Chapter 2: Economic Growth: 30 Years of Market Transition, Economic Development and Global Integration
2. Economic growth: 30 years of market transition, economic development and global integration* PRE-1978 PERIOD 1. Following the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution, China embarked on an economic reform programme characterised by the Four Modernisations of agriculture, industry, national defence, and science and technology (see, for example, Riskin 1987; Chang 1988). At the Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee in December 1978, the Chinese authorities resolved to make economic development a top priority. In urban areas, economic reforms were intensely implemented from 1984 after the initial reforms in rural areas proved to be successful. The remarkable growth rate of China since 1979 was prefaced by a centrally planned economy which provided the impetus and background against which to understand the later reforms. The periods of the centrally planned economy can be roughly generalised into the following periods: (1) the beginning of the socialist economy, including the redistribution of land, from 1949 to 1952; (2) the cooperative movement from 1952 to 1956; (3) the communisation movement from 1956 to 1958; (4) the Great Leap Forward, where industrialisation initially followed the Soviet model of emphasis on heavy industry to the neglect of light industry and agriculture, from 1958 to 1961; (5) a period of economic recovery until 1966; (6) the decade of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 when progress, including economic progress stalled; (7) a period of economic reforms geared toward a greater degree of marketisation from 1978 to 1984; and (8) the earnest implementation of market-oriented reforms from...
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