Cultural Revolutions

China Advances

China’s emergence as the world’s second-largest economy dates to the then-radical turn toward “reforms and openness” adopted in 1978 at the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee.  The economic worldview of Mao Tse-tung emphasized the importance of agricultural peasant workers, a leap in economic hierarchy above the industrial proletariat at the core of traditional Marxist-Leninist thought.  The reforms launched under Deng Xiaoping, by contrast, were meant to modernize China’s industrial base, with manufacturing and market prices playing key roles.  Their origins can be found in the New Economic Policy of the 1920’s, which Lenin and the Bolsheviks were forced to adopt following the abject failure of war communism.  Though Maoist economics were abandoned under Deng, the visage of the late first chairman of the Communist Party of China’s central committee is widespread on various denominations of the nation’s monetary unit, the renminbi (the “people’s currency”).  These include smaller denominations (1, 5, and 10 yuan) as well as larger ones (20, 50, and 100 yuan).  The founding father of the People’s Republic of China is best known in the United States for his work Quotations From Chairman Mao (the so-called Little Red Book), with its revelatory observations like “In waking...

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