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China I

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Thierry Rousset

on 10 October 2014

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Transcript of China I

China I
Creation of People's Republic of China in 1949
Result - Taiwan created
The Chairman leads the building of the new China
Distributing Land
October 1952.
Land reform in the whole nation is already basically accomplished.
The great accomplishments of three years People's Republic of China
The First 5 Year Plan
Mao restructures agriculture
- 1950s land collectivised.
At the same time he attempts to industrialise with Soviet help.
Emphasis on heavy industry and central planning
Embryonic government agencies put in place to start the process of central planning.
By and large inspired by the Soviet Union.
The first 'Five Year Plan for the development of the economy designed for the period 1953-1957.
The Five Year Plan focuses largely on the creation of an industrial base (mainly heavy industry).
The role of agriculture os to generate a surplus to enable this.
1956, March.
Agricultural cooperativisation is the socialist course that makes everybody prosperous.
The good points of collectivisation, 1956.
Today's Soviet Union is like our tomorrow, 1956.
The important meaning of the development of agricultural production for the construction of the nation, 1956.
Map of the important industrial projects in our nation under the First Five Year Plan, 1956.
The steel industry is the basis of all industries, 1956.
Electricity moves industry forward, 1956
Water conservancy works in the First Five Year Plan, 1956.
Great plans to transform the Yellow River, 1956.
Light industry supplies the people's daily necessities, 1956.
Industry and national defense, 1956.
These measures are not seen as increasing the rate of change quickly enough.
In 1958 Mao introduces a new policy known as 'The Great Leap Forward'.
The Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward involved the creation of giant communes with thousands of members (some as many as 100,000 but most have about 30,000 inhabitants.
Life organised around communes rather than around households.
Pay equal irrespective of work and contribution (Mao was a 'radical egalitarian').
The Great Leap Forward also aims for rural industrialisation to accelerate the pace of overall industrialisation.
Leads to the development of 100,000s of 'backyard furnaces' to produce iron and steel.

It is only on October 25, 1971, that the UN General Assembly passes a resolution [UN Resolution 2758 (XXVI)] which stated that the People's republic of China was the only legitimate government of China.
The resolution replaces the Republic of China with the PRC as a permanent member of the Security Council in the United Nations.
Poster No. 2 from the series "People's communes are good".

Develop industrial and agricultural production, realise the simultaneous development of industry and agriculture.
October, 1958.
The future of the rural village.
Dazhai Commune poster.
Results of the Great Leap Forward

