top of page

1.03  Socialist Transformation from New Democracy to Socialism (1953 – 56)

6 March 2018

As aforementioned, Mao was not against the concept of capitalism before the founding of the new China. Mao’s stance towards capitalism, however, began to shift by 1949 just before the founding of People’s Republic of China (PRC), when he declared that the contradiction between the proletariat (工人阶级, 尤指无产阶级) and the bourgeoisie (资产阶级) had become the main domestic contradiction.

Nevertheless at that time, he estimated that it would take a long time to launch an all-out attack on capitalism. Liu Shaoqi, the Vice Chairman of the Central People’s Government, also asserted that socialist policies should not be adopted immediately after the victory of the democratic revolution and that the CPC could "partner for at least 10 to 15 years" with the bourgeoisie to build the new-democratic economy. In the first few years after the founding of the PRC, when the Agrarian Reform (1948 – 52) was in progress and the Korean War (1950 – 53) was being waged, it was thus decided that "measures of limiting the private capitalist sector not be launched too early." Mao himself also warned his colleagues against "hitting out in all directions" and "making too many enemies."[1]


Regularization of All Spheres of Central Government’s Activities by 1953


Conditions changed, however, by end of 1952 with the Agrarian Reform and the Korean War drawing to a close prompting the top leadership, particularly Mao, to consider eliminating the bourgeoisie as well as capitalist industry and commerce and proceeding with the transformation from New Democracy to socialism immediately. By then, the CCP had substantially increased political control over both the rural and urban areas as result of the various mass campaigns conducted in 1950-1952.


During 1952–54 the Chinese established a central planning apparatus and a set of central ministries and other government institutions that were close copies of their Soviet counterparts.[2] With increasingly sophisticated administrative and planning capabilities of the central government also came regularization of all spheres of state activities. In the latter half of 1952, for example, as the State Planning Commission and new economic ministries were created, the various regional powers were reduced and others placed directly under central authority. This allowed the central government to kick off nationwide economic planning. Initially, only annual plans were possible because of inadequate experience and planning and statistical capabilities. The demands of the Korean War and apparent delays in negotiations with the Soviet Union for economic aid also contributed to initial hiccups. But with the conclusion of both the Korean War and Soviet aid negotiations in mid-1953, the government could embark on more comprehensive planning.


Furthermore, by 1953, the CCP had amassed substantial economic resources with the state owning 70% to 80% of heavy industry and 40% of light industry while state trading agencies and cooperatives handled more than 50% of total business turnover. As for the remaining non-state sector, government also increased its leverage over them through the development of joint firms and revamped trade unions.


Organizationally, the CCP had succeeded in strengthening itself by weeding out about 10 percent of CCP members (some 580,000 individuals) who were either tainted by ties to enemy classes or simply lacked commitment to or understanding of Party programs, and at the same time recruited about 1.28 million new members to bring total membership to 6.5 million at the end of 1953. The improvement was not only in numbers but also coverage. By late 1952, the Party had expanded its network to cover most elements of the urban population and part of the peasantry as well. In the cities, for example, the Party formalized its control by developing in 1954 grass root residents' committees on a street-by-street basis. At the same time, the government also introduced bureaucratic “units” (danwei单位) in every state organization as a tool for political control. Each danwei not only enabled the government to provide jobs and housing for the employees but also served as a framework within which all unit members could be mobilized to carry out political activities such as the study of documents and mutual criticism in small groups.


Moreover, "mass organizations" originally organized in 1949 to educate and mobilize major population groups had grown rapidly. By 1953, the New Democratic Youth League, for example, had grown to 9 million members, the trade unions numbered 12 million, and the women's federation at least formally enrolled 76 million. These mass organizations represented an important conduit for Party to educate the masses on policies while also collecting feedback.


China’s First Five-Year Plan (1953 – 1957) based on the Soviet Model


With the fundamental improvements in the political situations through the various mass campaigns as well as the strengthening of CCP administrative and planning capabilities, Mao made two important decisions in 1952 that involved the entire national economy:

  • the decision to immediately start the transition to socialism and a planned economy at the end of 1952 and the beginning of 1953 and

  • the decision to implement Soviet’s model of industrialization with priority given to the development of heavy industry during the First Five-Year Plan (FYR), starting in 1953.


