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PERSPECTIVES

TOWARDS AN UNDERSTANDING OF SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS

Hemant Adlakha

17



Introduction

"Modernisation", "development" and "democracy" are terms without which no study of the newly independent countries of the 'Third World' could be considered complete after the Second World War. Similarly "globalisation", "market economy" and "civil society" have become the key words following the end of the Cold War. It is common knowledge that on the one hand liberal western Europe encouraged former ex-colonies and semi-colonies to emulate western models to achieve modernity. On the other hand, there were countries which achieved national liberation and won revolutionary victories and opted for the socialist model as the alternative road to realise the goal of economic modernisation. However, sooner than everyone's expectation, barring few exceptions, both these models were found unfit by the ruling elite of the developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Over four decades of experimenting with modernisation theory as prescribed by the west and the political elite, a large number of developing countries have developed their underdevelopments, and the number of people without jobs has increased manifolds, in addition to widespread poverty, corruption and institutionalised crime.

The picture is no longer rosy amongst the countries which espoused socialism earlier. The initial successes achieved by the governments of these countries through their various people-oriented policies and programmes, and sincere efforts in providing social justice to their people, have gradually receded in response to hostile forces of world bank institutions and non- cooperative international financial market. The failure of western patterns of modernisation has its genesis in the powerful west, whose fundamental aim was to create and control overseas markets rather than help develop the economy of the underdeveloped regions of the world.1 It is paradoxical that the eventual failure of the Soviet Union and several other socialist regimes have strengthened the claims of the capitalist world that there is only one road to modernity. However the fact remains that no single model is ideal for all nations to follow. Given different social, political, historical and cultural conditions, the only viable way is to chart out one's own model for development, rather than becoming a "carbon copy" of modernity. This is exactly what the new leadership of the People's Republic of China (PRC) had in mind when it decided to embark on the path of a bold, radical and pragmatic economic restructuring nineteen years ago.

However one may like to look at it, the Chinese experiment can neither be branded as a typical socialist model of transformation, nor an approach that has cast socialism to the wind. The Chinese Communist leadership has been able to do so on the strength of its success in devising with theoretical finesse the ideological justification for what it calls "modernisation with Chinese characteristics". Contrary to what is generally perceived outside China, the theory of building "socialism with Chinese characteristics" evolved gradually amidst all kinds of opposition and resistance from within the Party. In the first place, a proper historical perspective demands that modern history of China should not be cut asunder into the Mao Era and the post- Mao Era. Behind this "Chinese characteristics" we still see the ingredients of "seeking truth from facts", "China in the primary stage of socialism", "adherence to the proletarian dictatorship", "adherence to the primacy of socialism", "supremacy of the leadership of the Communist Party", "adaptation of Marxist principles to the conditions of China", etc. -all old wine of the Maoist heritage. One should acknowledge Deng Xiaoping's contribution to the new line of thinking in developmental strategy -"achieving) prosperity for all the people of China, but allowing a section of them to get rich first", "reform and open door", "socialist market economy" etc. -but this contribution is built on the foundation-stone of Mao Zedong Thought, not a thunder-burst out of the blue, nor something emerging from a vacuum. In other words, Deng's new strategy is the revised version of the Maoist strategy, not something de novo. A source of historical distortion seems to have come from Chinese official quarters. Jiang Zemin, Deng's chosen successor, made the following observation in his speech at Deng's condolence meeting :

"Comrade Deng Xiaoping was a great Marxist, a great proletariat, statesman, militarist and diplomat, long- tested communist soldier, chief architect of China's reform and open door and socialist modernisation construction, and founder of the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics."2

Mao's name is missing in this vital context about "building socialism with Chinese characteristics", as Jiang has put it. Can we draw the conclusion that it was never Mao's central theme to build socialism according to Chinese characteristics, or such a concept was totally unknown in Mao's development philosophy? I don't think we can. Let me quote a few specimens from the now quite forgotten one-time world-famous adage of Mao:

"There is no such thing as abstract Marxism, but only concrete Marxism. What we call concrete Marxism is Marxism that has taken on a national form, that is, Marxism applied to the concrete struggle in the concrete conditions prevailing in China, and not Marxism abstractly used."3

 

"Marxism-Leninism is a theory that Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin created on the basis of actual fact, and it consists of general conclusions derived from historical and revolutionary experience. If we have only read this theory but have not used it as a basis of research in China's historical and revolutionary actuality, have not created a theory in accordance with China's real necessities, a theory that is our own and of a specific nature, then it would be irresponsible to call ourselves Marxist theoreticians."4

 

"Russian history has created the Russian system. They support only the Bolsheviks. In this way they have created the Russian state, which is entirely necessary and reasonable for them. ...Chinese history will create the Chinese system."5

I am not saying that the post-Mao period is exactly the continued development of the period when Mao Zedong Thought had its supremacy. Deng had pursued a new post-Mao policy which was described as the "second revolution" of modern China which, I think, is a faithful description. But in no way can Deng's theory of "Chinese characteristics" be viewed as the discontinuation of Mao Zedong Thought (not Maoism). As Deng himself proclaimed in 1976 after the smashing of "Gang of Four":

"We need to revive Mao Zedong Thought, uphold Mao Zedong Thought, and also need to develop Mao Zedong Thought."6

