Industrialization was a dream of generations of Chinese who wished to see a powerful China rise again and witness an end to the country’s ‘humiliation’ at the hands of the industrialized world. For the post-1949 government, industrialization was viewed as a central concern in the planning for the nation’s long-term development, as well as a task of considerable urgency, given the confrontational atmosphere of the Cold War. Thus, the goal became not simply to industrialize, but to industrialize within the shortest possible time. Rapid industrialization seemed to be the key both to meeting the immediate need of defending national independence and to narrowing the huge gap with the advanced countries. Aware of the success of Soviet industrialization, the Chinese leadership was convinced that an economically backward country like China could industrialize rapidly if the proper methods were chosen.


Foreign Trade Capital Accumulation Central Planning Heavy Industry Cultural Revolution 
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Copyright information

© The United Nations University/World Institute for Development Economics Research 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lu Aiguo
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of World Economics and PoliticsChinese Academy of Social SciencesBeijingChina

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