Preliminary work on China’s First Five-Year Plan began in 1951. The plan was officially inaugurated in 1953 but not published until 1955. It embodied the policy tenets outlined in Mao’s 1952 proposal entitled “The General Line for the Period of Transition to Socialism” (过渡时期总路线) which aimed to make socialist ownership of the means of production the only economic base for China.[3] The basic guidelines for the plan were thus industrialization and socialization. Industrialization was to stress heavy industry in which the bulk of technological innovation was to be concentrated. Socialization of industry, commerce, and agriculture was to be gradual with emphasis being put on such intermediate forms of ownership as joint stock companies with State participation, mutual aid teams, and elementary cooperatives. Based on the plan, even though four-fifths of the population lived in rural areas, about four-fifths of all government investment was channeled into the urban economy emphasizing the development of heavy industry thus leaving the rural agriculture relatively starved for resources. Moreover, the plan provided for substantial income differentials to motivate the labour force in the state sector. Those developments differed substantially from the priorities and proclivities of the Chinese communist movement in the decades before 1949.[4]


The new economic system would thus be modelled closely after the Soviet’s centrally planned system implemented by Stalin. Within leadership circles there was unanimity that planned construction was the only acceptable method - not only ideologically preferred but more efficient than "chaotic" capitalist development. The projected change in ownership patterns through the proposed socialist transformation would give the state the direct control over economic resources without which planning would be ineffective. There was therefore fundamental consensus among the CCP leaders on the need to socialize not only the modern sector but also agriculture.


Moreover, the Soviet model of planned economy provided patterns of state organization, an urban-oriented developmental strategy, modern military techniques, and policies and methods in a wide variety of specialized areas. The presence of an ostensibly successful socialist system in the Soviet Union served to bolster the confidence of the Chinese elite and society generally in CCP’s adoption of the model, since the broad outlines of both process and outcome were presumed to be known. Hence, while there were continual debates over the details of the plan and allocation of resources within it, there was general consensus that the First Five-Year Plan (FYP, 1953 -1957) would closely follow the Soviet model in principle.


In August 1953, Mao’s proposal was accepted formally as the guiding principle for the conduct of the transition to socialism. Given the size of the country, Mao estimated that the proposed transformation would take ten to fifteen years to complete. Under that guiding principle, China embarked on its socialist transformation process along three lines: socialist transformation of agriculture (1953 – 58), socialist transformation of private handicrafts industry (1953 – 56), and socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce (1954 – 56).


Socialist Transformation of Agricultural Sector (1953 – 1958)


In the long history of China, agricultural production for the Chinese had always been a household affair with family forming the basic social and economic cell of the agrarian society. There was a natural division of labour within the family unit with the elders making decisions while the rest carrying out the work with minimum supervision. All these helped to reduce measurement, supervision and transaction costs. With the transition to socialism, however, the system of family farming was set to undergo fundamental change.


Mao’s approach to the transition was to organize farmers into collective economic organizations under state control. In fact, after the 1949 – 1952 land reform efforts, mutual-aid teams (these are arrangements for pooling peasant labor) and cooperatives were already established to allow the government to carry out agricultural collectivization experimentation. However, these were elementary organizations that farmers could freely join and withdraw. Because of their voluntary nature, such cooperatives numbered few. A campaign was thus launched in late 1953 to organize these elementary organizations into small collectives, called lower-level agricultural producers’ cooperatives, averaging 20 to 30 households. The plan was to bring no more than 20% of all peasant households into these agricultural producers’ cooperatives by 1957.


Besides the plan to set up cooperatives, a system of unified purchase and marketing (统购统销) of grain nationwide was also implemented in 1953. Under that arrangement, all surplus grain would be purchased by the state at a state-stipulated price. However, because the compulsory price was lower than the market price, government met strong resistance from the farmers during the execution of the plan. It was difficult for the government to implement unified purchasing and marketing of agricultural products. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that there were still tens of millions of independent rural households which made control extremely tedious. In 1954, social unrest related to grain occurred in both urban and rural areas. There was therefore a need to better organize the farmers in order to exert more effective control over them.


At this point, despite the existence of a broad agreement that the continued existence of small peasant production endangered rural capitalism and thus threatened the consolidation of socialism, debates on the pace of setting up the cooperatives began to emerge.


A cautious approach, for example, was advanced primarily by the head of Central Committee's Rural Work Department, Deng Zihui (邓子恢) and Politburo's leading economic specialist, Chen Yun (陈云). Because of overambitious planning, cadre excesses, and disillusionment of the more productive peasants in 1954 and early 1955, Deng and Chen advocated a careful consolidation of existing cooperatives and a modest rate of future growth.


