Was Chairman Mao Really Necessary?
Chapter 8: The Three Industrial Imbalances
8. The three industrial imbalances* There are three major aspects to the Maoist legacy that are important for understanding the new industrialization strategy adopted in China since Deng Xiaoping’s return to power in 1978. First is the massive orientation towards heavy industry in pursuit of a maximum-speed ‘socialist industrialization’ at the expense of agricultural growth. This is the familiar Soviet-style ‘industry–agriculture dichotomy’. Second is the attempt made, abortive at times, to correct the regional imbalances in industrial distribution. That is, to narrow the enormous gap between the underdeveloped interior and the more advanced coastal areas. Third is parallel to the large-scale modern-type industries, the rigorous promotion of small-scale indigenous industries, in part for the purpose of labour absorption. This is what Professor Eckstein regards as ‘local adaptations’ of the Soviet model of forced-draft industrialization (Eckstein, 1966, pp. 31–3). The chapter falls into two main parts. The ﬁrst looks at China’s industrial development under Mao with respect to the three basic strategic policy goals alluded to, and analyses the quantitative changes that have taken place under Deng and his followers during the process of economic transition. The second part attempts to deﬁne the nature and scope of the modiﬁcations made to the Maoist strategy of industrialization since the late 1970s and examines, in particular, the long-term impact of the new strategy on sectoral, regional and technological imbalances. I begin the discussion, however, by highlighting, from a global perspective, China’s achievements in industrialization and technological advances by the...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.