China’s New Industrialization Strategy

China’s New Industrialization Strategy

Was Chairman Mao Really Necessary?

Y. Y. Kueh

Deng Xiaoping’s economic strategy is widely regarded as a complete anathema to Mao’s, but this study strongly argues that without the material foundations laid by Mao, it would have been very difficult for Deng to launch his reform and open-door policy. Deng basically shared Mao’s aspirations and approach in pursuit of China’s industrialization, and this had in fact helped to condition him to the successful gradualist methodology. Deng lost patience at times and resorted to the ‘big bang’ strategy, only to fail miserably. Taken together, the book tells a new story about the economics of China’s transition. This is a highly thought-provoking study, blending institutional and convincing statistical analysis.

Chapter 3: Dengonomics and the Tiananmen Square Incident

Y. Y. Kueh

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, economics and finance, asian economics, economic psychology

Extract

* INTRODUCTION Since the Tiananmen Square incident in Beijing it appears that the situation in China has stabilized as quickly as the eruption of the chaos itself in early June 1989. The Chinese leadership is now very keen to restore normal relations, while the West is still upset by what happened in Beijing. Both central and provincial authorities in China recognize the losses in trade and tourism arising from the incident and are increasingly poised to open the door even more widely, in their effort to court foreign capital, technology and tourists, especially to compensate for the losses incurred. Of late this continued pursuit of the open-door policy was re-endorsed by none other than Mr Deng Xiaoping, the paramount leader of China, as an integral part of what he calls ‘building socialism with Chinese characteristics’. He has given strong commitment to the open-door policy in his choices for the new six-member Politburo, including Mr Jiang Zemin, the former mayor of Shanghai as the new Party Secretary-General, and Mr Li Ruihuang, who was Jiang’s counterpart in the equally important port city of Tianjin. Mr Jiang and Mr Li, both Soviet-trained, have been credited for their daring open-door experiments during their earlier tenure. Mr Jiang was even reported to have once challenged, during his Shanghai years, the central authority, by saying that, if he were given a free hand, he could turn this largest Chinese city into another Hong Kong in a few years. A number of critical questions, especially as to...

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