But, was Deng really committing himself to continue with the basic tenets of Mao Zedong Thought or it was merely a publicity tactic to win support and legitimacy in order to regain a leadership position within the Communist Party of China (CPC)? Nevertheless, we cannot deny him the credit of fulfilling his commitment to further develop Mao's theory of "early stage of socialism" (chuji shehuizhuyi). A young Chinese historian, Wang Zhanyang, who specialises in contemporary political history of China, establishes the link between Deng's theory of "Chinese characteristics" and Mao Zedong's policies of national development in his recently published 700 page long book, Mao Zedong's Strategy for Nation Building and Reform and Open-door in Contemporary China. The book, many Chinese historians claim, has in many ways filled a void both in the study of Mao's Thought and in investigating the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. According to Wang Zhanyang, "the central core of Comrade Deng Xiaoping's thoughts, is his theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. This theory, at one level, has been derived by Comrade Xiaoping from China's concrete conditions, while, at another level, if observed in accordance with the spirit of seeking truth from facts and its fundamental theoretical content, it is also directly linked with Mao's theory of early stage of socialism, is the direct continuation and development of this theory of early stage of socialism."7

Twenty years ago, when the reorganised CPC leadership announced the drastic revision of Mao's socialist developmental paradigm, both admirers and opponents among the observers of the PRC were caught unawares. Within China there were mixed reactions of "relief" and "disbelief": Relief because the long-awaited respite from continual political turmoil ultimately arrived;8 disbelief because this arrival had come sooner than many had expected. Interestingly, observers outside China also expressed "relief" and "disbelief" but in an entirely opposite sense. Disbelief because Maoist "Chinese model" was the object of admiration in the West and the ideal model for emulation in the Third World (for Marxists and Socialists)9, as an alternative "third way" to achieve economic growth and cultural prosperity. For many others, the end of "politics in command" ( zhengzhi guashuai ) in China was a relief as the new model of market-friendly policies was seen as China's attempt to end its "self-imposed" splendid isolation from the rest of the world. China is all geared up to defy all odds and persist with the efforts to turn the dream of creating a new modern, strong and socialist China into a reality. Rhetoric apart, there is the fact that "neo-authoritarian" PRC regime is going to achieve the unique task of building a China based on its very own socialist characteristics. This is a challenge to the classic argument put forward in the 1960s by Martin Upset that modernisation, development and democracy cannot exist unless they co-exist. Upset argued: "only economic modernisation and political democracy can create a modern and diverse society."10 Whereas inside China, as the Party elite and intellectuals are openly admitting the impact of reform in the economic structure in social, cultural and political spheres, their concerns regarding China's future as reflectad in the Chinese debates bear a fundamentally different character. As the western political elite over the long run is quite hopeful of dealing with a reform-minded, liberal-democratic Chinese leadership. In fact, many are even underpinning their hopes on dealing with a China no longer ruled by the CPC. In sharp contrast, the focus of debates within China is not in search of a civil society or to create conditions for a multi-party democracy.

Ever since the CPC decided to launch the historic Reforms at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee in December 1978, there has been a sea change in China and the country has had a face-lift in its socio-political, cultural and economic life. This achievement, however, is earned at the expence of the reputation of and confidence in Marxism. The scale and intensity of debates thus generated both within and outside China have been astonishing. While success is justification enough, and the Marxist circles in China and abroad are singing hymns to the Chinese success, the non-Marxists are widely divided in viewing the Chinese experiment. Some think that China has been won over to the "Capitalist Camp", others remain sceptical as the Chinese reforms are only confined in the economy not in the political structure. There is also a blurred vision for those who are obsessed with ideological clarity, unable to decide whether China is in the family of "She", viz. Socialism, or in that of "Zi", viz. Capitalism. But, such a blurred vision has not prevented the emergence of China as a respectable member of the commity of nations, and a developing country with much better living conditions than the rest in the same category. Not surprisingly, the accolades which were being showered upon China by the world media and the European and American corporate houses in the early phase of the country's efforts to bury the ghost of "Cultural Revolution" in the late seventies and early eighties are now being abandoned. At a time when the developing nations were caught up in the fierce infighting and a cut-throat competition with each other in order to woo multinational finance capital, foreign investments kept flowing into China freely and easily, and then, there was suddenly a threat of the end of it. Whereas the key factors far behind China's impressive gains in the previous decade were attributed to trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), and high rate of domestic savings, in the 1990s the successive annual reports of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have been prescribing a larger role for the market forces in China's financial system, in the labour market and in particular in the State owned enterprises (SOEs). If China chooses to puzzle the scholars who are all keen to show allegiance to great thinkers of social sciences of the western world and hold Chinese wisdom in contempt, the ball is not in the Chinese court. However researchers in the western hemisphere may like to ridicule the Chinese pattern of development, the Chinese themselves find in their own twists and turns a straight road to the future. This entails a proper perspective on our part to understand what is meant by "Chinese characteristics".

Today, China is integrating herself into the "mega-circulation" of the world economic development. The world economy is a pyramidal structure with "hi-technology" products at the apex and labour intensive products forming the vast base. Today, on the one hand some agricultural products have acquired "hi-technology" status, manufacturing processes for consumer goods is being eliminated progressively from the developed countries. Even in the developing world, hi-tech can be acquired, and the production process can be upgraded to compete with that of the advanced world. This is the rhythm of the world economic development today. China fully understands that these persistent demands are being used as leverage to catapult the country into international financial market or what is now called "globalisation". Experts in China are well aware of the heavy costs such as the weakening of the State and eventually of political control slipping out of the hands of the CPC, if they are to meekly succumb to these outside pressures. China's communist elite, are therefore, absolutely clear on the prominent and overwhelming role of the State in China's economic development strategy. The "self-reliance" as professed during the days of Mao has now become self-reliance by using foreign funds and technology both wanting in China. Moreover, the breathtaking pace at which socialist China is moving towards achieving its set target of becoming a middle-level advanced industrial nation by the year 2050 has set the alarm bells ringing. Some, in the USA at least (if not in the entire western world), regard the year 2030 as "doomsday" '

Because the would be the year the Chinese GDP (or actual economic strength) would rise to the top position, beating USA to the second place. In other words, the above scenario is nothing else but a true manifestation of the growing disenchantment of the financial and the political elite in the west, including the intelligentsia, with a China abdurately refusing to give up its search for an alternative developmental paradigm. It is in this background, with globalisation having made a clean sweep across the world, we in India should focus on how the Chinese themselves view their country's battle to survive and succeed in what they feel as a hostile, unfriendly world.