Opposing this approach were those advocating a more expansionary policy on the grounds that the cooperatives had a demonstrated capacity for increasing production and thus could more easily provide the agricultural surplus that the state sought. Moreover, it would also mitigate the risk of rural class polarization that seemed to be growing with agriculture still overwhelmingly private. 


Despite initially supporting the cautious approach, Mao shifted his position by mid-May 1955 to one of dissatisfaction with the pace of cooperativization. The crucial element of the Soviet model was the Stalinist economic strategy of high rates of reinvestment, emphasis on capital-intensive high-technology projects, agriculture as a major source of funds for industrial growth, and priority investment in heavy industry. By 1955, however, it became clear that, apart from the resurgence of class differentiation in the countryside, marketable farm output was no more than keeping pace with the population growth and thus threatened to undermine industrial expansion. In spite of the “anti” campaigns and the liquidation of former class enemies, economic control over millions of peasant-owners was incomplete. As a result, the capital needed to execute the ambitious plans for industrial expansion was not forthcoming from the only source which could provide it. It thus became necessary to organize farmers into collective economic organizations under state control so that the state could obtain, by nonmarket means, capital, grain, and raw materials indispensable to industrialization with priority given to heavy industry.


In short, the Soviet model showed that industrialization was the only way to catch up with the developed economies in the West. However, because of the scarcity of resources, the need to industrialize the country meant that the government first needed to embark on collectivization of not only the modern sector but also the agricultural sector so that enough resources could be amassed to fund the modernization of the Chinese economy. This entailed a switch of CCP’s strategy from that of reassuring the various stakeholders during the initial phase of reconstruction to now establishing control over them through a process of socialist transformation.


In this regard, it was clear that Mao had consistently intended any reform of the agrarian sector to be a means leading to industrialization of the Chinese economy. He repeatedly mentioned that "large amounts of funds were needed to accomplish both national industrialization and the technical transformation of agriculture, and a considerable part of these funds had to be accumulated through agriculture."[5] The objective of 1950 - 52 land reform, for example, was more than merely an equitable distribution of land to relieve the poor, which was more the objective of wartime land reform in North China before 1949. With the victory secured and liberated China entering into a new phase of reconstruction in 1950, the new land reform program necessarily advanced an explicitly economic rationale which was to free the rural productive forces and pave the way for industrialization. In 1950 Mao congratulated the peasants, stating that it was “with their help that victory was won in the revolution, and it is again their help that will make the industrialization of the country possible.”[6]


After warning against a passive approach, Mao ended the hesitation of the previous months by indicating that expansion was the only ideologically correct course. The debate had also become not just economical but political when he applied the "right deviationist" label to Deng. Few officials held out after that.[7]


In July, 1955, Mao gave the green light to accelerate collectivization and launched the Cooperative Transformation Campaign to turn the elementary mutual aid teams and cooperatives into quasi-state-owned “advanced cooperatives” (高级合作社). This time, participation was no more voluntary.


The advanced cooperative was particularly disadvantageous to the middle class of wealthier peasants because it invested the cooperative itself with title to the land, granting no right of withdrawal, and because wages were based on labour performed, not land contributed. Middle-level peasants came to resent landless peasants, whom the party was recruiting into the new cooperatives. Also, the advanced form, modeled on the Soviet collectives known as kolkhoz, brought with it the outside political controls that were necessary to extract the agricultural surpluses required to pay for China’s capital equipment in its industrialization and to feed those moving into the cities to work in the growing industries. Many middle-level peasants thus actively resisted these changes and the measures for enforcing them, particularly grain rationing, compulsory purchase quotas, and stricter regulations on savings and wage rates.[8]


Notwithstanding, as vigorous implementation of the cooperativization unfolded, cadres throughout rural China concluded it was "better to err to the left than the right." Henceforth, China went through a cycle of Mao and the central setting goals, the provinces outstripping those goals, the central revising its targets upward, and the provinces once again overfulfilling targets set by the central. At the end of 1955, there were only 500 advanced cooperatives. Their member household accounted for 3.45% of the total number of rural household. By the end of 1956, 540,000 advanced cooperatives existed with member households accounting for 88% of the total number of rural households. By 1957, advanced cooperative transformation was fully achieved,two years after the launch of the campaign, instead of the three to four years expected by Mao. All the 120 million rural household belonging to one of the 753 000 advanced cooperatives found all over China.[9]


