China. Ten years after the student revolt at Tiananmen
Square, Beijing's ruling in the spring of the square
completely shut down for renovation, and on the June 4
bloodthirst, the police heavily guarded the city center. The
protests were also minimal; only a single demonstrator was
Instead, the threat to the Communist Empire appeared to
come from quite another direction. On April 25,
unexpectedly, the Zhongnanhai leader's district of Beijing
was besieged by over 10,000 followers of a meditation
movement, Falun Gong. In China's biggest mass protest since
1989, they quietly complained that members were arrested and
that a magazine criticized the movement, which combines
gymnastics and breathing exercises with a moral teaching
with features of both Daoism and Buddhism. The movement,
with millions of practitioners and branches in other
countries, had been tolerated for several years, but now the
regime sharpened the tone against it. It was labeled as a
superstitious superstition and began to burn its books and
arrest even more followers.
In July, Falun Gong was completely banned. The military
and top state government painted it as China's biggest threat
and tried to get the leader of the movement Li Hongzhi
arrested in the United States. In October, the People's
Congress (Parliament) passed a law against religious sects.
Shortly thereafter, four detainees in Hainan Province were
sentenced to lengthy prison sentences following the first
known trial against Falun Gong supporters. Hundreds of
others were said to risk prosecution.
Countryaah official website, political oppositionists also continued to challenge the
communist regime, including by forming new divisions of the
banned China Democratic Party (KDP). Before June 4 and
October 1, when the People's Republic turned 50, hundreds of
dissidents were arrested across the country.
In a newly-celebrated Beijing, where unemployed and
beggars were driven out, the 50th anniversary was celebrated
with a giant parade with half a million actors in front of
the podium where Mao Zedong founded the present China in 1949.
state and party chief Jiang Zemin and Prime Minister Zhu
Rongji rolled out tanks at the square where the 1989
uprising was crushed, and China's newfound strength was the
theme of the day.
The strong military element of the paradise was also seen
as a warning to Taiwan, whose president Li Denghui aroused
Beijing's anger in July by demanding "intergovernmental
relations" between the two governments. In the fall,
interpreted the president's words as a step toward Taiwanese
independence, undertook a major military maneuver in the
south. Reports on Chinese robot charging near Taiwan
contributed to the nerve war.
The Taiwan issue and other schisms deepened relations
between the major powers China and the United States. In the
spring, the New York Times and a congressional committee
stated that during the 1980s and 1990s, China had stolen
American military secrets that facilitated China's development
of its own nuclear weapons and so-called neutron bombs. An
American-Chinese scientist at the Nuclear Laboratory in Los
Alamos was identified as suspected and dismissed. Both the
scientist and the Beijing government refused.
In May, three Chinese were killed when a US plane, during
NATO's war against Yugoslavia, bombed China's embassy in
Belgrade. The attack, according to the Western powers a
tragic mistake, led to fierce US-hostile protests in China,
which refused to accept Washington's apologies. In August,
Beijing adopted a US bid for financial compensation for the
bombers' relatives and the injured. The issue of
compensation for the damage to the embassy and to American
property in China remained.
In the trade area, however, China and the United States
reached an important breakthrough in November when, after
tough negotiations, they signed a Beijing agreement on
Chinese entry into the World Trade Organization. The
agreement regulates tariff duties and provides access to the
parties' home markets. Following agreement with Canada,
continued to negotiate a similar agreement with the EU.
1953-57 The first five-year plan
The first five-year plan was built on a Soviet pattern.
Although the CCP, under Mao's leadership, had always pursued
an independent policy - often across Stalin's wishes - the
Soviet Union after the war emerged as a pattern to follow.
Stalin had built the Soviet Union into a great power and had
emerged victorious from the war against Hitler. China's
relationship with the dominant Western great power, the
United States, was marked by severe conflict. Therefore,
China could only count on support from the Soviet Union.
The Stalinist development strategy had the following
basic elements: Agriculture should be the basis of
industrial construction. This meant that resources had to be
transferred from agriculture to industry. The heavy industry
should be given priority over the consumer goods industry.
Only when the heavy industry was highly developed could
consumer goods production increase. The industry was
concentrated in large units. Financial planning and
implementation of the plans were highly centralized and
bureaucratic. The most important means of promoting
productivity were material stimulants. The forced
collectivization of agriculture was an important means of
promoting this policy.
This centralized policy reverberated in the Chinese
official tradition. The adaptation of the Soviet development
strategy to China was led by Kao Kang, who had his political
base in Manchuria. An area that, during the Japanese
occupation, had become the only major industrialized area in
China. Kao had close contact with Soviet leaders, and after
the war China received extensive financial and technical
assistance from the Soviet Union.
Other Chinese communists had experience of administering
the liberated areas. Experiences that went in a different
direction from the Soviet model. In these areas, emphasis
was placed on mass mobilization of people for work efforts,
political incentives to increase productivity and mass
campaigns to raise political awareness. A fairly equal
distribution of production as well as decentralization were
the guiding principles.
In the field of agricultural policy, China never followed
the Soviet line. It was primarily the peasants who had
brought the Chinese Communists to victory. A centrally
directed forced collectivization was therefore inconceivable
in China. The collectivization that took place in China in
the mid-1950s originated from the early land reforms and
grew largely naturally from local conditions.
In the Soviet Union, agricultural production was so high
that a surplus could be squeezed out by the peasants. In
China, production was so low that there was nothing to be
gained from the poor peasants. If the villages were to
generate the profits needed to develop the industry, the
productivity of the farmers had to be increased.
Although China made significant economic progress during
the first five-year plan, the development strategy created
new tensions and difficulties that threatened to undermine
both political stability and economic growth. The
centralized economy led to strong bureaucracy growth. The
unification of the industry into large units led to a huge
population increase in the cities. This created enormous
problems - both in terms of providing housing and securing
80% of the Chinese light industry relied on agricultural
commodities for its production. When agricultural production
failed, this had immediate consequences for the industry.
The industrial concentration also created major transport
The development strategy followed led to a concentration
of power in the bureaucracy, which also secured material
benefits. This led to a growing gap between the leaders and
the people. Because material stimuli were given, new
contradictions were also created among the masses. Despite
mass campaigns to eradicate bureaucracy and corruption, the
gap between the Communist Party and the masses increased.
During the liberation battles, the Communist army had
been a guerrilla army, strongly characterized by equality
and democracy. But in the 1950s, the Chinese army forces
were in the process of being organized according to the
hierarchical Soviet pattern, while acquiring advanced
military equipment that could only be obtained from the
Soviet Union during this period. It was Defense Minister
Peng Te-huai who led this policy. One expression of the
contradictions within the party was the sale of Kao Kang in
By the end of the first five-year plan in 1957, it was
clear that the Chinese development model was in a dead end.
There was no basis for the production of a sufficient
surplus in agriculture to force forced industrialization. In
its search for solutions to the problems, the party launched
the campaign: "Let 100 flowers bloom", inviting the people
to criticize the system and come up with alternatives. But
as the people began to criticize the lack of democracy and
the government's mistakes, the party launched a new
campaign, "Against the Right Turn", which punished those who
had first expressed their opinion.