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A history of economic reforms in china

In the 1950s, the central planning of industry with an emphasis on heavy industry was introduced, modeled on the five-year plans of the Soviet Union, and agriculture was collectivized.

  • SARS breaks out around the country in spring and summer;
  • Sweeping campaign against dissent launched;
  • Diplomatic relations with the United States normalized;
  • Bank runs and panic buying are triggered by rising inflation that peaks at over 30 percent in cities.

Mao attacked his opponents for taking the capitalist road and largely succeeded in suppressing their proposed policies until his death in 1976. Indeed, even in the early 21st century the specifics of the reforms are still the subject of substantial disagreements within the CCP leadership.

It is also beyond doubt that the reforms have resulted in rapid economic growth by the official statistics, an average annual growth of real gross domestic product of 9.

However, it is also true that in the early 21st century many Chinese people remain desperately poor, and the reforms continue to be incomplete and controversial. Wu 2004 is equally worthwhile because of its insights into the failings of central planning and the origins of the reforms.

Garnaut and Huang 2000 has brought together in a single volume the insights of many of the best experts, Chinese and non-Chinese, in the field.

Brandt and Rawski 2008 is a valuable collection of papers by leading scholars.

  • It is substantially more up to date than Garnaut and Huang 2000;
  • Of course, such long-range projections should be treated with a great deal of caution but the trajectory of travel is already clear — growth is slowing;
  • It laid the groundwork for future growth by introducing reforms that allowed farmers to sell their produce in local markets and began the shift from collective farming to the household responsibility system;
  • His successor is Jiang Zemin.

Bramall 2008 is an important alternative view of the reforms with a more sympathetic analysis of the policies under Mao and a less sympathetic view of the reforms.

Another valuable supplement is Brandt, et al. Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University, 2012.

TIMELINE: China milestones since 1978

Brandt, Loren, and Thomas G. Cambridge University Press, 2008. It is substantially more up to date than Garnaut and Huang 2000.

A brief history of China’s economic growth

Garnaut, Ross, and Yiping Huang, eds. Readings on the Chinese Economy in the Era of Reform. Oxford University Press, 2000. Development Strategy and Economic Reform.

Other Subject Areas

Chinese University Press, 2001. However, the authors also discuss candidly the problems with the reforms. His coverage includes the labor market and demography, the financial sector, and environmental issues.

Understanding and Interpreting Chinese Economic Reform.