At a glance, it is quite evident that in communist China today, the vehement opposition towards capitalism witnessed in the past has receded. What remains unclear, however, is whether this drastic change is merely a tactic or a long term strategy- .At one level, the ardent advocates of a market economy and liberal democracy outside China are congratulating themselves for bringing China into the international market. At another level, within China the concerns are growing as a result of the CPC's failure to resolve the inevitable conflicts between the state and market. One such failure was globally televised in the late eighties, to the discomfiture of the communist regime. Perhaps many more "failures" will follow.

All kinds of euphemisms are being employed to describe China's efforts to accommodate itself within the world market network. But to the disappointment of many, China continues to cling strongly to its socialist integrity, at least in name if not in spirit. Contrary to the views of those who have proclaimed the eastern European "Velvet Revolution" as the "end of history", the Chinese have displayed a unique sense of audacity in rejecting pro-market "civil society". It is to the credit of the CPC that it could realise long before its counterparts did in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, the need to introduce new elements in the rigid, bureaucratic and excessively centralised political and economic structure. At a time when in western countries the new social movements were threatening to clip the growing interference of the state and the mighty market forces in order to save civil society; and in Poland -followed immediately in other parts of central and eastern Europe -new popular movements were beginning to challenge the corrupt, inefficient ruling groups, the CPC took a bold initiative by introducing radical economic reforms. These reforms, first launched in the rural sector in the late seventies, gained ground immediately and took firm roots by the early eighties. It was on the basis of this early success of rural reforms, the then Chinese leadership became emboldened enough to embark upon an enormous ambitious plan of building a new socialist China with its very own characteristics.

Furthermore, much to the dismay it caused outside China, the CPC declared its undaunting faith in Marxism-Leninism at a time when internationally socialist theories were being dubbed as irrelevant and outdated. Inside China, the policy of building socialism with Chinese characteristics was seen as an alternative path for modernisation -an alternative to both the Soviet planned economy and the western model of free economy. Although it is not clear what particular model the new CPC leadership had or still has in mind, it may be argued that the alternative paradigm it is attempting to construct should be viewed more in cultural terms than economic. No wonder, it took the CPC nearly ten years to move ahead in its experiment with the institutions of market economy with an ideological veneer i.e., Socialist Market Economy (SME).

Conventional wisdom believes that the older a civilisation, the harder and slower it becomes in bringing about a change in the thoughts and the value systems of its people. Notwithstanding the advent of modern age and profound impact of the institutions of modernity in global terms, in an uneven manner though, the dominant view today is that the inherent element of timelessness in ancient societies does not allow these societies, such as China, to change rapidly. So, they say that the West alone can have the privilege of experiencing a much more rapid and all encompassing change. This vantage position which the developed nations of the western world enjoy today is indeed the result of the material gains achieved over the past two hundred years or so of the colonial rule. Ironically, it (the West) claims that its success and progress in economic, technological, political, social and cultural terms is linked to its so-called superior institutions over their counterparts in the much older civilizational spheres.

It is in this context that the rapid pace at which China has been moving ahead (rather leaping forward) in the last few decades has caused some worries in the advanced world. Indeed, no alternative pattern of development (in the post-colonial societies) has yet evolved that could be subscribed for societies which have not followed the trajectory of the Industrial Revolution and Renaissance for reasons beyond their control. China's performance in economic and social terms in particular has been causing concern in the western nations as they see it as a challenge to their own formula of industrialisation (read westernisation) which they have forced upon the developing world. It is in this backdrop that we should deal with the complexities and riddles presented by China's development mode. I describe it as complexities and riddles because that is the way in which we, the captured audience of the overarching yet invisible arm of the world media -both in print and in electronics -perceive the home of one fifth of humanity hatching another "Yell (JN Peril" of sorts. Our intention here is not to paint the West as the villain of the piece. Conversely our purpose is to highlight the painstaking efforts Chinese people have been making to cope with the challenges thrown by population growth and underdeveloped production capacities internally and by the do-or-die scenario externally -with "free-market" and "globalisation" posing as another round of Neo-imperialist menace to China and other parts of the developing world.  

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Back Ground of Reform Strategy

Very briefly, we will look into the history of the background in which the new reform strategy was evolved. China is a country of over eight hundred million rural people, of which several million are still living in poverty and hunger. It is this fundamental problem that is facing the CPC that cannot be ignored by anyone willing to understand China today. In December 1978, when the CPC under a new ruling group led by Deng Xiaoping decided to do away with what was known as Maoist developmental paradigm and implement a new set of pragmatic economic policies, the idea was not to abandon Marxism but to chart out a new path that will further consolidate the basic doctrine of socialism. People of China had put their faith in Deng's call to "modernise" China because they were able to see in it the blue-print of a strong and prosperous socialist China. Outside experts chose to interpret these developments as the so-called shift in the party line from "politics in command" to "economics in command". Experts in China however were of the view that this was only consistent with the CPC position of further promoting the development of the relations of production from a lower to higher level. The so-called shift was caused by two factors. Firstly, to rectify the past mistake of defying the law of nature in the economic sphere and therefore avoid reoccurrence of mass political campaigns, or political movements (Zhengzhi yundong), such as the Great Leap Forward (GLP) and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the future. Second, to gradually establish a socialist legal system that will ensure "rule of law" (fazhi) and not the "rule of individuals" (renzhi). This is in sharp contrast to how rapidly growing communist China is viewed differently by the advocates of the so-called "China-threat theory". A strong and modern China in the near future is perceived by many as a dangerous power which would go to any extent to maintain its expansionist status. While the PRC's achievements in terms of providing social justice along with the material needs to its vast population is ignored sans "democracy", "freedom" and "human rights".

