Evaluation of the Chinese Rural Transformation Strategies

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The core problems of widespread poverty, growing inequality, and rapid population growth originate in the stagnation and retrogression of economic life in rural areas. Therefore, for development to take place sustainably, it has to include rural areas in general and the agricultural sector in particular. The Lewis two sector models provides a good example of a theory placing emphasis on industrial growth fueled by the agricultural sector through surplus labor and cheap food. Today development economists have come to realize that the agricultural sector in particular and rural economy in general must play an indispensable part in any strategy of economic development. China is one of the countries which put this into practice after the 1949 revolution when it embarked on its rural transformation. During the past 50 years, China's leaders experimented with various measures to develop the country's rural areas. In the pre 1978 period, these measures were usually implemented in the form of mass mobilization campaigns, associated with various political and ideological movements. After the 1978 reforms, the measures consisted of legal and institutional reforms, as well as large-scale infrastructure projects mainly by the central government. There are eight rural transformation strategies which were employed by China these were: Land reform 1949-1953, Collectivization 1953-1956, Great Leap Forward, Agricultural Communes 1957-1961, Damage control 1962-1965, The Cultural Revolution 1966-1976, First phase of economic reforms: introduction of family farming 1978-1984, Second reform phase: price and market liberalization 1985-1989, as well as the Recent reforms of structural improvements 1990 – Present. This paper will therefore seek to critically evaluate the above-mentioned strategies which were employed by China. It will also show that not all of these strategies were employed by the Chinese were favorable but nevertheless they toiled until they managed to develop their...
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