Major Developments in China Since 1976

The year 1976 was a watershedyearforthedevelopmentofChina.
Three of the most senior officials of the Chinese CommunistParty(CCP)-
Zhou Enlai, Zhu De and Mao Zedong – died in that year.Theyearwasalso
marked by mass demonstrations and criticism of the Maoist regime.
When Deng Xiaoping attained power in 1978 he created a newatmosphere
of political and economic promise, which in many wayssharplycontradicted
governmental and political proceedings of the previous two decades.Oneof
the most significant changes implemented by Xiaopingwasontheeconomic
front, which included a series of far-reaching economic reforms..Yet,the
most essential change in China since 1976 has been thedecisivemoveaway
from the Maoist emphasis and focus on the class and political struggle toa
There are many reasons for the reforms in China.Thefactthatthe
previous communist reforms werenotcapableofsustainingandcreating
economic growth in the country isoneofthereasonsforthereforms.
Other very cogent reasons are that China needed tojointheinternational
community for economic and developmental reasons; and because China hadfor
many yearscomeunderpressure,particularlyintermsofitssocial
traditions,toconformtointernationalstandards. The demand for
modernization is an important aspect that contributed to China’s reformand
this was increased by Western influences.
China eventually had to face therealitythatpoliticalstrategies
alone could not increase productivity. This issue cametoaheadinthe
1970’s and resulted in the “Four Mobilizations” program, which wasintended
to reform and energize the Chinese economy. These mobilizations or areasof
focus were agriculture, industry, science and technology and the military.