"Modernisation" is a highly political and contentious term. In fact, just as a matter of general interest, it is not easy to find in Chinese an expression similar to this English word. The term gained popularity as a development model in the late sixties, thanks to political science and sociological studies carried out in the American universities in order to subjugate newly independent Third World societies. During this period, modernisation theory emerged as the most influential approach in comparative politics. One basic premise of the modernisation theory was to encourage the newly independent and other Third World countries to follow the Western/American model as the ideal one for achieving economic and social development, as against the command economies of socialist countries like China, Cuba, North Korea and some other countries of Africa and Asia. The fundamental postulation of the modernisation theory in the sixties and seventies was that all systems will inevitably need to move to liberal democracy. I am not delving into the merits/demerits of the theory, suffice here to note that the Chinese leaders have shown little interest in it. As Vu Gongmei observes: "after the World War II several newly independent countries mechanically followed the social, political and economic systems of the western First World with the American model as the ideal, however, the outcome was just opposite of what they had desired. Indeed some of these countries did achieve an overall economic growth within a very short period, but communal clashes, racial disturbances, religious killings, civil wars, power-struggles, political coups and all kinds of bloody chaos have become the order of the day in these societies. Western liberal democracy has failed to deliver to the Third World countries the expected economic prosperity, social harmony and happiness. Thus it is clear, countries with different historical, social, economic and cultural conditions should not go the developed countries' way to achieve modernisation."11 The current thinking in China is that in the past, particularly during the decades of the sixties and seventies, China made the mistake of not following the fundamentals of the classical historical materialism, i.e., the level of the productive forces can only be promoted through the continuous enhancement of the relations of production. In other words, experts in China are saying that the process of modernisation was stalled during those decades as theorists in China had failed to realise the need to further develop new relations of production. It is now being argued that given the relatively backward state of the productive forces in the country, transition to "full" socialist relations of production had proceeded too quickly.12

Although modernisation did find a place in the Chinese socialist developmental discourse in the early fifties itself, both the term and the concept however were conceived and interpreted differently by the then leaders of China. According to them, the aim of socialist modernisation programme was to enable economically backward China to bring about an advanced technological revolution and quickly catch up to the highest world standards in economy, science and technology. As early as 1954, Zhou Enlai had clearly advocated the goal of turning China into a strong and modern socialist nation. Sometime later, Zhou once again declared, "we must modernise our agriculture, industry, national defence and science and technology in order to establish our fatherland as a strong socialist country, the key to achieve this goal lies in realising modernisation in science and technology. ...We are far behind the advanced world standards ...we must strive hard to overtake and move ahead, we will overtake and move ahead".13

It is in this context, when Deng Xiaoping raised the goal of socialist modernisation goal, he did not merely repeat the slogan first raised by Zhou in the 1950s. Instead, Deng went a step further by re-emphasising the Marxist viewpoint that "science and technology is the primary forces of production". Deng declared: "The great historical responsibility the people of China have on their shoulders is to achieve the target of total modernisation in agriculture, industry, national defence and science and technology within the twenty first century and thus establish a strong, modern, socialist China. ...Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, if we don't carry out modernisation, we won't be able to raise the level of science and technology, we won't be able to develop our social forces of production, the national potential won't be strengthened, we won't be able to enhance the material and cultural standards of our people, so we will fall to fully consolidate our socialist political and economic systems and therefore we will fail to safeguard the security of our nation."14

In present-day China, economic growth is viewed as the key to the country's socialist modernisation drive, which in turn depends on political stability. In sharp contrast, westerners are obsessed with pushing China into the liberal modern world with the establishment of "modern" political and economic institutions such as parliamentary democracy and free market etc. After the Tiananmen episode, it (the west} has, by and large, lost all hope of China's turning the western way, as was pointed out by Jie Chen and others in a recent study on the degree of popular support for the "authoritarian" government in communist China. They claim, before 1989 most western observers of China were quite optimistic about the prospects of the post-Mao reformist regime, however, after the Tiananmem crackdown, the mood among China scholars turned overwhelmingly pessimistic.15 It is needless to point out that, these pessimistic notions were the result of the conventional western wisdom that economic reforms in communist China over a decade have created (new} social, cultural and economic forces that are seriously challenging the monopoly of the CPC.

Unlike the commentators and China experts In the West, Chinese do not suffer from any such disillusion regarding the aims and goals of the PRC's vigorous modernisation initiative. Nowhere in the Chinese debates has one come across pronouncements like the changes in China's economic structure means the end of socialism and the restoration of capitalism. Instead, the line of thought in China is that the strategy of the economic reform is aimed at improving the level of the productive forces. It is for this reason that modernisation as a goal is the crucial factor for the legitimacy of Chinese Communist Party. As Liang Lidong and Huang Zhengchao have argued, "China's modemisation drive is being promoted through the policies of reform and open door as a result of the basic contradiction prevailing in society today. Reform is the conscious readjustment of mutually unsuitable elements existing between production relations and productive forces on the one hand, and between superstructure and the economic base on the other. Open Door is the timely tapping of material resources, information and energy. Stable, steady progress of reform and open door policies will inevitably continue to liberate and develop productive forces, the absolute truth of the continuous development of productive forces in turn will decide the relations of production. Reforms will promote growth, growth will lead to stability."16

