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China In The 20th Century Essay

2928 words - 12 pages


Overview

China in the 20th century has been going through enormous changes. From

colonialism and imperialism to republicanism, from communism to capitalism, and from

underdevelopment to a country maintaining over 10% economic growth for over ten

years. In this research paper, I will focus on the transition of China from a Communist

command economy to a type of market economy as well as the economic fluctuations

throughout this period.

In 1949 Oct 1, the People’s Republic of China was established. Before 1949,

there was a period of civil war soon after the world war two. The confrontation was

between the Nationalist Komintang led by Chiang Kai Shek and peasant-based

Communist party led by Mao-Zedong, ended with Chiang’s defeat. Mao became the

leader of China, and he believed that Marxism was the best way to solve China’s social

and economic problems. He wanted to stop the landlords from exploiting the farmers.

Under the rule of the Communist party, the people owned all the economic areas of

China, and these would be controlled by the Communist government. All of the people

would work for the common goal of the country. As a result, Chinese socialism was born.

The pre-communist history of modern China has been essentially one of

weakness, humiliation and failure. This is the atmosphere in which the Communist Party

developed its leadership and early growth. This resulted in strong determination by

chairman Mao to eliminate foreign influence within China, to modernize the country and

envision a strong economy under Communist control. Therefore, a series of radical

reforms were introduced and the social organize was transformed under Communist

control.
                                                       2

Economic growth during the first ten years of Mao’s regime was significant.

However, the Great Leap Forward (1958-61) introduced catastrophic changes resulted in

a famine in which some 30 million people may have died. The Cultural Revolution from

1966-76 led to further disruptions and the standard of life worsened. (all these will be talk

in details later) After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, Deng Xiaoping came into power

in 1978. He was in favor of capitalist-style reforms and he also changed China

fundamentally by introducing dramatic changes in economy to cope with the growing

influence of global capitalism.

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