The Prospects for Communist China

By W. W. Rostow. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16
THE PROSPECTS FOR COMMUNIST CHINA

I. THE VISION OF THE TOP LEADERSHIP: CHINA AND THE SOVIET MODEL

The vision of the next decade which controls the policy of Peking is clear enough. The top leadership seeks to repeat on the Chinese scene the pattern of domestic transformations carried out by Stalin in the early 1930's, with a specially urgent emphasis on the creation of a Chinese industrial base for the maintenance of its modernized armed forces. It seeks simultaneously a related goal: to increase the independent authority of Peking in Asia within the limits permitted by the need to maintain the Sino-Soviet alliance, and by the resource requirements of the industrialization program. For the moment, where internal and external ambitions conflict (or are made to conflict by an effective Free World policy), the present leadership in Peking is likely to accord priority to expansion of its domestic power base.

In terms of political, social, and cultural policy, as well as in economic objectives and technique, the actions of the Chinese Communist regime as of 1954 strongly recall those of Stalin in 1930, the most notable exceptions being the priority accorded by Peking to current military strength and the pace of planned collectivization, in which Mao is proceeding more in the manner of the post-1945 European satellites than with the ruthless urgency of Stalin in the Soviet First Five Year Plan. By and large the regime's order to the cadres -- to take their guidance from Chapters 9-12 of Stalin's Short Course -- reflects a deep reality: the regime intends, essentially by Stalin's methods, to duplicate in China the results achieved by Stalin in the 1930's.

It is, therefore, worth examining the relevance of this analogy which operates so powerfully on the minds of Peking's rulers.

-299-

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