China Essay Research Paper ChinaThe history of

China Essay, Research Paper


The history of China is embeded with revolution and tension dating back

to the feudal periods and the ” first unified Chinese empire under Qi Shi Huang

Di in 221 B.C. ” The Confucianism ideology entrenched in the minds of the

Chinese people with its conservative base and the need to achieve harmony in

society has yet to be reached and most likely, never will. The proletariat is

at the heart of the Marxist-Maoist approach to politics and the basic way of

life for the Chinese masses considering that “…roughly 85% of the population

is based in peasantry…” While Marxism, as implemented by the Chinese

Communist Party (CCP) and Nationalism have historically hindered the people of

China; a growing need to conform to capitilism is plainly obvious if there will

ever be success in the global market.

The Marxist theory is based on a classless society where the proletariat

or working class is given the opportunity to exist on an equal social level with

the remainder of the people while given a form of leadership of its own for the

first time. The dictatorship of the proletariat in communist China called the ”

peoples democratic dictatorship ” is considered by the Chinese Communist Party

to be truly democratic, since it is the dictatorship of the vast majority, the ?

people’ over a tiny minority of reactionaries. The Chinese Communist Party

formed in 1921 is founded upon strict Marxist beliefs that coincide with ideas

expressed in the Communist Manifesto.

” The CCP has, as it’s mission the creation

of a stateless classless society. Because the

dictatorship of the proletariat must be led by

the party of the proletariat, the CCP by virtue

of being the vanguard of the working class, and

because of its knowledge of Marxism-Leninism

and its organizatioal capacities, is best able to

understand and realize the interests of all people.”

The Communist Manifesto described the ” conquest of political power by the

proletariat ” as the objective of the Communist. ” The fundamentals of the CCP

were originally based on extreme ?leftist’ views that centered around the

proletariat. The party would virtually work for the victory of socialism in

China while at the same time, looking to dismiss capitalism.

Mao Zedong, one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921

had views on the need to switch from an orthodox Marxist strategy which called

for the party to seek roots among the urban working class, to a rural strategy

centered on the exploited peasants, was interrupted by the leadership CCP and

its sponsors in Moscow.

The Chinese Communist Party was by no means a military power and it was

unable to sustain itself and flourish in the Nationalist-controlled cities. The

Kuomintang, a nationalist party was set out to unify China under one central

government. The KMT had in its possession adequate means to quash the

idealistic CCP and did so on a number of occasions. Some of which led to

rebellions such as the Long March led by Mao Tse-tung.

China, over history has experienced phases of both Nationalism and

Sinocentrism, both of which can be damaging to a developing country attempting

to compete economically in the global market. These ideas can relate back to

the ancient religion of confucianism. ” Confucianism has been instramental in

the shaping of China’s leadership. Not only does it emphasize a rigid hierarchy

kept in place by virtuous behavior. But it also holds that strict adherence to

proper behavior actually leads to correct thinking. ” Accompanying Nationalism

and Sinocentrism was rebellion and unrest. Twenty-four historic dynasties

followed a common pattern of development. At the beginning of a new dynasty, a

period of national unity under virtuous and benevolent rule flourished and

usually was accompanied by intellectual excitement. A Mid-Cycle did exist where

a period of mediocre rule was present, implying corruption and unrest followed

by an End-Cycle, or natural disaster where the the ruler was unable to provide

workable remedies. Rebellion or invasion would insue sending the country

spiralling. The Sinocentric and Nationalist approach China maintained during

the Industrial Revolution resulted in the innablity to reap its benefits at an

early stage. The Sinocentric world view the government applied not only

hindered the success the Industrial Revolution had to offer, it also blinded its

own views of the growing powers in the West. ” China had once considered itself

the center of the world and in it’s long history….Since the Opium War in 1840,

however, China was increasigly forced to retreat by the superiority of the

Western powers. ” Sinocentrism and Nationalism are issues in Chinam that have

historically had disasterous affects on the country at the time as well as

affects carrying over into the new age of capitalism.

Capitalism is at the root of economic success in most countries.

Organizations such as the World Trade Organizaition have accumulated countries

based, in part on thier way of life. Communism has not traditionally coincided

with economic success globally and the trend exists in the countries that are

currently members of the WTO. Presently there does not exist a communist based

country in the group of members.

The governmental approach as to limiting goods through central

leadership has become known as a…

“…centrally controlled command economy.

That is the central leadership detirmined the

economic policies to be followed and allocated

all of the country’s resources….Once the Communist

Party leadership determined the country’s political

goals and the correct ideology to follow, the State

Planning Commission and the State Economic

Commission then decided how to implement these

objectives through specific policies for agriculture and

industry and the allocation of resources. ”

An approach of this kind to a country containing such vast potential and immense

population does not offer an opportunity to the proletariat class to produce a

means that would better his or her own personal lifestyle. The average worker

realistically has no reason to strive to produce a greater number of goods or to

produce those goods with any means of quality. ” Enterprises were subordinated

to their higher authorities on all issues concerning production, employment,

investment and finance. Wages were set accordingly to seniority rather than

ability or effort. ” Intellectuals such as Deng Xiaopeng have realized the

need to conform to the capitilist way of life. Since Deng Xiaopeng came into

power in 1978 real per capita gross national product has virtually tripled.

The idea of capitalism is in direct contrast with the historical

Marxist-Leninist and Mao Zedong Thought and because of its deep roots in the

Chinese way of life it has taken until present day for the political rulers to

realize its potential. Deng Xiaopeng once said ” I don’t care whether the cat

is black or white so as long as it catches mice. ” However, the forces within

the Chinese Communist Party forced Deng to conform to their principles and

retreat from his own. Deng had to do so in order to remain in control and

maintain his position. In 1990 Deng resigned from the position which he held

within Chinese politics, the chairman of the State Military Commission.

An issue that must be kept in mind is that while it appears that China

might be attempting to adapt to the ways of the global market it must keep in

mind the risks that an rapidly expanding country once took, the United States

and the tragic Black Tuesday stock market crash of 1929.

Marxism, Nationalism and Sinocentrism have all presently or over time

worked against China flourishing into the new world of capitalism and free

enterprise. In order for China to succeed and reach the ?harmony’ its Confucian

ideology promises, Marxism, nationalism and sinocentrism must all be abandoned

in the attempt to reach a democratic, capitalist lifestyle and business practice.


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China ,1979-87 Clarenden Press: Oxford. 1994

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Kraus, Willy. Economic Development and Social Change in the Peoples Republic

of China Springer-Verlag: New York, Heidelberg and Berlin. 1990

Leonhard, Wolfgang. The Three Faces of Marxixm Holt, Rinehart and

Winston: New York, Chicago and San Fransisco. 1974

Ogden, Dr. Suzanne. China (Sixth ed.) Dushkin Publishing Group/Brown and

Benchmark Publishers: Connecticut. 1995

Waller, Derek J. The Government and Politics of Communist China Anchor Books:

Garden City, New York. 1991

World Press Review – Understanding China March, 1996.

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15, 1995.


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