Condenced Notes - China in Chaos and Reform 1949-89

Deng was practical he realized china desperately

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Deng was practical. He realized China desperately needed a functioning economy and that communist economic principles were retarding progress. Saying “Black cat, white cat, all that matters is that it catches mice” he brought in reforms that embraced capitalism and told people, “It is glorious to get rich.” b. Deals were signed with the United States and Western Europe allowing technology to flow into China. c. Peasants were allowed to purchase private lots of land and raise crops. The crops were sold at prices determined by the market. Farmers could keep their profits, invest in more land, fertilizers or machinery. d. Deng helped the peasants accumulate wealth and raise output by raising the price the government paid farmers for grain by 20%. The cost of farm machinery was cut by 10-15%. e. Entrepreneurs were allowed to create small businesses in urban areas providing jobs. f. A census in 1982 showed the Chinese population had passed the billion mark. The one child policy was leading to female infanticide. The inflow of Western music, art, film and literature was creating a demand for change and greater freedom on the part of Chinese youth. g. Demands for democratic reforms were crushed in 1986, but corruption, disparities in wealth, disillusion with Communist Party leaders, calls for more openness and reform continued. h. China pursued “Four Modernizations” in agriculture, industry, national defense and technology. Schools were reorganized, academically talented students identified and sent abroad to study math, science and engineering. 6. The Fifth Modernization – Wei Jingsheng a. Wei Jingsheng put a poster on “Democracy Wall” in Beijing. It was titled “The Fifth Modernization” and urged China’s leaders to embrace democracy, “the holding of power by the laboring masses themselves rather than by the corrupt representatives of the party state who had imposed a new autocracy on the workers and peasants of China. (Spence 662) b. Wei asked “what is true democracy? It means the right of the people to choose their own representatives who will work according to their will and in their interests. Furthermore the people must also have the power to replace their representatives any time so that these representatives cannot go on deceiving others in the name of the people.”
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c. Wei continued to write challenging Deng Xiaoping’s insensitivity to China’s need and exposing conditions in Chinese prisons. He was arrested, charged with sedition as well as espionage for reporting on China’s war with Vietnam and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. 7. 1989 a. Was an anniversary year of special significance for China. The year marked the 200 th anniversary of the French Revolution, the fortieth anniversary of the birth of the People’s Republic of China and the tenth anniversary of the normalization of relations with the United States.
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  • Fall '12
  • Baumann
  • Mao Zedong, People's Republic of China, Deng Xiaoping, Cultural Revolution, Great Leap Forward

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