Tom Fish MT
Question: Has China’s single-party system been the main contributing factor to the country’s recent rapid economic growth?
Justification of the title/question
I chose this question because we all hear about the importance of China in the news and we saw how Xi Jinping was treated very well on his state visit to the UK last year, perhaps because the UK wishes to cultivate a profitable relationship with the world’s second largest economic power (in addition to the ‘special’ one it has with the biggest economic strength still, the USA), and encourage both investment in the UK and exports to China. Economics and politics are joined together it seems in most countries. Whenever we have an election it seems that all parties focus on emphasising what they would do to boost the economy. In China, this can’t happen as there is only one party. Therefore, the situation invited further investigation.
In China, the government operates in a single party state. This means that the political landscape of the People’s Republic of China is dominated by one party and one party only - the Communist Party of China (CPC). The communist party therefore forms each government. In fact, there are no ‘governments’ as clearly defined periods of rule in a western democratic sense, with government being a continuous operation. The CPC is the founding and ruling political party of modern China. Elections exist within the National People’s Congress to choose a leader but it is highly likely that only one name will be on the ballot, and that the party will have already chosen its leader previous to any poll taking place. Also, if anyone does challenge the party or a leader’s authority then they are ruthlessly put down. The one party system in China has been in place since 1949. Mao Zedong, as the leader of the CPC, was very close to the Soviet Union and wanted China to become a powerful socialist state too. He made some drastic changes to Chinese society, mainly to help the huge rural population. When Mao Zedong died in 1976, Deng Xiaoping emerged the following year as the dominant figure to take his place. Under this man, China undertook far-reaching economic reforms. In 1997, Deng Xiaoping died, aged 92. However, his legacy touches all our lives today, given the impact of his free market reforms.
The first two decades after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, were marked by periods of significant growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). People believe that this represented the success of the first five-year plan, which significantly increased the quality and pace of the productivity and industrialization in the country. However, by 1978 a change in policy was critical if there was to be rapid growth in the economy. The economic reform encouraged the formation of rural enterprises and private businesses, it relaxed state control over some prices, and liberalised foreign trade and investment. While before 1978 China had seen an already impressive...