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The Waking Dragon

The Waking Dragon

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The Waking Dragon

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  1. The Waking Dragon China’s Role in the Global Economy

  2. Old Ways New Methods • The development of a centralised government after the Revolution of 1949 allowed the Chinese government to create a coherent focus of effort in modernisation. • In ancient China this occurred under the Qin who standardised trade and created a state bureaucracy. • This bureaucracy subsequently ossified and was not able to adapt to the encroachment of American and Europeans in the 1800s.

  3. Initially, the Communists wanted to “modernise” China through agrarian reform • Wealthy landlords etc. lost their lands which were re-divided to individual farmers who often worked them for generations. • Open Marxist political ideologies were rare. • The shift to open communism occurs in late 1953

  4. The Great Leap Forward • The GLF was a term used by anthropologists and historians to describe the rapid development of agriculture technology and domestication of animals that allowed humans to thrive. • In Communist China, the GLF was the push for the Chinese Communist Party to create a similar effect in modernisation of China’s agricultural economy. • In 1953 Mao instituted a Stalinist 4 Year Plan • This was the first of 5 Plans. • In manufacturing and industrialisation they were successful • Industrial output increased by 15 – 18% of the first decade. • In 1957 Mao announced the GLF • Agriculturally, they were a disaster overall leading to the death of millions through starvation c. 30 million or 5% of the total population. • During this period (1957 - 1961) China experienced negative growth in its economy

  5. A New Era • In 1976 the founder of Communist China Mao Zedong died • Leadership shifted to less orthodox Communists led by Deng Xiaoping • Deng had been a life long communist but was more pragmatic than the intellectual Mao. • He saw the need to adhere to all elements of Marxism • More willing to develop economic ties to the West • Helped create “Special Economic Zones” in some southern cities • The SEZs were enclaves of capitalism that were open to western investment and development. • Reminiscent to the Compound System imposed on the Europeans in the 1700s.

  6. A New Industrialism • Under the leadership of Deng the traditional centralising practices were scaled back. • Individual farmers, producers were allowed to sell privately any surpluses beyond established state quotas • This lead to opening up manufacturing to the same principles that eventually led to actual ownership by the managers. • Despite all this by the late 1990s there were still 75,000 state run business’ in China • ½ were not turning a profit

  7. Emerging Power • Since the 1990s China’s economy has grown by approximately 10% every year. • The government wanted to quadruple the nations economy within 25 years. • It was accomplished within 20 years. • It is currently the second largest industrial producer in the world. • Life expectancy has risen from 35 years (b4 1949) to 65 years (1970s)

  8. Real Numbers and the Cost • While China is rapidly modernising, the statistics can be misleading or misinterpreted. • While the GDP per capita has risen from $200 to $1700 today it means that as an average income China ranks 130 in the world (out of 280+ nations). • Rural China is depopulating and is left out of the development. • Low wages and work conditions for most workers. • Rapid growth makes it hard for the government to regulate it, which it sometimes does. • Piracy • Rapid growth is maintained at the expense of environmental assessments or considerations. • Economic gain occurs with little / not political gain. • One party state voted on by small minority. • Internet access is restricted. • Political dissent is suppressed. • Freedom of speech is not accepted.

  9. Bibliography • • “A Primer on the Chinese Economy”, • Maurice Meisner, “The 1949 Revolution Reconsidered”, Current History, September 1999. p. 243 – 248. • Edward S. Stenfeld, “Beyond the Transition: China’s Economy at Century’s End”, Current History, September 1999. p. 271 – 275.