Ideology and Economic Development
In interpreting the reforms in China and the former Soviet Union, Francis Fukuyama noted "that change was in no way made inevitable by the material conditions in which either country found itself on the eve of the reform, but instead came about as the result of the victory of one idea over another." 1 Here, Fukuyama tried to remind people that the key to the changes in China and the former Soviet Union was the change of "idea." Although it would be simplistic to explain China's reform this way, the change of idea was undoubtedly an important factor, to be considered in relation to other variables.
To understand China's development, the relationship between ideology and economic development must be considered in relation to the two ends of development in China: improve people's welfare and strengthen the state. China's transformation since 1949 has been occasioned and conditioned by central policies, and central policies are guided by the CCP's general program of development. The central leadership in China does not initiate program change or policy change in a vacuum. It is influenced by crises and secular trends and guided by an ideology. The change in the general program of development reflects changes in the developmental ideology and policy-making framework. The Dengist reform, which has transformed China over the last twenty years, is an example of change in the CCP's general program of development.