Book Report: Unrest in China?

Pages: 5 (1409 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: History - Asian  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Historically, Confucianism and Taoism had gained a foothold; socialism would soon be tested.

The campaign (publicly) began in late 1956. In the beginning of the movement, the issues discussed were relatively minor and unimportant in the grand scheme. The Central Government did not receive much criticism, although there was a significant rise in letters of conservative advice. Premier Z. Enlai received some of these letters, and realized that, although the campaign had gained notable publicity, it was not progressing as had been hoped. Zhou approached Mao about the situation, stating more encouragement was needed from the central bureaucracy to lead the intellectuals into further discussion. By the spring of 1957, Mao announced criticism was "preferred" and began pressuring those who did not turn in healthy criticism on policy to the Central Government. The reception with intellectuals was immediate, and they began voicing concerns without any taboo. In the period from May 1 to June 7, 1957, millions of letters were pouring in to the Premier's Office and other authorities. People spoke out by putting up posters around campuses, rallying in the streets, publishing magazine articles and holding meetings for CPC members.

Q: Explain the basic goals of the two five-year plans after Mao called for the creation of the PRC. How successful were they?

The first five-year plan by Mao was an attempt by China to boost its industry and set it on the path to become a major world power. When Mao came into power in 1949, China was many years behind other industrial nations of the world, which Mao wanted to change. On an international level, China under Mao had the same status as Russia under Stalin. Communism was feared throughout the western world and China was the world's most populated nation turning to Communism.

The only country who wanted a treaty with China was the Soviet Union. In December 1949, Mao met Stalin in Moscow. Mao and Stalin signed the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance. This treaty gave China monetary gain and technical assistance to modernize its industry. Though the money received from Russia was minimal, Russia did provide 10,000 engineers to boost China's industry and therefore its economy.

Influenced by the Russian engineers, China introduced her own Five-Year Plan in 1953. Heavy industry was pinned as needing major reform. The Five-Year Plan attempted to tackle steel, coal and iron production. As in the Russian model, each factory or mine was given a target to achieve. Failure to meet a target or deadline was the equivalent of failing your people.

The 2nd five-year plan designed by Mao was developed to expand heavy industry in China, further the cause of socialism by transferring more property to collective ownership and encouraging the economic growth of China through industry, agriculture, handicrafts, transportation and commerce, cultivating cultural and scientific development of the Chinese people, strengthening national defense and improving living standards in China.

The Political Bureau of the CPC had determined that gross value of agricultural products should increase 270%; in fact, the gain was a considerably more modest 35%. Nevertheless, the plan was successful in some respects. The country saw increases in capital construction over those observed during the first Five-Year Plan and also saw significant increases in industry (doubling output value) and income (workers and farmers, increase by as much as 30%).

The Great Leap Forward, which moved millions of agricultural workers into industry, which led to an infestation of locusts, caused a huge decrease in food production. Simultaneously, rural officials, under huge pressure to meet their quotas, vastly overstated how much grain was available. As a result, most of it was allocated to urban areas, or even exported, as twenty million peasants starved to death.

Beginning in 1966, Mao and his allies launched the Cultural Revolution, which would last until Mao's death. His death was a decade later. The Cultural Revolution, motivated by power struggles within the party (and a fear of the Soviet Union) led to a major upheaval in Chinese society. In 1972, at the peak of the Sino-Soviet split, Mao and Zhou Enlai met Richard Nixon in Beijing to establish relations with the United States. In the same year, the PRC was… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Unrest in China?.  (2011, February 22).  Retrieved April 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/unrest-china-according/3548077

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"Unrest in China?."  22 February 2011.  Web.  24 April 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/unrest-china-according/3548077>.

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"Unrest in China?."  Essaytown.com.  February 22, 2011.  Accessed April 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/unrest-china-according/3548077.