Postwar economic China has experienced two major economic periods. During the period 1949-1976, Mao Zedong dominated the Chinese Communist party and government. Although Mao’s economic policies benefited China in some ways, such as improved access to health care and employment for common people, for the most part they were disastrous. At the time of his death, China was poor, isolated from most of the rest of the world, and suffered from a largely dysfunctional socialist economy, mostly because of Mao’s constant emphasis upon political objectives and his ignorance of economics.
In 1978, Deng Xiaoping, an economic pragmatist whose career in the Chinese communist party suffered several set backs during the Mao years, became China’s most powerful leader. He initiated a series of market-based reforms that resulted in China’s return as a global economic power. Economist and China specialist Nicholas Lardy, who is a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, authored the following reading on China’s economic rise based upon a presentation he made at a 2007 Foreign Policy Research Institute workshop for history teachers.
Please answer following question. Your answer should be 250 words or less.
1. What content in the Lardy reading about China’s economic rise do you think is most important for students? Why?