• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Have the Chinese people been better off in each of these areas since the death of Mao?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Have the Chinese people been better off in each of these areas since the death of Mao? Since Mao's death in 1976, there have been economic, social, and political areas of both change and continuity. The leadership that came into power after Mao's death shared his aspirations to develop an economy sufficiently strong to compete with the rest of the world. This, however, is virtually the only element of economic continuity. The methods employed by Deng Xiaoping and his government contrasted significantly with Mao's. Their 'four modernisations' of 1978, two of whose aims included agricultural and industrial advances, removed several of Mao's restrictions on the economy and so allowed for a much freer market. In the 1980's this gave the economy a growth rate of 10% per annum, one of the largest worldwide. Today, in fact, it is the fastest growing economy, as China experiences unprecedented economic expansion - foreign investment in 2003 amounted to $50 billion, and Chinese steel comprised over one quarter of total global production. Naturally, this has led to the migration of (ten million) ...read more.

Middle

Other changes that China experienced after Mao's death were social benefits and improvements. One of the aforementioned 'Four Modernisations' was progress in levels of education, which were indeed realised. Further improvements came as a result of the economic expansion, in housing, healthcare, and hygiene - many people in towns and cities were eating far better than in Mao's time. These changes, however, belie many of the social aspects of life in post-Mao China. The massive economic growth and consequent social developments in the urban areas potentially blind one from the abject poverty in many rural areas that had not changed since 1976 (and Mao's death). The growth the country experienced ought to have filtered down to the lowest classes in society and aided their lives too, but this was not the case and in this respect there has been little change since Mao's death. In all, there may be some elements of the social spectrum that suggest improvements (living standards in urbanised areas) but there was no nationwide enhancements, especially considering the potential there was for such developments, and in general the changes are not quite as significant as they may initially seem. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the longer term however it is clear that freedom of speech and other features of democratic states are never really more than ideals in China, and the brief flirtations the country enjoys with such things are soon crushed by the government, Mao's or otherwise, as they become insecure for the safety and security of their power. In reality, the fundamental political principles underpinning China have remained as they were before Mao's death. This continuity is most brutally exemplified in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, during which forces dispatched by the government began to use tear-gas shells and violence to disperse the crowds, eventually open fire and killing five thousand citizens. Harsh crackdowns on pro-democracy leaders ensued and since then little opposition of any sort has emerged in China. This epitomises the approach of both Mao and the post-Mao government of China to resistance and general disagreement and it is an area of significant continuity between the two. Overall, the political elements of China have experienced little lasting change, and its people have not therefore been better off in this area since Mao's death. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. What impact did Mao have on the lives of the Chinese people from 1949 ...

    given land and initially benefited from Mao's changes, were in effect landless again. They were only allowed a few square metres for growing vegetables or keeping chickens. Peasants only received wages for their labour and had to surrender title deeds to their land, equipment and animals.

  2. In the following areas: Political, Social and Economic, have the people of China had ...

    Hence, many lives became more family orientated and many families became closer. In addition to this, the general preference of boys over girls meant that many female babies were either abandoned or killed by their parents. The mass rural to urban migration due to pull factors in towns such as

  1. Economic Changes after the 1949 Communist Revolution in China

    Although Mao had retired, he re-emerged again in 1966 noticing that the educated were beginning to get wealthy again, hence the 'Cultural Revolution'. Mao set up a scheme to equalise society in reality he just wanted to rid the cities of the educated.

  2. Tiananmen Square

    During the 'Great leap forward' the government told everyone to make steel. So everyone stopped producing crops and made steel, this steel was very impure and could not be used. The country fell into a great time of starvation and poverty but the government tried to cover it up as well as possible.

  1. From 1949 to the beginning of the Great Leap Forward in 1958, China went ...

    to redistribute land from rich landlords to peasants equally amongst the population of China. The first stage of this policy was to determine the "class" of each village member, including his financial position, job, education, and owned property. After that, the government would organize a "Speak Bitterness Meeting", which allowed

  2. What impact did Mao have on the lives of Chinese people since 1949 in ...

    The Great Leap Forward was a second step in Mao's plan for economic development. This time the aim was to increase productivity in industry by increasing agricultural yield, and therefore provide more comfortable lives for the people of China who could then work harder.

  1. The Mexican Economy

    He has taken the lead in performing budget cuts, price and tax adjustments, tight monetary policy and further deregulation and privatization. Population The Mexican population is composed of three main groups: the people of Spanish descent, the Native Americans, and the people of mixed Spanish and Native American ancestry, or mestizos.

  2. Prospects for India's development

    The only concern at this moment, if any, was the fact that, there is no instrument listed to hedge stock investments such as derivatives. With those improvements ahead, portfolio investment in Indian securities seems to be the safest way to invest in India.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work