Zhonghua WangMy monograph choice was Almanac of China’s Economy 1981 with Economic Statistics for 1949-1980. It was a Chinese economic monograph published and printed in Hong Kong. Most of its editors are senior researchers at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Is the official data of China’s economic development during 1949-1980, all came from the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and the State Statistical Bureau. So the data should have a certain level of authority and credibility. This book covered China’s light and heavy industry, taxes, wages, foreign trade, transportation, health care, exchange rates and other data. The content was complete and comprehensive. Through these data, we could figure out the appearance of the economy of the People’s Republic of China during the early stage.  No matter democratic government or authoritarian government. The new leader generally liked to attribute the current economic frustration to its predecessor’s mistake. Whether in the official history of the Chinese Communist Party or the eyes of Western observers, in the 1970s, the Chinese economy was on the edge of collapse. The past economic mistakes had all been attributed to the era of Mao Zedong and his utopianism and egalitarianism. Because Mao “violated the objective economic laws.” It seems that only the Reform and Opening up was the fundamental reasons for China’s economic development. Mao’s industrialization was seen as a meaningless waste of time. Many in the public hold the view that if the communist party immediately pursued a marketization reform after it seized power, China’s economic miracle would take place three decades earlier.  Eventually, the era of Mao Zedong was described as an era of economic disaster. Mao himself was also depicted as a man who pointlessly seeks the ideal socialism under extremely poor conditions and sacrificed ordinary people’s life for the sake of ideological purity. On the contrary, Deng Xiaoping became a “pragmatic” leader who discovered the benefits of modernization. However, it was impossible to explain China’s development in next several decades if people ignored Mao’s achievement that turned China from one of the most backward agricultural countries into the sixth largest industrial power in the world by the mid-1970s. Honestly, most of the major problems and shortcomings in Mao’s economic policy were by-products and prices of high-speed industrialization.  Mao Zedong’s greatest achievement is that he unified China and established a unified administrative system and market. The unified administrative system made it was possible for the government to use policies to guide economic development, which was crucial for primitive market and late industrial countries. The unified market made China’s the manufacturing industry had enough scale effect in the future, which was useful for the capitalist economy. Second, he established a rough but systematic industrial system, which made China able to supply itself with basic industrial materials like cement, steel and electricity power. Especially fertilizer, which significantly increased agricultural output and led China to jump out of the cycle that land could not sustain the population and eventually led to regime overthrow. Moreover, The collectively-owned township and village enterprises left by the Communist Party in the coastal areas for the first three decades became the seeds of China’s manufacturing industries after market-oriented reforms.  The land reform, as a very controversial one in all policies of the Mao era, provided the necessary conditions for the subsequent collectivization of agriculture, thus making rapid industrialization possible. As a result, in 1952, industry accounted for 30% of the GDP and agriculture accounted for 64%. By 1975, this ratio was reversed, with industry accounting for 72% and agriculture only accounting for 28%. And compared with contemporary developing countries, the living conditions in Mao Zedong era were far superior. As Mark Seldon said: “In 1977, the per capita arable land area in China was 14% less than in India, while per capita food production was 30-40% higher than in India, and the food was distributed in a much fairer way More than 50% of India’s population. ” In general, No matter what Mao Zedong’s original intention was, Whether it was communism or capitalism. The objective result of his and his colleague’s policy was that when he passed away, China already had the conditions to develop mature capitalism. And many of these conditions were not available in 1949, or not fully available.  

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