Theoretically, China's current modernisation programme is not new, but it has acquired a fresh look since the early eighties. In practice, three things come to mind that distinguish China's new modernisation initiative spearheaded by Deng Xiaoping from the previous attempts under Mao and Zhou. The new elements are, in order of priority: political stability at home. peaceful international environment and greater interaction with the world economy. The above three factors formed the basis of what Deng termed as modernisation with Chinese characteristics. Since the Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CPC held in December 1978, Deng had been consistently advocating stability as the foremost condition for China's modernisation. At a time when "bourgeois liberalisation" seemed to have grappled China, particularly a section of the urban elite, Deng promptly warned the Party of the dangers of untimely movements such as the "fifth modernisation" and their potential threat to political stability, social order and the smooth implementation of the task of socialist modernisation. Deng's concern (or obsession) for maintaining stability and order had its origins in the lessons learnt from nearly twenty years of social disorder that had prevailed in the Chinese society between 1958 and 1976- 78. When summing up the lessons of the past, Deng said in a speech at a special meeting of cadres on January 16, 1980: "The experience of the Cultural Revolution has already proved that chaos leads only to retrogression, not to progress, and that there must be good order if we are to move forward. Under China's present circumstances it is clear that without stability and unity we have nothing. ...Since our people have just been through a decade of suffering, they cannot afford further chaos ..."17 Deng very well knew that this stability could only come from the Communist Party and therefore, in 1979, he reiterated the need for upholding the Four Cardinal Principles: upholding the socialist road, upholding the peoples' democratic dictatorship, upholding the leadership of the CPC and upholding Marxism- Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Deng made it absolutely clear, "to achieve Four Modernisations, these are four basic prerequisites."18

In all of Deng's pre- Tiananmen (1989) statements the stability factor was always his primary concern ever since he had embarked on the path to catapult China into economic high growth lone. In January 1980, while speaking before the Party cadres belonging to the Central Committee on the current situation and the tasks facing the CPC, Deng dwelt on the need to maintain political stability and unity. He said: "without political stability and unity, it would be impossible for us to settle down to construction. This has been borne out by our experience in the more than 20 years since 1957, and especially by last year's. Now we have achieved -or basically achieved -political stability and unity. Comrades at various posts must jointly take responsibility for preserving and developing it."19 Then again, barely a month had passed when speaking at the Third meeting of the Fifth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Committee of the CPC, Deng declared: "while working with complete dedication for the four modernisations, we must, with equal dedication, preserve and develop a political situation marked by stability, unity and liveliness."20 Deng's overemphasis on political stability and unity within the Party has always remained a key element of his theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. All the ingredients of what is now known as the socialist market economy or in other words the Chinese type of socialism are found in Deng's pronouncements and writings from the late seventies to the early eighties. What is significant here is the fact that political stability and order have always figured prominently throughout his. observations. And the reason for this is not difficult to discern. When in 1979 Deng first made public his grand plan of quadrupling China's 1980 GNP by the turn of this century, he knew quite well that without stability it would be impossible to achieve in a backward Third World country like China. Added to this was the other unique factor of China being a socialist country. Gradually he developed his modernisation plan of" three stages" or as it is called in Chinese, "san bu zoti (walking in three steps). The first step being to double the per capita GNP of 1980 by the year 1990 and provide the basic needs to all people of China; the second, to double the GNP of the 1990 level by the year 2000 so that the people of China can enjoy moderately comfortable living standards; and third, to raise China's per capita GNP to reach that of the middle level developed countries by the middle of the next century. This three-stage development strategy was formally approved and adopted at the CPC's 13th Congress. In his report to the Congress, Zhao Ziyang, the then General Secretary of the CPC argued: "China is in the primary stage of socialism. The socialist revolution in China has occurred in a backward country. Because our socialism has emerged from the womb of a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, with the productive forces lagging far behind those of the developed capitalist countries, we are destined to go through a very long primary stage. During this stage we shall accomplish industrialisation and the commercialisation, socialisation and modernisation of production, which many countries have achieved under capitalist conditions."21

Although Zhao was removed from the Party's post in the aftermath of the 1989 students unrest, the Party continued to adhere to his argument of continuously developing new relations of production to promote the growth of the productive forces. Jiang Zemin (Zhao's successor as the CPC General Secretary) in his first address to the Party after assuming his post, made it clear that the above argument of developing the productive forces was the core element of China's socialist reform process. In a speech marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the PRC, he said: "socialism is a system that requires constant development and improvement on its own basis. To base ourselves on Chinese reality, sum up our practical experience and -in accordance with the actual level of our social productive forces and the objective needs for further development, purposefully readjust the part of the production relations which does not conform with the productive forces, and readjust the part of the superstructure which does not conform to the economic base -this is what we mean by socialist reform."22 The message Jiang was conveying to the Party's rank and file and the people of China in general was that leaders may come and go but the basic line of the Party to achieve the goal of the socialist modernisation through reform and the open door strategy would remain unchanged. Observers outside China, including India, it seems, are divided into two opposite groups in their views on China's achievements. One group is of the view that the rapid growth of China symbolises her blazing a new trail in taking her economy along the right path of giving a facelift to a poor and developing country. The other group consists of cynics and we have a specimen of cynicism here: "whether one regards it (China's economic successes) as a theoretical coup or a practical joke, there is no doubt about the audacity of the capitalist-roaders in Beijing as they try to make Karl Marx look more and more like Adam Smith".23 Within China, however, the commonly held view is that of prudent optimism. It is the consensus within China that the thirst of popular aspirations could not have been quenched by the overflow of rhetoric, and the CPC had the formidable task of taking China forward along the road of improving living standards while remaining committed to the other goals of socialism. The overall response of Chinese society to undesirable phenomena like income disparity, corruption, a bureaucracy that is suffocating and high-handed etc., is by and large appreciative, expectant, and tolerating. Perhaps, it is due to the melange of China's traditional and contemporary political culture that despite being "backward", people of China have shown a remarkable sense of responsibility in giving unconditional but not uncritical support and willingness to participate in the programme of rebuilding the nation after long, chaotic and turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution.   

