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The Chinese Village, Inc.

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Paragon Press: "Chinese Economic Policy", page(s): 67-87

1988

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This volume, composed of nine provocative chapters by prominent Chinese specialists, analyzes Chinese economic change — the break-up of collective farming, the growth of private commerce, and the decentralization of industry.

Ezra Vogel contrasts the potential of China to industrialize with the rapid post-war industrial breakthroughs made by Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. He believes China, despite starting with a lower average income and lower educational level than these other east Asian nations, possesses the drive and determination to make rapid industrial progress before the mid-21st century.

David Zweig explores the dilemmas which result from continued regulatory controls on some sectors of the Chinese rural economy combined with deregulation of other sectors.

The Chinese village receives the keen attention of Thomas Gold and Jean C. Oi. Gold examines "decollectivization" in terms of how village leadership continues to maintain the power of the collective over the peasants and the nature of peasant "entrepreneurship" that has emerged. Oi suggests that diversification and particularly the industrialization of the village economics following reforms allow the collective to endure as an entity but with a different character.

  • Ramon H. Meyers focuses on how the significance of the CCP's decision to initiate new economic reforms, first in 1978 and again in 1984, will influence the overall economic development in China. Robert Dernberger assesses the rate and structure of Chinese economic growth.
  • Justin Yifu Lin explores the agricultural expansion during 1980 and 1984 as a result of the household responsibility system reform. The impact of the reform on saving and investment mechanisms receives the attention of Bruce Reynolds.
  • Dorothy Solinger discusses Wuhan's comprehensive urban economic reform in terms of decentralization, leasing, stocks, bonds, bankruptcy, manager responsibility, markets, and trade centers.
  • Victor C. Falkenheim explores China's efforts at decentralization of the economy through fostering regional reforms.

These authors, through their explorations and observations of China's efforts at reform, present a dynamic picture of change. However, they have not overlooked the staggering problems facing China's advancement into the 21st century. The China specialists who contributed to this volume provide a comprehensive view of China's path toward full industrialization.

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