The Search for Modern China

By Jonathan D. Spence | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 20 Planning the New Society

THE FIRST FIVE-YEAR PLAN

With the first phase of land reform complete, the economic base of the bourgeoisie broken, and the Korean War over, the CCP was free in 1953 to develop an integrated plan for the nation's economic development. The model adopted was that of the Soviet Union, where statecontrolled industrial production in a sequence of five-year plans was believed to have been responsible for the nation's emergence as a world-class power in the 1930s, with the ability to withstand and repulse the full force of Germany's attack in World War II. That victory in turn allowed the USSR greatly to expand its influence in Europe at war's end, despite the United States' efforts to the contrary.

Exactly why the Chinese chose the Soviet model, the specific workings of which they knew very little about, is a key question that remains difficult to answer. Perhaps the Soviet model seemed the only logical choice after the failure of Guomindang attempts at reform along Western lines, and after the Korean War and the mass campaigns against foreigners left China further isolated from Western powers. China's use of the Soviet model was certainly one way of emphasizing the anticapitalist and anti-imperialist nature of the new Chinese state. And the CCP, having seized power in a violent revolutionary confrontation, needed some model for exercising that power as it set out to build socialism in the poverty-stricken country.

To prepare for the task of restructuring the economy, China's leaders set standards for bureaucratic recruitment and pay scales, introduced regular administrative procedures, and organized the people of China according to the local units in which they worked (danwei) so as to increase the efficiency

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The Search for Modern China
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Search for Modern China i
  • Title Page iv
  • Contents ix
  • Maps xv
  • Tables xvii
  • Preface to the Second Edition xix
  • Preface to the First Edition xxiii
  • Acknowledgments for the Second Edition xxvii
  • Acknowledgments for the First Edition xxix
  • The Use of Pinyin xxxi
  • Conquest and Consolidation 1
  • The Late Ming 7
  • The Manchu Conquest 26
  • Kangxi's Consolidation 49
  • Yongzheng's Authority 74
  • Chinese Society and the Reign of Qianlong 96
  • China and the Eighteenth-Century World 117
  • Fragmentation and Reform 139
  • The First Clash with the West 145
  • The Crisis Within 167
  • Restoration Through Reform 192
  • New Tensions in the Late Qing 215
  • The End of the Dynasty 243
  • Envisioning State and Society 265
  • The New Republic 271
  • A Road is Made" 290
  • The Fractured Alliance 314
  • The Guomindang in Power 342
  • Communist Survival 375
  • War and Revolution 411
  • World War II 419
  • The Fall of the Guomindang State 459
  • The Birth of the People's Republic 489
  • Planning the New Society 514
  • Deepening the Revolution 544
  • Cultural Revolution 565
  • Re-Entering the World 587
  • Reopening the Doors 595
  • Redefining Revolution 618
  • Levels of Power 647
  • Testing the Limits 677
  • Century's End 705
  • Appendixes A1
  • Notes and Permissions A3
  • Further Readings A23
  • Glossary A47
  • Illustration Credits A71
  • A Note on the Calligraphy A75
  • Index A77
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