The People's Republic Of China

1449 WordsMay 2, 20166 Pages
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has experienced unprecedented economic growth under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1978. In his speech “The Present Situation and the Tasks Before Us,” Deng Xiaoping emphasized the importance of economic reform: “The superiority [of the socialist system] should manifest itself in many ways, but first and foremost it must be revealed in the rate of economic growth and in economic efficiency” (Deng 1980). With this explicit commitment to growth, Deng links the political legitimacy of the CCP, as the monopolist of power within the PRC, to economic performance. Therefore, the inevitable economic slowdown in the PRC will undermine the legitimacy of the authoritarian CCP and force political liberalization. Given this statement, I suspect two major questions have arisen: (1) How is economic slowdown in China inevitable and (2) Could the CCP just adapt its basis of authoritarian legitimacy without political liberalization? I will address both questions in full after examining the history of economic reform in the PRC. Economic Growth in the PRC from 1978 to 2016 The story of economic reorganization starts in 1978 after the Cultural Revolution when Deng, acting as the paramount leader of the CCP, replaced “collective farming” with the “household-responsibility” system in which farmers were allowed to sell extra grain on the open market. With increased incentives, agricultural production increased by 47 percent from
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