What was impressive of the Cooperative Transformation Campaign was not only the scale of the exercise. It was also the speed with which the task was completed and the orderliness of the transition, despite requiring the people to make great personal sacrifices by giving up their assets and rights. More than anything else, it demonstrated the absolute faith of the people in its leaders.[10]


Socialist Transformation of Private Handicrafts (1953 – 56) & Industry & Commerce (1954 – 56)


Meanwhile, the socialist transformation of private handicrafts as well as industry and commerce soon also began. With the vast, difficult to control countryside now advancing rapidly toward socialism, Party leaders felt the time had come to use their great leverage in the modern sector. Some saw the need for pushing ahead in order to facilitate central planning, while others urged caution on the grounds that conditions were not yet ripe and overly hasty socialization of the modern sector would disrupt production and overwhelm the state's nascent planning capabilities. Despite the differences in views, however, there was general agreement that socialization of the modern sector would have to keep pace with cooperativization. The 1st FYP goals though were modest in calling for only "the greater part" of privately owned businesses to adopt some form of state capitalism by the end of the FYP period.


From the end of October 1955 through January 1956, Mao and other leaders met with prominent capitalists to impress upon them the need for a stepped up pace of transformation while ostensibly soliciting their views. In these encounters Mao, as he had with agricultural cooperatives, warned against excessive rashness and even declared himself more cautious than Chen Yun, but the invited businessmen did not fail to pick up the essential message and quickly pledged support for an accelerated program. On the basis of these pledges, a new target of completing transformation into joint state-private enterprises by the end of 1957 was laid down.


What followed paralleled the over-fulfillment of advanced cooperative targets but in even more startling form. Chen Yun organized meetings of provincial leaders to press for the new target but was quickly overtaken by the actions of another Politburo member, Peking mayor Peng Zhen (彭真). In December Peng set the end of 1956 as the target date for Peking, and in January the actual transformation was completed in the first ten days of the month. Other cities did not want to appear laggard, and by the end of January the process had been basically completed in all major urban centers.


Such actions can be understood against the background of the experiences of the capitalists in the previous few years. The Five-Antis campaign of 1952 had terrorized many of them and left most deeply in debt to the government, owing purported back taxes and financial penalties. In any case, the state sector of the economy and the state controls over banking had increased to such a degree that the capitalists relied heavily on the government for the contracts and business necessary to keep from bankruptcy. After the Five-Antis campaign, the government extended the reach of its trade unions into the larger capitalist enterprises, and the “joint labour–management” committees set up under government pressure in those firms usurped much of the power that the capitalists formerly had exercised. Thus, many Chinese capitalists saw the socialist transformation of 1955–56 as an almost welcome development, because it secured their position with the government while costing them little in money or power.[11]


The speed at which the collectivization of the modern sector was completed, however, meant that such an extremely rapid transformation was superficial. Instead of the prescribed process of careful preparatory work that allowed the state to take operational control, it amounted to a formal declaration of a change in ownership without any change in personnel or internal organization. To avoid disrupting production, the State Council in early February ordered that existing operations be unchanged following the transformation. The actual work of taking inventories and economic reorganization was then done gradually and was heavily dependent on the private capitalists whose skills were still required in a modern sector where the shortage of cadres remained acute.[12]


Hence by 1956, the transformation from New Democracy to socialism, involving not only the rural agricultural but also the urban modern sectors, was complete. As of that date, private industry had ceased to exist and private commerce accounted for only 4% of the total value of retail sales. What was intended to be a “Transition to Socialism” in fifteen year became the “Construction of Socialism” which took only four years (i.e. 1952 – 1956) to accomplish.


Factors Contributing to the Speedy Success of the Socialist Transformation


Several factors facilitated Mao’s accomplishment of socialist transformation in such a short period of time:[13]

  • To begin with, China had a deep-rooted tradition of government wielding control over the society, particularly over the peasants, because of its long history as an agrarian society. Moreover, Mao was also able to leverage on his success in leading the CCP’s in the long revolutionary struggles. That reputation helped him formed the political foundation needed to establish a totalist government under his leadership and to effect the socialist transformation within only a few years.