'Backyard Furnaces' drew people away from agriculture.
They produced unusable steel and were not cost effective.
20-30 million people died.
The Great Leap Forward was abandoned and tensions within the party leadership arose.
Tensions between Mao's radical egalitarianism and others within the bureaucracy who placed a strong emphasis on efficiency rather than ideology (i.e. willing to sacrifice absolute equality in favour of efficiency).
Deng Xiaoping a leading figure willing to sacrifice absolute equality in favour of efficiency.
Leads to the 'Cultural revolution'.
The Cultural Revolution
Mao begins to feel side-lined and that the Revolution is backsliding so he mobilises the youth (Red Guards) to attack the bureaucrocy and the 'capitalist roaders'.
Much of the bureaucracy is ousted and publicly humiliated by the Red Guards.
Criticize the old world and build a new world with Mao Zedong Thought as a weapon, 1966.
Farmers whose lands were taken away were
tried by Mao's militants in "People's Courts"
Mao singled out nine categories of enemies: landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements, rightists, traitors, foreign agents, capitalist roaders, and 'the Stinking Ninth' intellectuals.
Involved an attack on Western and traditional Chinese culture.
Attack on the '4 olds' - culture, ideas, customs, habits.
The destroyed culture to be replaced by the revolutionary culture.
May, 1967.
Long live the proletarian revolutionary line with Chairman Mao as its representative!
February, 1974.
Fight the people's battle of criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius as well.
February, 1974.
Criticize the reactionary thought of Lin Biao and Confucius, firmly walk with the workers and peasants on the road of unity.
January, 1967.
Down with Liu Shaoqi!
Down with Deng Xiaoping!
Hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong Thought - Great meeting to thoroughly criticize the reactionary capitalist line of Liu and Deng.
Revolutionary Rebels Picture Exhibition.
Be ready to die in defense of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line.
Ca. 1967.
Completely smash the capitalist class and the reactionary line of Liu and Deng!
April, 1976.
Carry on the struggle to the end to strike against the right deviationist wind of reversing verdicts.
May, 1976.
Deepen the criticism of Deng Xiaoping, strike against the right deviationist wind of reversing verdicts.
By the end of the 1960s the country had fallen into anarchy and there was the risk of civil war so Mao called on the army to restore order and they suppressed Red Guards who refused to stand down.
Mao dies in 1976 and there is a power struggle between the 'Gang of Four' and bureaucrats led by Deng.
October, 1976.
Resolutely overthrow the anti-party clique of Wang, Zhang, Jiang and Yao!
June, 1977 - A production of art posters by workers of Yangquan.
Our hearts turn towards Chairman Hua, relentlessly criticise the 'Gang of Four'.
September, 1978.
Smash the 'Gang of Four'.
'Gang of Four' tried
Gang of four outmaneuvered and put on trial.
Jiang Qing and Zhang Chunqiao received death sentences that were later commuted to life imprisonment.
Wang Hongwen given life and Yao Wenyuan given twenty years.
End 1970's
Deng Xiaoping
in power.
August 1988.
Comrade Deng Xiaoping inspects the troops.
During the Cultural revolution Liu Shaoqi was denounced as the "number one capitalist roader", the "number two capitalist roader" was Deng Xiaoping.
Zhu Rongji, premier of China from 1988-2003, was labeled a 'rightist' for criticizing the Great leap forward.
Deng called back and made Vice premier by Mao in 1973 after several years as a worker in a tractor factory in rural Jianxi.
Becomes 'paramount leader in 1978 and announces economic reforms.
He inherits a China with a fractured society, a fragmented economy and a confused and disoriented politics.
He brings the economy to the forefront of policy (replacing ideology).
Many of those persecuted under the Cultural Revolution are 'rehabilitated'. By 1982 more than 3 million had been rehabilitated, many who come back to government.
Changes in personnel and ideology.
In 1978 Deng puts an end to Mao's policy of exporting revolution and begins to cultivate relations with its Asian neighbours and the rest of the developed world.
Mao still praised as a 'great Marxist' and the people are urged "to rally even more closely under the banner of Mao Zedong thought," but the focus shifts from class struggle to modernization - make China "a great, modern socialist power".
This helps to avoid ideological chaos and maintain the political stability necessary for economic reform.
Agricultural reform - decollectivization - stop diverting profits from agriculture to subsidize industry. This done by at first turning a blind eye to private farming and later legalising it.
The integration of previously fragments industrial structures.
Recognition of private enterprises by the mid-1990s.
Enterprises no longer shackled to state production plans (can manage production in accordance to the market).
With the exception of a few sectors protected by the state, Chinese industry no longer monopolized by state-owned enterprises.
Opens the country to foreign trade and investment (process helped by Hong Kong and Taiwan) and introduction of Special Economic Zones which provide capital, modern technologies, and access to the world market.
Shenzen SEZ
May 1980
Instead of 'big push industrialisation' engineered by a coercive central government you now have the development of thousands of industrial parks each embodying a local vision of economic developemnt and a local initiatice in industrialisation.
With no blueprint to follow, they took an experimental approach to reform.
By the 1990s you have a combination of grassroots movements (private farming before it becomes legal in 1982, self employment/entrepreneurship before it is legalised, township and village enterprises) and government led change (introduction of SEZ's).
So some reforms are state-led, others are grassroots level reforms that the state ends up embracing.
In 1992, the state embraces a "socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics".
But you are opening up the economic space while keeping the political space shut.
89' Democracy Movement
China now an economic and military power.
The post-Mao economic reform has profoundly transformed the Chinese economy and society as well as its environment.
"When a communist part has put aside class struggle between the proletariat and capitalists as well as rivalry between socialism and capitalism, and has committed itself to 'seeking truth from facts', it is no longer a communist party as we understand the term in the West. In this sense it is misleading to continue to treat China as a communist regime". (Ronald Coase).
Population Policy in China.
Thomas Malthus - arithmetic growth of food supplies vs geometric growth of population
Karl Marx - insists that the problem of population was not universal or absolute, but relative to the mode of production.

Statistics are not fact, they are a way of representing facts
The process of gathering statistics and turning them into visual cues smoothes out differences and masks diversity.
Deng becomes
'paramount leader'.
Mao has contradictory stances over population policy.
In Sept. 1949, in response to a taunt by US Secretary of State Dean Acheson about China's inability to feed its people, Mao states:
"It is a very good thing that China has a big population. Even if China's population multiplies many times, [the PRC] is fully capable of finding a solution...[R]evolution plus production can solve the problem of feeding the population...Of all the things in the world, people are the most precious. Under the leadership of the Communist Party, as long as there are people, every kind of miracle can be performed...All pessimistic views are utterly groundless".
In 1957 he defined the population problem as one of anarchy and its solution as birth planning:
"Our plans, work, [and] thinking all should start from the [awareness] that we have a population of 600 million... Here [we] need birth control...[We] need planned births... [If] we go on this way, I think humanity will prematurely fall into strife and hasten toward destruction".
Mao reverses himself again n 1958 just before the Great Leap Forward:
"for now a large population is better".

