** economics economies China colonial era

Chinese Economy: Free Market Reforms (1980s- )

Figure 1.--China's gleeming new cities and modern airports attract much of the attention in discussions of China's remarkable economic growth. There have, however, also been important changes in the countryside. This photographd of the family pig in 1988 may not seem impressive to Westerners, but the free market reforms allowed peasants in th countryside not only to keep pigs, but to sell them. The same was the case of small garden plots. The result was that peasants amost overnight were able to double or triple their income. Photographer: Wang Gang-Feng.

Deng Xiaoping who survived the Cultural Revolution was a committed Communist. Mant of those who criticized Mao and were denounced were not so lucky. Denf of course came to power after the Cultural Revolution. Deng repudiated the Cultural Revolution and launched the 'Beijing Spring' (1977) which allowed open criticism of the excesses and suffering experiebced during the Cultural Revolution. He truly believd that Communism was a scientifically proven system for improving human society. But he was not irational. He compared China's backwardness and poverty after three decades of Communism to the rapid economic progress of the Asian Tigers (Sinapore, South Korea, and Taiwan). In a state visit to Southeast Asia, including Singappre (1978). He discussed economic issues with Singaporte President Lee Kuan Yew. This was the beginning of the market reforms that totally remade the economy of China in three decades. Deng sent tens of thousands of Chinese to Singapore to study. This of coure was facilated by the largely Chinese population of Singapore. The free market economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping and engagement with the West (1980s) brought about an economic revolution that at long last unleashed the economic energy of the Chinese people. Never before in the history of the world have so many people emerged from poverty in such ahort period of time. The rate of growth has been stunning, especially compared to the economic stagnation and decline during the Communist era. And it is all due to the potent force of free market capitalism. Deng opened China to foreign investment, the global market and limited private competition. It is notable the differences that developed between China and Russia overv this period. The Chinese under Deng chose capitalism. The Russians under Putin chose ultra-nationalist kleptocracy. There are many questions about the Chinese economy which are difficult to assess in a closed system. There are concerns about highlybindebted state banks, masive overbuilding, and heavily polluted cities. Neighboring countries are concrned bout increasingly ggressive behvior, especially clims to large areas of potentially oil rich areas of the South China Sea far away from the Chinese coast. A major unanswered question about China is if capitalism can proper under a system of political dictatorship.


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Created: 8:47 PM 7/27/2013
Last updated: 8:47 PM 7/27/2013