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The Search for "Civil Society"

Following the instant collapse and disintegration of "state socialism", first in East Europe and subsequently in the erstwhile Soviet Union, which were swept away by the liberal, reform wind in favour of "free market" and civil society, intellectuals in the west started devoting too much attention to the study of a "nebulas civil society and public sphere" in China. Suddenly, social science studies in the western academia were filled with enthusiasm in search of a different political culture in China which in their reckoning has been emerging since the reform started. As a result of huge inflows of international finances into China and increased exposure of a rigid, tightly enclosed Chinese society to previously unknown foreign (read western) culture, the focus of these new studies was on public assembly and free association in places such as discos, Karaoke, bars and Macdonald restaurants, on the role of pro-reform, liberal intellectuals, and on consumerism as a new communication medium for the spread of "individualism" and so on. The high point for these studies on the presence of a "civil society" in China in some form or the other was what is now universally known as the "historic" happenings at the Tiananmen Square in 1989. A review of the writings enshrined in books and research papers and newspaper articles which flooded the market following the "democracy movement", reveal how voguish the theme of "civil society/public sphere in China" had become.

By the early nineties, "civil society" was the new agenda in China studies. In 1994, during my one-week stay at the Nankai University in Tianjin, I attended a day-long Seminar on "Contemporary Political Culture in China" organised by the Department of History. At the seminar, Professor Ge Ouan, a young scholar of contemporary Chinese political history, while reacting to western scholars' premises about the emergence of a new "democratic" political culture in China as a result of the economic reforms, remarked: "An increasingly high number of western scholars, including those who have switched over to China studies from other fields of studies, engaged in research ranging from avant-garde literature and art to anthropology and post-Marxism proves the high priority China has come to acquire in the academia outside China. However, the ultimate aim of all such studies seems to be, regardless of the historical factors of time and space, to employ all available theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches to locate the birth of a civil society in the so-called Beijing Democracy Movement. For these scholars, what matters the most is, the decade-long market reforms have finally succeeded in the realisation of a nascent civil society in China." Similar sentiments are echoed in the vast amount of political literature now available in China. These Chinese scholars argue that the notion of civil society is being forced upon China as if it can be easily exported and implanted everywhere. Notwithstanding the CPC's unexplained stoic silence on the sudden disintegration of the communist parties and "state socialism" in the countries of the erstwhile "socialist bloc" and the former Soviet Union, Chinese experts and analysts have been closely studying the post-communist developments in these societies. Continuing social and financial insecurity for the large majority of the population, widespread unemployment and an overall decline in all aspects of life in these countries has shown that dreams of "freedom", "democracy" and "prosperity" as promised by the so-called civil society were in fact the agents for "free market" and "westernisation of culture".

Particularly alarming for the Chinese elite has been the moral, cultural and social crises in Russia today. The free market therapy has actually plunged the Russian society into a situation where national and cultural identity is facing the threat of elimination. These bitter realities of embracing "civil society" has forced Chinese intellectuals to seriously consider the question of compatibility of democracy with China's polity and national sovereignty. It is therefore not surprising to see the failure of Chinese intellectuals and pro-democracy elements to come out with any theoretical alternative or a viable Solidarity-style public protest movement. Some Chinese scholars attribute this failure to the vast dissimilarities in terms of historical traditions, social structure, economic levels and natural conditions, between China and the erstwhile "socialist bloc". Many others, including those who once were strongly advocating for eastern European-type "civil society" (gongmin shehui) in China, gradually realised that any move to initiate change in China's political structure sans high levels of economic growth is bound to be a disaster like the situation in Russia today. It is in this context that we should understand the arguments of those within the CPC who raise accusing fingers at pro-liberal reformers. Also, many young Chinese intellectuals, who are not falling prey to the thesis of East Asian Confucian cultural model based on market economy, are arguing that the neo-Confucianists are aiming not so much at reviving China's traditional past, as at "denationalising" and "de-Chinafying" it.

To return to the western premises, we have Clement Stubbe Ostregaard, Craig Calhoun, Thomas B. Gold etc. who first applied concepts such as "public sphere", "civil society" to provide an alterative understanding of the 1989 People's Movement in Beijing. In an article published just five months after the June Fourth episode, Ostregaard, a China specialist from Denmark, claimed that a civil society had been developing in China for some years as a result of the economic reform process which has succeeded in effectively reducing the all pervasive power of the Party-State.24 Craig Calhoun was the first scholar who relied upon the public/private space theory of Habermas to point out that the 1989 Protest Movement was an attempt towards establishing a public sphere (gonggong kongjian) in China outside the control of the State.25 Not that such new theoretical formulations went unchallenged. But the nature of the objections and disagreements with the above postulations had much to do with the tools of analyses than the desired end results. Frederick Wakeman dismissed the above assertion by arguing that for Habermas, as in the case of Marx, the emergence of "public space" as a communication sphere to protect civil society against the state was inextricably connected with the strong bourgeois rule. According to Wakeman, such a linkage alone fixes both ideal types in a particular historical setting, and if we allow ourselves to be hobbled by teleology, then neither concept is going to fit the Chinese case very well.26 Despite such strong theoretical reservations, it is surprising how the popularity of the civil society argument got a further impetus by a series of new projects taken up by social historians, particularly in America, who had earlier emphasised the traditional bases of civil society and public sphere in China. This new generation of social historians had in the early 1980s begun tracking down the roots of civil society in the late imperial or, as they prefer to call it, pre-modern China. Notable among these scholars are David Strand, Martin K. Whyte, William T. Rowe, Mary Backus Rankin and Prasenjit Duara. According to one western scholar, a distinct pre-modern civil society existed in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century China in the form of corporate groups and voluntary associations like guilds, neighbourhood associations, clans and lineage, surname associations, and religious groupings in the form of temple societies, deity cults, monasteries and secret societies. Perhaps the most important common phenomenon of these organisations was that these were formed outside, or independent of, the state.27

