The Second Economy in Socialist China


China’s economic development has been the subject of much interest and scholarly attention in the West. However, rarely does research stumble on the subject of the so-called second economy or private economy, which takes on an extensive significance in the contemporary history of Chinese economic development. Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started its ‘socialist transition’ in the pattern of relationships of production in the mid-1950s, the second economy has been officially viewed as being not only inconsistent with Marxist ideology, but also as a latent form of capitalism which is assumed to be detrimental to the communist society. However, the second economy has co-existed and survived in parallel fashion with the official, centrally planned economy for more than thirty years. The fluctuations of the second economy witnessed over this period reflect the results of various political struggles between the leftists and the rightists of the party.


Economic Reform Chinese Communist Party Private Business Public Ownership Economic Crime 
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© Maria Łoś 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xin Ren

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