August 1958:
"[Our] views on population should change. In the past, I said that [we] could manage with 800 million. Now I think that 1 billion plus would be no cause for alarm".
During the 'Cultural Revolution', science was decimated and party policy made on ideological grounds.
During the late 1950s and 1960s, those who advocate population control are denounced and are persecuted and silenced for the ideological crime of 'Malthusianism'.
e.g. Ma Yinchu, 'father of the One Child policy'.
In June 1957 he presents a thesis on population theory based on trends of the 1950s in China. He concludes that further population growth at such high rates will be detrimental to China's development so he advocates government control of fertility.
He is attacked on the charges that his theory follows Mathusianism and attempts to discredit the superiority of socialism and shows contempt for the people.
He is banned from university office and public life.
In 1970-71 a policy of "later,longer, fewer" introduced but there is no clear and formal political authorization for this.
In December 1974, in the margins of a State Planning Commission Report, Mao writes: "it won't do not to control population".
It is only now that there is authorization for a full scale policy and program.
Deng embraces modern science, and scientists are brought into the policymaking process.
He sought to rebuild the Communist Party's legitimacy by turning the regime into a scientific modernizer that would draw on Western science and technology.
Population policy seen as part of this process..
Each policy increasingly restrictive
In 1982 the 'One Child Policy' becomes "basic state policy", i.e. it is off limits to criticism on fundamentals.
Often led to coercive campaigns, particularly in the countryside, as the policy ignores culture and social structure.
- the important role of children in peasant households (both as labour and as a source of welfare in old age)
- the gendered nature of personhood in rural China (preference for males).
This massive project of state birth planning sought to affect radical change in the most fundamental unit of Chinese society, the family.
Resistance in rural areas took a myriad forms, from forging documents to concealing pregnancies, bribing officials and doctors, refusing to pay fines, publicly cursing birth cadres, hiding with relatives, finding foster parents for unauthorized children, fleeing in advance of campaigns, migrating to carry a pregnancy to term and, later, joining communities of “birth planning guerrillas” who had escaped to the geographic margins to have babies
The female reproductive body becomes a site of political struggle.
Assigned tough targets, village-level cadres focused their energies on the corporeal tasks that would prevent more babies from being born: aborting unauthorized pregnancies, getting women with one child to undergo IUD insertion, and sterilizing one member of couples (invariably the wife) with two or more children.
Women resisted these pressures at the corporeal level—illegally removing their IUDs, undergoing fake sterilizations, and so on—giving rise to a new politics of the body that would have serious consequences for their health.

1984 onwards exceptions introduced for rural areas and introduction of 'one and a half policy'.
- creates differentiation between rural and urban areas.
- entrenches gender differentiation (accepts sons are more important and women bear the brunt of contraception).

New population policies enforced by tight administrative means — frequent gynecological exams for women, steep fines for couples, mandatory sterilization for those with two children, tough responsibility systems for cadres— that left local society few options but to comply.

Rural couples coped with the new, rigidified policy by intensifying the engineering of their families.
Abandonment of baby girls and infanticide
Exacerbated by introduction of ultrasound machines which allow for feticide (both for females children and ‘defective children – eugenics). Feticide becomes part of the culture of family formation.
female:male average in rural areas of 120:100.

In Shanghai in the early 1990s, young women could expect to have an average of 2.3 and a maximum of 5 abortions over their reproductive lives. In parts of rural China, women have had up to 9 abortions before finally conceiving a son
the prevalence of late-term abortions, widely used in the campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s to eliminate unauthorized pregnancies.
Between 1971-2001 estimated 264,036,640 abortions.

Urban areas less coercive force. Why?
Dependence on workplace so easier to monitor women.
Fewer avenues for escape.
More expensive so you have less children.

Greatly accelerated population aging.
Distortion of the nation's sex structure.
Planned vs unplanned children (unplanned children deprived of state support and located outside the community of legitimate citizens, these children have endured multiple forms of discrimination).

Moral condemnation from abroad.
Increased parental investment in childred (little emperors).
Other Results

Strained relations between rulers and peasantry.
The female reproductive body becomes a site of political struggle.
Gendered nature of the program effects women’s reproductive health.
Exacerbated discrimination and violence against infant girls – masculanization of Chinese society.
Deepening and embodying gender inequality.
Effects on physical and psychological health of women.
Massive social engineering.
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