  • Driven by the humiliations suffered during the century of semi-colonization, both the Chinese leaders and the Chinese public had a strong desire to catch up with and even surpass Western developed countries. They believed that the highly centralized Soviet model would enable China to mobilize and concentrate human, financial, and material resources to achieve modernization in a very short time.

  • After the founding of the PRC, "Soviet experts" completely transformed the Chinese economics education by instilling Stalin's political economy and making it the only prevailing theory of economics. According to this theory, it was natural to establish a centrally planned economic system characterized by highly centralized administrative coordination.

  • With the outbreak of the Korean War, national defense became the top priority. Chinese leaders therefore chose the institutional arrangement that would mobilize and allocate resources through central planning so that limited resources could be used to build up heavy industries, especially those at the core of the defense industry.


Some would claim that the motivation could be more of fear that was commonly associated with a centrally command socialist system and police state. That was unlikely as China had just began its reconstruction and political campaigns such as Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution had yet to take place. Overall, living standard was indeed improving despite the overall general hardship in the early stages of national reconstruction. The motivation was therefore likely to be reverence and (blind) faith rather than fear.


To many Chinese, it was the communists who had succeeded in driving out the corrupt Nationalists and the foreign imperialists. Many aspired China to be great and strong again so that the humiliating history of semi-colonialism of China by foreign powers would not be repeated again.


In short, the CCP won genuine support from a people attracted by the promise of both improved living conditions and national glory.

Outcomes of the First Five-Year Plan (1953 – 1957)


Although the basic guidelines of the Plan were retained throughout, actual performance revealed wide departures from the original blueprint.


Based on the Plan, for example, industry was scheduled to receive 61.8% of resources allocated to investments, agriculture 6.2%, and transportation – mainly railroads and inland shipping – 17%. In the end, industry’s share of total gross investment came to only 56% (of which heavy industry absorbed 49%); agriculture’s share was raised to 8.2%, and that of transportation to 18.7%.


Innovation and modernization were largely restricted to heavy industry. Agricultural investment took on “traditional” rather than “modern” or “innovating” forms. Much work continued to be done on irrigation and water conservation projects, and a resolute anti-pest campaign was launched. Efforts were also made to introduce double cropping and high yielding strains.


The difference in investment rates between industry and agriculture was reflected in average annual rates of growth in factory and farm output. These were officially given as 16.5% and 4.5% respectively. In spite of serious natural disasters in 1953-54, 1956, and 1957, grain output did rise significantly (from about 164 million metric ton in 1952 to 195 million metric ton in 1957), and that wholesale starvation was avoided. At the end of the Plan period (1957) the Chinese claimed that steel output was 5.3 million tons (compared with 1.35 million tons in 1952), electric power 19.3 billion kwh (7.26 billion kwh in 1952), and chemical fertilizer 631,000 tons (181,000 tons in 1952). In 1957, China for the first time produced its own trucks, power generators, locomotives, and small arms. First steps were also being taken to establish an aircraft industry, synthetic rubber plants, tractor factory, various branches of chemical industry, and a Soviet-made atomic reactor. A breakthrough was made in oil exploration in 1955 with the discovery of the rich Karamai fields in Xinjiang.  That year, work began on a large refining complex in Lanzhou, parts of which went on stream in 1958. From 1953 through 1957 about 5,000 kilometres of new railroad lines were built, most of them reaching into the interior of the country.


Production of consumer goods lagged behind the expansion of the capital goods sector and many key consumer items continued, from 1953 on, to be strictly and severely rationed. According to official figures, the annual average increase per capita of consumer goods during the period of the Plan was only $1.69. This, however, it should be added, was better than the Chinese had seen for decades.


Western estimates point to an annual average rate of growth in net domestic product during this time (in constant 1952 prices) of about 6% though higher estimates of 7% and 8% cannot be discounted. Whatever one thinks of the methods used to achieve this performance the result is impressive – almost double the rate of growth achieved by India during a corresponding period.[14]


During this period, Soviet assistance in the form of machinery and technical advice was crucial, but scanty when matched against Soviet capabilities. In addition to the 1950 loan of $300 million, the Soviet Union in 1954 extended an additional credit of $130 million to China. Other loans were given to help the Chinese conduct their Korean intervention – but no grants. In this period, the Russians trained 13,600 Chinese students in the USSR and sent to China a total of 10,800 technicians and scientists for various terms of duty, as well as more than 24,000 complete sets of scientific and technical blueprints. Most Soviet aid, took on a tit-for-tat trade form: what the Chinese received, they had to pay for in cash or on a short-term deferred payment basis. The total value of Soviet exports to China from 1950 through 1957 was $4.9 billion, most of it capital goods. In 1957, complete plants accounted for 77% of the value of China’s machinery and equipment imports from the USSR.


