The Exit Option, Withdrawing from Global Capitalism: China under Mao

Part of the Macmillan International Political Economy Series book series


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. Thus China’s exports of textiles to the US increased dramatically after 1980, reaching a value of $500 million in 1982, when the US was mired in a severe recession. With American textile producers idled and workers laid off, pressure mounted to restrict China’s access to the US market. Washington responded by cutting Beijing’s textile quota in half, whereupon China reduced its purchases of American grain by more than $500 million.


Agricultural Sector Capital Accumulation Central Planner Great Leap Exit Option 
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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)Google 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: Stanford University Press, 1971)Google 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), especially pp. 131–2.Google Scholar
  11. 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 Atar Hussain (eds), The Chinese Economic Reforms (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James H. Mittelman 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queens CollegeCity University of New YorkUSA

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