The Exit Option, Withdrawing from and Re-entering Global Capitalism: China under and after Mao

  • James H. Mittelman
  • Mustapha Kamal Pasha
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


In recent years, the People’s Republic of China, like many underdeveloped countries, has sought to industrialize and to sell more of its manufactured products overseas. Once isolationist, China is now one of the world’s 10 largest trading nations, enjoying a surplus of nearly $25 billion dollars with the USA alone (which puts China second only to Japan in the size of its imbalance with Washington). And while the Western economies have registered recession or only mild economic growth rates, the Chinese economy seems to be on fire, recording an average growth of 10 per cent in the past decade. Attracting nearly $90 billion of FDI in the same period, China is poised to be the largest economy in the world by 2010 according to purchasing-power parity, a measure the World Bank uses to assess the real worth of the wealth of nations.


Agricultural Sector Central Planner Great Leap Most Favour Nation Peasant Household 
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Notes and References

  1. The major sources for this chapter are Vivienne Shue, Peasant China in Transition: The Dynamics of Development toward Socialism, 1949–1956 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983) andGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrew Walder’s dissertation, ‘Work and Authority in Chinese Industry: State Socialism and the Institutional Culture of Dependency’ (University of Michigan, 1981).Google Scholar
  3. Essential background reading is Lucien Bianco, Origins of the Chinese Revolution, 1915–1949, trans. Muriel Bell (Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 1971) andGoogle Scholar
  4. William Hinton, Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village (New York: Random House, 1966).Google Scholar
  5. The land reform is assessed by C K. Yang, Chinese Communist Society: The Family and the Village (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1959).Google Scholar
  6. Another important work on the rural sector is Nicholas R. Lardy, Agriculture in China’s Modern Development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. The comparison of economic performance in 1952 and the prerevolutionary period appears in Xue Muqiao, China’s Socialist Economy (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1981) p. 22.Google Scholar
  8. The data on income in the agricultural sector are drawn from Shue, Peasant China in Transition, p. 283; her explanations quoted here appear on p. 332. An excellent discussion of relations between the central authorities and local cadres may be found in Ezra Vogel, Canton under Communism: Programs and Politics in a Provincial Capital, 1949–1968 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  9. The incentive system is reviewed in Walder’s seminal study, ‘Work and Authority in Chinese Industry’, passim. The tale of Old Guo is told by Liang Heng and Judith Shapiro, Son of the Revolution (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983) p. 184.Google Scholar
  10. On the shortcomings of the Cultural Revolution, see Victor Lippitt, ‘Socialist Development in China’, in Mark Selden and Victor Lippitt (eds), The Transition to Socialism in China (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1982),Google Scholar
  11. especially pp. 131–2. A provocative account is provided by Samir Amin, The Future of Maoism, trans. Norman Finkelstein (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  12. Debates about the sequel to Maoism appear in Stephan Feuchtwang and Athar Hussain (eds), The Chinese Economic Reforms (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  13. Analysis of the women’s question is based on Ellen R. Judd, Gender and Power in Rural North China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994);Google Scholar
  14. All-China Women’s Federation, The Impact of Economic Development on Rural Women in China, Report of the United Nations University Household, Gender and Age Project (Tokyo: United Nations University, 1993); andGoogle Scholar
  15. Zhang Xian-liang, Half of Man is a Woman (New York: W W Norton, 1988).Google Scholar
  16. Information on economic reforms has been culled from several recent issues of the National Trade Data Bank as well as numerous secondary sources and reports, including Nicholas D. Kristof, ‘China Sees “Market-Leninism” as a Way to Future’, New York Times, 6 September 1993 andGoogle Scholar
  17. ‘Riddle of China: Repression as Standard of Living Sours’, New York Times, 7 September 1993;Google Scholar
  18. ‘China: Birth of a New Economy’, Businessweek, 31 January 1994;Google Scholar
  19. David Shambaugh, ‘Losing Control: The Erosion of State Authority in China’, Current History, September 1993, pp. 253–9;Google Scholar
  20. Orville Schell, ‘Twilight of a Titan: China—End of an Era’, The Nation, 17/24 July, 1995;Google Scholar
  21. ‘A Survey of China’, The Economist, 18 March 1995;Google Scholar
  22. Jonathan Karp, ‘Greens for the Reds: China Discovers the Golfing Boom’, Far Eastern Economic Review, 29 October 1992;Google Scholar
  23. Orville Schell and Todd Lappin, ‘China Plays the Market’, The Nation, 14 December 1992;Google Scholar
  24. Fuh-Wen Tzeng, ‘The Political Economy of China’s Coastal Development Strategy: A Preliminary Analysis’, Asian Survey, 31 (March 1991), pp. 270–84;Google Scholar
  25. Benedict Stavis, ‘Contradictions in Communist Reform: China Before 4 June 1989’, Political Science Quarterly, 105 (Spring 1990), pp. 31–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Discussion of China’s environmental problems relies mainly on He Bochuan, China on the Edge: The Crisis of Ecology and Development (San Francisco: China Books and Periodicals, 1991); andGoogle Scholar
  27. Qu Geping and Li Jinchang, Population and the Environment in China, trans. Jiang Baozhong and Gu Ran, ed. Robert B. Boardman (Boulder: Lynne Rienner; London: Paul Chapman, 1994).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James H. Mittelman and Mustapha Kamal Pasha 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Mittelman
    • 1
  • Mustapha Kamal Pasha
    • 1
  1. 1.School of International ServiceAmerican UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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