Identify And Discuss Two Or Three Major Challenges The Chinese Reformers Faced Since 1978.

1767 words - 7 pages

The establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 had been a significant year in the history of the Chinese. China has been experiencing tremendous change since then. Unlike that of traditional China, there were fundamental changes in the social structure and stratification in Communist China. Socialist doctrine was implemented and a leftist policy obsessed with ideology control and mass line was stressed before 1978. But there was a shift of policy direction in the late 1970s, and a more open policy was employed. Economic reform which aims at the development of "socialist market economy" was enforced by Deng Xiaoping. As a result, the average living standard of vast population have been improved, in which, officially around 200 million people escaped "absolute poverty", i.e. they have enough to eat. Moreover, China's GDP increased from $43.6 billion to $904 billion between 1979 and 1997. Exports increased at a rate of 52% annually (Tomlinson 1999). All the figures are positive which reflect a promising future of China economically. However, new challenges such as declining of political control and increasing social problems were growing serious everyday. Some people may even argue that the Chinese Communist Party has become the victim of its own economic success (Ferdinand 1996).The ruling of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) originally was a top-down model, in which policies were centrally planned and being carried out by the cadres, who were appointed by the Party. Policies such as mutual-aid team, collectivization and communization were carried out in the 1940s and 1950s.Thus, the contemporary China was a highly political centralized state. However, after the drawbacks of the "ten bad years" and the Cultural Revolution, reality demanded an economic reform. After the death of Mao in 1976 and the downfall of "Gang of Four", the final obstacle to economic reform was removed. Decentralization polices, such as the household responsibility system, price reform, state enterprise reform and a stress of expert policy in education were taken place. And started from the year of 1978, it is commonly regarded as the reform era in China. The Four Principles: the socialist road, the dictatorship of proletariat, the leading role of the Communist Party, and Marx-Leninist-Mao Zedong thought, were laid down by Deng to serve as the guideline for modernization.The success of economic reform has thrown Chinese society into increasing turmoil, whilst the speed of development has exacerbated the already existing problems (Fredinand 1996). These problems are beginning to pose as challenges to the reformers, among them are the declining of political control, and increase social problems. How were these challenges affecting the direction of reforms? Or more crucially, how can these challenges be solved?In order to fasten up the economic development, various degrees of decentralization policies were being carried out in the late 1970s. For example, the...

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