When the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949, it inherited a situation where effective control over the provinces had been absent for over half a century. The need to build a system of control throughout the country was immediate and obvious. For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) the building of a new centralised state proved easier than maintaining effective authority in the longer run. It soon became clear that sustaining a highly centralised political-economic system in China was difficult. Given the physical size and administrative complexity of China, centralising political and economic functions in Beijing placed a massive burden on central planning organisations. In addition, the task of defining policies in Beijing that could be effectively implemented throughout China was daunting.
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