Saturday, December 12, 2015

China between 1918 - 1948

How successful was Mao Zedong in dealing with China’s problems

a) What were the problems facing Mao Zedong?

a. Country was devastated after the long civil war and the war with japan.

b. Problems- industry was backward, agriculture was inefficient and incapable of feeding

c. He began by looking closely at stalin’s methods and experimented, by a process of trial

the poverty-stricken masses, inflation.

and error, to find which would work in china and where a special Chinese approach was


b) The constitution of 1950

a. National people’s Congress- members were elected for four years by people.

b. The state council and the chairman of the republic-both elected by the congress. Function

c. The state council chose the political Bureau which took all the main decisions.

d. Only party members could stand in elections.

e. The constitution was important because it provided china with a strong central

c) Agricultural changes

a. First, land was taken from large landowners and redistributed among the peasants, no

b. Next step was achieved without violence: peasants were persuaded to join together in

c. By 1956, 95% of all peasants were in co-operatives with joint ownership of the farm and

d) Industrial changes

a. Government nationalized most businesses.

b. Five year plan concentrating on the development of heavy industry with the help of USSR.

c. The country had recovered from the ravages of the wars: full communications had been

e) The hundred flowers campaign (1957)

a. Developed out of industrialization which produced a vast new class of technicians and

b. The party cadres believed that this new class of experts would threaten their authority.

c. The government , decided that open discussion of the problems might improve relations

d. Critics attacked on cadres for incompetence and over enthusiasm, over centralization,

e. Mao hurriedly called off the campaign and clamped down on his critics.

f) The great leap forward:

a. It involved further important developments in both industry and agriculture, in order to

b. The introduction communes, units larger than collective farms, divided into brigades and

was to make sure that laws were carried out.

government for the first time for many years, and It has remained largely unchanged.

doubt with violence in places.

co-operative farms in order to increase food production.

its equipment.

restored, inflation was under control and the economy was looking much healthier.


between cadres and experts .

undemocratic government.

increase output and to adapt industry to Chinese conditions.

work teams with an elected council; the ran their own collective farms and factoriws,

carried out most of the functions of local government.

c. A complete change of emphasis in industry: much smaller factories were set up in the

d. At first it looked as the great leap might be failure. But in the long term the importance of

e. The communes proved to be a successful innovation, they were an efficient unit of local

f. The crucial decision had been taken that china would remain predominantly an

countryside to provide machinery for agriculture.

the great leap became clear: eventually both agricultural and industrial production

increased substantially.

government and they enabled the central government in Beijing to keep in touch with

local opinion.

agricultural country with small-scale industry scattered around the countryside. The

economy would be labour intensive. Thus , this was the best way of making sure that

everybody had a job.

g) The cultural revolution(1966-69)

a. When the success of the great leap was by no means certain, opposition to Mao grew,

b. There should be an expert managerial class to push forward with industrialization on the

c. Maoists, were totally unacceptable, they dismissed Russians as revisionists taking the

d. There was a great public debate about which course to follow. Mao rouse the young

e. His supporters, the red guards , toured the country arguing Mao’s case, while schools ,

f. Unfortunately, it brought chaos and something close to civil war; student masses had

right-wing members of the party believed that incentive were necessary if the communes

were to function efficiently.

Russian mode. Instead of relying on the cadres.

capitalist road. The party must avoid the emergence of a privileged class who would

exploit eh workers; It was vital to keep in touch with the masses.

people, launched a desperate campaign to save the revolution.

and later factories were close down.

been rouse, attacked anybody in authority, not just critics of Mao. Teachers,

professionals, local party officials, all were targets; millions of people were disgraced and


call in the army to restore the order.

committing excesses.

g. By 1967 the extremists among the red guards were almost out of control, and Mao had to

h. Mao, admitted that he had made mistakes, many were arrested and executed for

i. 1969, cultural revolution was formally ended.

j. The cultural revolution caused great disruption, ruined millions of lives, and probably

k. The most surprising development in Mao’s policies during his last years was in foreign

held up china’s economic development by ten years.

affairs, when Mao and Zhou Enlai decided it was time to improve relations with the USA.

