The Political Economy of Rural Development in China, 1978-1999

By Weixing Chen | Go to book overview

4
The Village Conglomerate: A New Form of Political Economy

Rural China has undergone three phases of development since the late 1950s: communization from 1957 to 1978, the implementation of the Household Responsibility System from 1979 to 1984, and the rise of entrepreneurial rural communities from 1985 to the present. The expansion and dynamism of China's TVP (township, village, and private enterprise) sector since 1984 has surprised the majority of China observers. The TVP sector produced a mere 3 percent of the national gross value of industrial output in 1971 and 9 percent in 1978. By the end of 1989, the figure had risen to more than 26 percent of the national total. Furthermore, the rural gross value of industrial output exceeded the value of agricultural output in 1987 for the first time. In 1993, 37 percent of China's total social output value, 70 percent of China's total rural social output value, one-fifth of China's total tax income, and 45 percent of China's total export output value were contributed by rural enterprise. 1 William A. Byrd observed that "industry is now the most important generator of incremental incomes and investment funds in rural areas." 2 The TVP has changed the rural scene.

One of the most significant aspects of the economic and social development in the third wave of rural development in China is the rise of the village conglomerate. A village conglomerate (cun jituan zonggongsi) is a comprehensive economic organization under unified leadership whose membership is restricted to a specific village. It is a direct descendant of the collective economic activities of the brigade level of

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The Political Economy of Rural Development in China, 1978-1999
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Abbreviations xv
  • 1 - Ideology and Economic Development 1
  • Notes 26
  • 2 - A Party of Economics and Market-Oriented Communal Socialism 29
  • Notes 45
  • 3 - The Dengist Reform in Historical Perspective 47
  • Notes 68
  • 4 - The Village Conglomerate: A New Form of Political Economy 71
  • Notes 98
  • 5 - The Peasant Challenge at the Turn of the Century 101
  • Notes 117
  • 6 - Village Elections for Self-Government 119
  • Notes 134
  • 7 - A New Ideological Discourse: Deng Xiaoping Theory 137
  • Notes 153
  • 8 - Understanding the Political Economy of Development 155
  • Notes 161
  • Bibliography 163
  • Index 169
  • About the Author *
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