Undoubtedly, the purpose of these studies was to emphasise the close link between an autonomous public space as present in the late Qing and the early Republican China and the reappearance of these incipient elements of semi-official, semi- autonomous collectively owned business enterprises within the interstices of a China reeling under the market reforms. The Stone Corporation, the Institute for the Study of the Development of Agricultural Economy, and the Institute for the Study of Reforms in Economic Structure etc., are some such quasi-official enterprises and semi-NGOs who were not only actively behind the 1989 students demonstration but also recognised as instrumental in "reviving" the Habermasian private sphere. At a broader level, if this was so, then why is it that any form of public protest against the State prior to 1989 in China, say the Tiananmen Movement of 1976, is not accepted b)' the same scholars as similar to a "civil society" or "public sphere" phenomenon? If a mass public protest directed against the "authoritarian" state or against a brutal, repressive ruling clique can be considered as part of a civil society culture (the reference here is to the 1989 Beijing Spring Movement) then even the Cultural Revolution had certain signs of independent, autonomous public protest culture. It is in this sense, one may argue, the public or private sphere theory of Habermas conceived out of a given historical context loses its relevance when applied to China, as has been the case in the recent western scholarship on interpreting "political culture" in contemporary China.

For most, if not all, sociological studies on the contemporary social life in China from 1956 to 1978 suggest that Chinese people during this period were subjected to political sufferings more than economic hardships. Some recent studies on the life in China during the 1980s and 1990s also reflect that the majority among Chinese, particularly in the rural areas, continue to live in most deplorable conditions. In other words, what needs to be emphasised is that twenty years before and twenty years since the economic restructuring process began, in both phases, millions of Chinese have had to live in most austere and adverse conditions no matter whether the CPC was following the policy of "politics in command" or "economics in command", In the first phase, social instability was caused by the ultra-left political mistakes, while in the second phase which is still unfolding, it is the rapid pace of economic liberalisation which is the cause of social instability. If the pre-reform decades were politically catastrophic, then the post-Mao period has witnessed the great divide in urban and rural fortunes. Before, it was the urban segments of the population who were forced to live uprooted life as a result of organised migration from urban into rural areas. Now, it is the turn of millions of rural Chinese to rush into the cities to market their unorganised cheap labour. Some foreign observers and experts see market forces having succeeded in distancing China away from Marxism while pushing it towards the desired goal of a new political culture similar to the western bourgeois liberal democracy, civil society and human rights. For quite some time, the western political elite was quite hopeful of dealing with a reform-minded, liberal-democratic Chinese leadership. Many even dreamt of doing business with a China no longer ruled by the CPC. A section of the western expertise on China began to pray for the death of Deng in the hope that moderate leaders would have to yield to the demand for political reforms. Such a hope was also denied when Deng passed away in early 1997, and the rumoured challenges to Jiang Zemin (considered as a hard liner by many) were a non-starter. Now, western optimism for China's "modernisation" has to pin hope on the post-Jiang era which would not dawn at the fag end of the 20th century. The enemy to this hoping against hope lies in the misconception in the hope itself.

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The Language of Political Discourse In China

As noted in the beginning of this paper, the language of political discourse in China is fundamentally different. At one level, key political terms in the western political narrative such as political behaviour, governance, parliamentary or representative democracy, civic culture, public and private sphere/space and so on, have yet to enter into the mainstream political writings in China. At another level, the problem is related with the difficulty of translating the terms into speakable Chinese. Let me further elaborate this point. It will be incorrect to consider this language barrier as peculiar to Chinese. For the main issue here is not merely finding an appropriate Chinese expression which will be genuinely true to the original meaning of the term, The larger issue is that of different cultural and political implications as a consequence of the tension that will thus be generated between traditional etymological beliefs and the alien, modernist concepts.

In simple words, what we are talking about here is not the issue of just simply translating the networks of meanings from one language/culture into the other, but we are essentially emphasising on the challenges the new translation strategies would be posing to the existing philosophical concepts. In other words, the difficulty lies in translating across etymologies.28 Let us take up some terminology. The first time the term "civil society" was employed in the contemporary political discourse in China was in the mid-eighties when liberal, pro-reform intellectuals and scholars started questioning the authenticity and validity of the officially circulated Chinese translation for the German original term of "Burgerliche Gesellschaft" -shimin shehui. Taken literally, it means: urban (shi), people (min), social (she), and association (hui). These scholars argued, the term actually should have been translated as "citizen's society" (gongmin shehui) since burgerliche in German meant "citizen" (citiyon) and not just "bourgeoisie" (burger). In an article published in Tianjin Shehui Kexue (Tianjin Social Sciences) in April 1986, Shen Yue, the first Chinese scholar to raise the controversy, unearthed the concept of "towns people's right" (shimin quanll) from Marx's writings and claimed that Marx had used the term "towns people" as an economic concept and it included both the bourgeoisie and the proletariat for people who had come to the cities or towns in search of work. The basic characteristics of the towns people, according to Shen's interpretation, apart from residing in the urban areas, was their participation in market economic activities.29 Thanks largely to the liberal attitude of the CPC towards intellectuals and ideological debat{'s, Shen was described by many as lucky to have escaped the wrath of the anti-reform hard-liners within the Party. What surprised many in China was the subsequent re- run of the entire article in CPC's mouthpiece Renmin Ribao (People's Daily) on November 24, 1986. Many observers outside China, interpreted this development as the first official acknowledgement by the CPC of the use of the term civil society. However, it is a fact that till date no party document or policy statement has ever employed such a term. Some analysts described this as the CPC's ambiguity and weakness to enter into such t'!persensitive ideological debates. Finally, in the aftermath of the 1989 "counter-revolutionary" students movement, contrary to the claims by foreign observers that the liberal views and the pro-liberal urban elite were being put under severe censorship, Shen Vue again attracted the attention of Chinese political scientists when his second article on the same theme was published in the leading journal of academic debates, Zhexue Yanjiu (The Journal of Philosophical Research) in 1990.30 This time, however, Shen did not have to wait for others to respond. Xi Zhaoyong, a professor of political philosophy at Nanjing University, joined issue with Shen Vue. Although Xi agreed with Shen that the German term "burger" could mean both citizen and bourgeoisie, he, however, asserted that in most cases Marx and Engels had used it to mean the bourgeoisie.31

