Handbook of the Politics of China
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Handbook of the Politics of China

  • Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series

Edited by David S.G. Goodman

The Handbook of the Politics of China is a comprehensive resource introducing readers to the very latest in research on Chinese politics. David Goodman provides an introduction to the key structures and issues, providing the foundations on which later learning can be built. It contains four sections of new and original research, dealing with leadership and institutions, public policy, political economy and social change, and international relations and includes a comprehensive bibliography. Each of the 26 chapters has been written by an established authority in the field and each reviews the literature on the topic, and presents the latest findings of research. An essential primer for the study of China’s politics.
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Chapter 11: Regional development policy and regional inequality

John A. Donaldson

Extract

There can be no Communism with pauperism, or Socialism with pauperism. So to get rich is no sin. However, what we mean by getting rich is different from what you mean. Wealth in a socialist society belongs to the people. To get rich in a socialist society means prosperity for the entire people. The principles of socialism are: first, development of production and second, common prosperity. We permit some people and some regions to become prosperous first, for the purposes of achieving common prosperity faster. That is why our policy will not lead to polarization, to a situation where the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. (Deng Xiaoping in a 1986 US television interview, cited in Fenby 2013) What has caused China’s varying patterns of regional development since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949? To what extent can central and subnational regional development policies explain the varied patterns of regional development? This chapter reviews the scholarly debate that is key to understanding the prospects for China’s continued development and stability. Although most scholars agree that some variation in the pace of regional development is inevitable and to a certain extent beneficial, the inequality experienced during most of the reform period has been disconcertingly high. This has resulted in dissatisfaction and even protests among those left out of China’s development.

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