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

By Weixing Chen | Go to book overview

Finally, divergent paths have resulted in uneven development in Shandong and in China. Uneven development can give rise to polarization, and polarization can, in turn, create social tensions and conflicts. Polarization in China would not only shake the very base of the CCP but also upset China's social and political stability, since the ideal of equity and equality of the previous decades is still ingrained in the minds of many Chinese despite the last nineteen years of economic reform. The village conglomerate has set a good example of "getting rich together as a community." In addition, many village conglomerates are helping their neighboring villages and less-developed villages in their regions through financial aid and investment and by sponsoring training programs and providing information.

As China is preparing to enter the new millennium, the village conglomerate may very well be a prototype of political economy. Its significance to China's success in its modernization drive cannot be overestimated.


NOTES
1.
Renmin Ribao, overseas edition ( January 8, 1994), p. 1.
2.
William A. Byrd, "Rural Industrialization and Ownership in China", Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 32, no. 1 ( 1990), p. 73.
3.
Living conditions in rural areas before the reform were harsh. To be sent to rural areas from urban areas meant, to a certain degree, banishment.
4.
Statistical Yearbook of China, 1993 ( Beijing: China Statistics, 1994), p. 395.
5.
William A. Byrd and Lin Qingsong, eds., China's Rural Industry: Structure, Development, and Reform ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 47.
6.
The three-tier commune system consisted of the commune (township), the village brigade (natural village), and the production team under the village.
7.
Shandong Nongye Hezuohua Shiliaoji, vol. 3 ( Jinan: Shandong Renmin Chubanshe, 1991), pp. 230-31.
8.
Jean Oi, "Fiscal Reform and the Economic Foundations of Local State Corporatism in China", World Politics, vol. 45, no. 1 ( October 1992), p. 116.
9.
John King Fairbank, China: A New History ( Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992), p. 412.
10.
This observation is based on my interviews with village leaders and villagers in Mingzhu village conglomerate in 1995.
11.
The Chinese press has been replete with reports about rich individuals being pressured, threatened, harassed, and even kidnapped in rural areas.
12.
This is indicated by many studies. For instance, Huang Shumin, Spiral Road ( Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1989); and Jean Oi, State and Peasant in Contemporary China ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989).
13.
Renmin Ribao, overseas edition ( January 8, 1994), p. 1.
14.
Shandong Nongye Hezuohua Shiliaoji, vol. 3, p. 585.

-98-

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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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