fundamental concept of that regime -- that the changes in the economic structure represent the most effectual means to rapid industrialization -- and hence to the communist millennium. The land reform of 1950, the collectivization of 1956, and the communalization of 1958, were all intended to implement this grand design. The dynamic effect of these structural changes has exerted an enormous influence on the developments of the Chinese mainland. To ignore or minimize this fact is to risk incomplete understanding.

In the present study, I have endeavored to present an analysis that is at once concise and comprehensive. In dealing wuth the momentous events that have transpired between 1949 and 1962, I have found it helpful to divide the subject into five major components. The first three chapters are introductory in nature and intended to provide a brief background of the pre-communist era and a short account of the ideological evolution of Communist policies. Chapters four and five treat the major institutional revolution, from the period of land reform to the establishments of the people's communes in urban districts. Subsequently, I have sought to analyze the economic structure and provide probable causality for the drastic changes. The final chapters deal with the current economic crisis, particularly the present famine.

Throughout this study I have relied heavily upon official Chinese Communist statistics. This has been due to necessity and my criterion for acceptance is stated in the appendix. Simirlarly, for lack of accurate english equivalents, I have retained much of the terminology employed by the adherents of Marxism-Leninism. The nature and scope of this study have also been responsible for my decision to avoid proliferation of quotations or citations.

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