Topic IV: Communist Revolutions and Pressures for Democratization: Russia and China
INSERT PART THREE OF KOPSTEIN – RUSSIa from micheal
KOPSTEIN LICHBACH China:
China is one of the world’s oldest civilizations, dating back more than 3000 years.
Imperial China was an agricultural empire by the time it met its first wave of
challenges from the West, in the 19
century. As a result, the Chinese elite were
forced to abandon the institutions it put into place.
From that time on, the momentum for political development in China was driven by
global competition and the need for national survival.
Late developers tend to put more emphasis on the state’s role in development.
However, the state played two, previously examined roles in the nation’s
development. The first was similar to the role the state played in Germany’s
development, represented here by the Kuomintang party (KMT). The second, the
Chinese Communist Party, chose the Soviet model.
We can separate China’s post 1949 development in three phases: Mao Zedong’s
totalitarianism; the rapid economic and political reforms of Deng Xiaoping, and then a
technocratic consolidation staged by Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.
Global competition first compelled China to establish a strong state for the initial push
of industrialization, and then pressured it to tinker with the market in order to sustain
growth. The resulting liberalization of trade and privatization of property then
nurtured social demands for pluralism and a shift of political culture away from
Thus, global challenges, foreign examples, and reliance on outside sponsors shaped
the political institutions of China.
The Imperial Chinese system was static, staying largely the same from 206 BC to the
Confucianism, established around 500 BC, laid emphasis on social order, was
enshrined as the state ideology and emphasized loyalty to the emperor.
The Chinese civilization’s age, however, turned out to be a mixed blessing: initial
successes (technological and social) led to a state of complacency. Once the
Westerners came along in the mid 19
century, they began to exploit China’s markets.
As a result of inept leadership, China could not efficiently respond to the challenge
posed by the West, and its decline dragged on for a half century.
In 1912, a revolutionary movement led by
overthrew the government,
establishing the Republic of China (ROC) in its stead.
Sun established the
in 1919, relying on the support of urban intellectuals. He
sought Soviet help in establishing military training for his officers, and based himself
on the “
Three Principles of the People
”: nationalism, democracy, people’s