China’s economic reforms

Throughout history, economics has always played an essential part in molding politics and society. Several wars waged by one country against another could most sensibly be explained with respect to matters of economic interest. In addition to this, historical major conflicts in the international arena draw out their rationale from differences in economic philosophy. In World War I for example, many historians argue that the primary motivations for the actors in the war were economic in nature.

During the war, the term “communism” which is primarily an economic term was transformed into a political ideal that one particular side was fighting for. Several political propagandas against communism collectively termed “The Red Scare” made people afraid of the political implications of the economic principles that communism adhered to as compared against the political implications that a free market was supposed to provide. Throughout the years following the defeat of the proponents of communism in WWI, market driven economics flourished into a norm that spelled out progress for most of the countries that adopted it.

On the other hand, the countries that lost the war who continued to adhere to their communistic economic ideologies further depleted their resources, driving their people into poverty over the years. This poverty led to a degradation of society on different levels such as health, security, and overall quality of life. This illustration presents the significant impact that the correct choice of economic ideology could have on the country that chooses it.

This impact could be seen in all aspects of development for a particular country including not just economic growth but also political and societal stability, higher quality of life, developments in science and technology, and greater influence to the international community. Until drastic economic reforms forwarded by the late Deng Xiaoping for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) during the late 70s, the PRC followed a socialist heavy-industry-development strategy called “the Big Push” strategy.

This was a government move initiated during the 50s to promote the modernization of the means of production. Prior and during this period, the country observed communistic economic ideals that aimed for citizenship equality in terms of individual economic power. After several years of continued development of the economic reforms that were started in 1978, the PRC began to loosen its grip on its economy, giving up some of its strict communistic ideals in favor of its market-driven contraries. (Chen et. al. , 1995)

The objective of this paper is to present a comparison and contrast of the PRC before and after the turning point in its economic history identified as the economic reforms of 1978. From this comparison and contrast, this paper aims to draw out the conclusion that the PRC’s move to abandon some of its strict communistic ideals in favor of market-driven economic perspectives is a positive action towards the development of the country in all relevant aspects. Specifically, the relevant aspects that this paper investigates are divided into internal and external aspects.

Investigation of internal aspects lead to answering the questions: Did the PRC’s economic move lead to 1. ) significant progress in the country’s economy? 2. ) improvement in the system of politics and political maturity? 3. ) development in science and technology? 4. ) overall enhancement of the quality of life? Investigation of external aspects should answer the questions: Did PRC’s economic move lead to 1. ) better diplomatic relations? 2. ) wider domains of influence?