Life after Mao

a) There was a period of dramatic policy change:

a. 1978, Deng Xiaoping gained the ascendancy.

b) Demands for more radical reforms: the democracy wall:

c) Modernization and its problems:

d) The thoughts of Deng Xiaoping:

b. Many changes introduced during the cultural revolution were reversed.

Democratically elected groups would run the local government. Property confiscated

from former capitalists was returned to survivors, more religious freedom and great

freedom for intellectuals to express themselves in literature and the arts.

c. Deng wanted technical and financial help from the west in order to modernize

industry, agriculture, science and technology. Loans were accepted from foreign

governments and banks, and contracts signed with foreign companies for the supply

of modern equipment. In 1980, china joined the IMF and the world Bank. State paid

higher prices to the communes for their produce and reduced taxes in order to

stimulate efficiency. These measure had some success, and many peasants became


a. Democracy wall , where public could express itself with huge wall posters. People

demanded a wide range of human rights.

i. The right to criticize the government openly;

ii. Representation for no communist parties in the National peoples’s congress;

iii. Freedom to change jobs and to travel abroad;

iv. Abolition of the communes.

b. This infuriated Deng, launched a fierce attack on the leading dissidents, accusing them

of trying to destroy the socialist system. 1979, democracy wall was abolished


a. Democracy wall incident made the Deng to move toward the modernization as soon

as possible.

b. Communes were broken up and given to peasants, which would be allowed to keep

most of the profits.

c. This was successful in raising agricultural production and standard of living.

d. It was announced that the compulsory purchase of crops was to be abandoned.

e. Surplus would be allowed to fluctuate on the open market.

f. But the market socialism had unfortunate side-effects-

i. Imports increased by 38%. Trade deficit increased.

ii. Annual rate of inflation was raised.

a. To enable his people to get richer.

b. In industry, sweeping decentralization was still needed.

c. Party must withdraw from administrative tasks, issue fewer instructions, and allow

more initiative at the lower levels.

d. Only capitalist investment could create the conditions in which china could become a

prosperous, modernized state.

e. China’s international role- to lead a peace alliance of the world against the dangerous

ambitions of the USA and the USSR.

Tiananmen square, 1989, and the crisis of communism:

a) The crisis of 1987

b) Tiananmen Square, 1989:

c) China since 1989

a. Deng did a clever balancing act between the reformers and the hardliners.

b. Deng encouraged criticism from students and intellectuals but up to some point.

c. 1986, there was a series of student demonstrations supporting Den Xiaoping and

the modernization but urging a much quicker pace, more democracy.

d. Deng decided to disperse the demonstrations; hardliners forced Deng to resign;

however he was replaced with another economic reformer Zhao Ziyang.

a. Economic reforms ran into inflation went up to 30%.

b. Probably encouraged by Gorbachev’s political reforms, and the knowledge that

he was to pay a visit to Beijing, student demonstrations began again in

Tiananmen Square; they were demanding political reform, democracy and an end

to communist party corruption.

c. The demonstrations continued throughout Gorbachev’s visit.

d. Meanwhile , power struggle was going on in the politburo and Li Peng, with the

support of Deng Xiaoping, eventually won .

e. Thousands of troops were brought in and attacked the students, killing between

1500 and 3000 .

f. There was world wide condemnation of the massacres, but hardliners were

convinced that they had taken the right decision. They felt that to have given was

to the students demands for democracy would have caused too much disruption

and confusion: one- party control was needed to supervise the transition to a

socialist market economy.

g. USSR seemed a disaster, whatever the rest of the world thought about the

Tiananmen square massacres, the Chinese leadership could congratulate itself on

avoiding grobachev’s mistakes and preserving communism in china at a time

when it was being swept away in eastern Europe.

a. Although they had clamped down on any political change, government was still

committed to progressive open door economic policies. They hoped that a

successful economy which enabled more and more people to become prosperous

would make people forget their desire for democracy.s

1 comment:

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