The Impact Of The Cultural Revolution In China

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Since the late 1970s, China has experienced unprecedented economic growth and development. Established in 1949, the People’s Republic of China, under the governance of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) set forth to achieve national unity, social and economic change and freedom from foreign interference (Cienciala, 1999). Mao’s economy was established by 1952, and was a socialist, command economy (Mitter, 2008). Started on the simple principle frequently stated by Deng Xiaoping, ‘poverty is not socialism’, China transitioned from a command economy to a hybridised, market economy from the late 1970s (Fernández, n.d.). These economic reforms can be traced back to the reinstalment of Deng Xiaoping in 1977 (Cienciala, 1999). Commencing …show more content…
Throughout the Cultural Revolution, social life become highly politicalised and unpredictable (Shirk, 1993). Due to the nature of the Cultural Revolution, which placed an unprecedented emphasis on culture, even those without a political background were targeted and branded as ‘class enemies’ due to their professions, interests or backgrounds (Bai, 2014). Ordinary citizens had to worry about being criticised by their neighbours and co-workers (Shirk, 1993). Virtually all engineers, managers, scientists and other professional personnel were ‘criticized’, ‘demoted’, ‘sent down’ to the countryside to ‘participate in labor’ or even imprisoned (Worden et al., 1987). Resultantly, their skills and knowledge was lost from enterprise and an eventual fourteen per cent decline in industrial production by 1967. However, perhaps the most serious and long-lasting impact on the Chinese economy, was the dire shortage of highly educated workers, resulting from the closure of universities (Worden et al., 1987). As a consequence of the hiatus of higher education, China’s ability to develop new technology and absorb imported technology was limited for years (Worden et al.,

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