Party Unity and Cohesiveness under Mao’s Style of Collective Leadership (1949 – 1957)


The high level of unity within the top leadership from 1949 to 1957 did not mean an absence of leadership cleavages due to the conflicting personalities of the Party elites or to their differing views on the large agenda of policy issues.  These differences and disagreements, however, largely remained latent and did not seriously disrupt the predominantly consensual mode of leadership. Debates could be vigorous but once a decision was made, the commitment to unity as well as formal norms of Leninist discipline usually guaranteed prompt implementation by responsible leaders of the various hierarchies of the PRC.


One major factor playing an indelible role in enhancing the Party unity and cohesiveness is Mao’s democratic centrism and his willingness to observe the formal rules of collective leadership. His determination to steer a course between "leftist" excesses and "rightist" timidity when debate did occur served to ameliorate conflict and build a consensus rather than polarize differences within the leadership. Policies were usually arrived at through wide-ranging discussions where the opinions of all relevant officials were valued and dissenters could retain their views. Mao’s relatively democratic style thus served the Party well by encouraging debate on key issues, deepening the elites’ commitment to the relatively open policy process, and thus reinforcing the overall sense of leadership solidarity.


Another critical contributing factor is the CCP adoption of pre-existing Soviet Model of development which helped to introduce an element of certainty as to approaches and possible outcomes. This helped to focus policy debate on incremental modifications rather than on fundamental approaches, and thus lower the stakes of any conflict. The corollary of that is that when the Soviet model no longer commanded general agreement and official policies produced major disasters rather than a string of successes - latent cleavages became manifest and Party unity was eroded and then shattered. Notwithstanding, as at 1957, there was no basic contradiction between economic and political objectives for CCP leaders as the First FYP unfolded. Neither were there major issues of discord threatening to irrevocably divide the top political leadership led by Mao.


On the whole, thus, PRC's first eight years (1949 – 1957) was a period of achievement and cohesion.

PREVIOUS: 1.02  Challenges Faced in Constructing a Society of New Democracy (1949 - 1952)

NEXT: 1.04  Hundred Flowers Campaign (1954 – 56)



[1] See Wu Jinglian. (2005). Pg 32.

[2] See Encyclopaedia Britannica. “The transition to socialism, 1953–57.”

[3] See Denis Twitchett & John K. Fairbank. (Eds) (2008). “The Cambridge History of China: Volume 14. The People's Republic, Part 1: The Emergence of Revolutionary China 1949-1965.” Cambridge University Press. Pg. 92 - 97.

[4] See Encyclopaedia Britannica. “The transition to socialism, 1953–57.”

[5] Mao Zedong. (1955). "On the Cooperative Transformation of Agriculture” (关于农业合作化问题); "Selected Works of Mao Zedong” (毛泽东选集), Vol. 5, Beijing: People's Publishing House, 1977, p. 182. Quoted in Wu Jinglian (2005). Pg 97.

[6] See R. Cairns “Agrarian reform.” Alpha History.

[7] See Denis Twitchett & John K. Fairbank. (Eds) (2008). Pg. 116    

[8] See Encyclopaedia Britannica. “The transition to socialism, 1953–57.”

[9] See Wu Jinglian. (2005). Pg 101.

[10] Some would claim that the motivation could be more of fear that was commonly associated with a centrally command socialist system and police state. That was unlikely as China had just began its reconstruction and political campaigns such as Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution had yet to take place. The motivation was therefore likely to be reverence and (blind) faith rather than fear. To many Chinese, it was the communists who had succeeded in driving out the corrupt Nationalists and the foreign imperialists. Many aspired China to be great and strong again so that the humiliating history of semi-colonialism of China by foreign powers would not be repeated again.

[11] See Encyclopaedia Britannica. “The transition to socialism, 1953–57.”

[12] See Denis Twitchett & John K. Fairbank. (Eds) (2008). Pg. 119 - 120

[13] See JingLian, Wu. (2005). Pg. 51.

[14] See Harry G. Shaffer. (1967). “The Communist World: Marxist and Non-Marxist Views, Volume 2.” Ardent Media, Pg 170 – 173.

bottom of page