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Describe China's economy and society in the late 1940's and 1950's.

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Ryan Seary 15th June 2003 Describe China's economy and society in the late 1940's and 1950's In 1945, the war with Japan had ended. It left China's economy and society in ruins. The country was divided in two. Most of China was ruled by Chiang Kaishek, a military dictator. The rest of China was ruled under communism by Mao Zedong. Chiang Kaishek aimed to modernise the railways, the postal services and the telecommunications. In addition, powerful foreign companies such as ICI and Standard Oil were encouraged to construct factories in China to aid its backward industry. Chiang Kaishek then created The New Life Movement. It was based on the four principles of ancient ideas - Li, I, Lien and Chih. ...read more.


Big estates of land were taken from the rich landlords and shared out among peasants who did not have land of their own. The communists also introduced many social reforms, particularly for women. Outdated and undesirable practices such as foot binding, murder of unwanted babies, child slavery, prostitution and sale of women were all made illegal. In January 1949, Chiang Kaishek retreated to the only part of China not under communist control, the Island of Taiwan. He took with him 200,000 Guomindang troops as well as all of China's gold reserves. Chiang Kaishek ruled Taiwan as the Republic of China. On 1 October 1949, the communists were able to proclaim the existence of a new China - the Peoples Republic of China. ...read more.


They signed a Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance which gave China the benefit of financial and technical advice. The aid was only $300 million over a five year period and most was in credits rather than cash. Furthermore, the treaty supplied 10,000 engineers and planning experts to contribute to developing China's economy. With the help of the Russian advisers, the Chinese drew up a Five-Year Plan for developing the economy. The Plan began in 1953 and finished in 1957, it gave priority to heavy industry - steel and coal. The Plan created nearly 700 production plants in Manchuria and made a massive boost to the economy. In conclusion, although China's economy and society was very weak in the late 1940's Mao Zedong strengthened it by the 1950's by developing the economy and establishing new laws and policies for the society. However, this strength came from a dictatorship. ...read more.

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