To what extent have the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping changed the form of Communism that previously existed in China?
The economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping during his term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party from 1977 to 1992 has meant that China is an economic power in the world today. Prior to Deng’s term the Chinese economy was centrally planned, meaning that all economic activity was controlled by the government and all companies were owned by the State. Deng’s economic reform policies of allowing private ownership of business, embracing a more free market system, and opening the economy to international trade and investment were in large contrast to the policies of his predecessor Chairman Mao Zedong. Deng’s economic reforms transformed Communism in China from its pure form under Mao to a form of communism with many economic characteristics of a market economy typically found in Western nations. Deng Xiaoping’s believed that if the Chinese people were allowed to start up business and own land they would be encouraged to work hard to generate wealth for themselves and that this would be good for China. Under Mao’s rule, the standard of living for the masses generally improved and equality began to emerge in China. Many of its people however still suffered extreme poverty, and particularly those in rural areas. Deng Xiaoping believed that to grow further economically China would have to break out of Mao’s Communist mould of state control and that the nation's natural entrepreneurial spirit had to be encouraged, rather than inhibited. Deng Xiaoping also felt that the capitalist nature of some of these changes had to be openly accepted, whatever the political fallout. The reforms replaced central planning with market forces, broke down the collective farms and got rid of state-run enterprises. Deng Xiaoping allowed people to once again own land and he also gave permission for entrepreneurs to start up businesses. One of the...
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