At the same time, against the backdrop of the failed democracy m(Jiement of 1989, many Chinese scholars who were now residing in western Europe and America -the most prominent being the "dissidenr Chinese intellectual Liu Binyan -who were inspired by the events in Eastern Europe joined China scholars in the west to continue their efforts to smuggle in an analogue for the eighteenth century bourgeois public sphere in order to explain the use of such symbols as the "Statue of Liberty" in the Tiananmen public demonstrations. Unlike in English where the terms "civil society", "public sphere" and "public space" are all seen as coterminous, in Chinese the main difficulty is to distinguish them in translation. The term "shehui" (society), according to some studies, does not even have a history of more than a hundred years or SO.32 It is a twentieth century Chinese borrowing from Japan and was imported by the Chinese intellectuals who had gone to Japan in search of modern information and wisdom. True, the two components of the term, she and hui, are of Chinese origin. But hui, as noted earlier, meaning "association" at once invited suspicion of connections with rebellious, secret societies. Similarly, she traditionally had a very limited scope connoting a "community" or "organisation". Interestingly, the word which is borrowed from Japanese, where in a reversed word order (huishe) it becomes a "company" or "organisation". This reversed word order in Chinese used to connote a clandestine or secret society. Arising from such semantic differences as well as difficulties there have emerged seven various translations for "civil society" in contemporary Chinese literature. They are: (1) shimin shehui: literally "the society of city people", (2) chengshi shehui: literally "the society of the cities", (3) gongmin shehui: literally "the society of the citizens of the country" -a "dissident" Chinese formulation, (4) minjian shehui: literally "the society not associated with the governmenr -a Taiwanese formulation,33 (5) qunzhong shehui: literally "the society of the masses" (as a pre-stage to civil society), (6) pingmin shehui: literally "the society for ordinary people" (in describing issues of Eastern Europe)34 and (7) shehuizhuyi shimin shehui: literally "the socialist society of urban people" (meant to be a socialist brand of civil society). The last translation epitomises a distant confluence of Chinese socialist mood with that of western liberal mood. Yu Keping, a senior researcher with the Contemporary Research Centre, attached to the CPC Central Committee Editorial and Translation Bureau, has been writing extensively on the theme and has succeeded in adding a totally new dimension to the entire debate in China over the possibility of civil society in the future.

Several other political terms and concepts which are now regularly being referred to in the Chinese political debates, are posing a great difficulty to the authors and readers alike. Chinese term guojia is the common denomination for "state", "country" and "nation" while, "public domain", "public sphere" and "public space" all are translated as gonggong kongjian or gonggong lingyu. In 1994, I also met at the Tianjin Seminar, Professor Liu Zehua, a noted Chinese historian, who specialises in traditional Chinese political culture and is also known for his vehement opposition to bourgeois-liberal notions of democracy. Professor Liu, likened the current use in China of the above terms to the latest consumer goods coming from Europe and America and the rage created by them among the urban nouveaux riche. He pointed out: "less than a decade ago no one in China's academic circles had heard of 'civil society', 'public space', 'free domain' etc. But now the use of such terms has become a fad among the university elite." However, Jurg Habermas who is credited in the west as the founder of the "communication theory" and public and private space theory in 1960s, has not yet been translated into Chinese, said Liu.

At the level of theory, scholars in China are yet to engage themselves in the discourse on civil society. It is true that the notion has found a place in political debates in China. But oddly enough, intellectuals and the urban intelligentsia do not seem to be very enthusiastic about the concept. On the basis of what they see in the experiences of miracle-making (but now in crisis) smaller nations in East and South-east Asia, they do not envisage the validity or applicability of the civil society concept in the case of China. Many Chinese simply dismiss the western prognosis on civil society becoming a reality in China in the near future.

They regard civil society a "magic bag" (bai bao dai) or, in other words, a ragbag into which anything in the name of civil society can be stuffed. Not surprisingly, therefore, no major study exclusively devoted to the study of the origin and growth of civil society in general, and its application to China in particular, has been updated in China. The only article that deserves our attention is by two political scientists who supported a theory of benign interaction between civil society and the state, by claiming that the role of the state in regard to civil society has two aspects. First, the state must recognise the independent civil society and provide institutional and legal guarantee and a legitimate field of action for it. Secondly, the state should carry out necessary interference and regulation over civil society.35 The co-authors of the article, Deng Zhenglai and Jing Yuejin, engage themselves with the Hegelian state/society dichotomy and hold the view that society is subordinate to the state. However, both Deng and Jing, fail to address the issue of how "civil society" is to be viewed contemporaneously in China's context. For example, in an economically backward society in China, will civil society be created from above by the state or will it rise as a challenge to the state from below?

Notwithstanding China's different cultural traditions, there is reason to believe that once she is totally immersed in the globalisation of economic development she will not be able to maintain a totally separate identity if the rest of the world, or the majority of nations are inclined to adopt a model of "civil society" even if there is going to be unity in diversity in their experimentation. In other words, the harmony between the State, the collective and the individual will be regulated by a more or less uniform standard when the future world implements inter-cultural and interface synergy. If the Chinese experiment can find something superior to the western model, many third world countries will follow suit, which, in turn, will force western social scientists to accord recognition to the "Chinese model" and modify their theories about human evolution and modernisation. If this is not to be the case, China will have to conform to the majority socio-political trend, or face sharp contradictions between the ruling system and the subjects, particularly the forward-looking social elite. It is encouraging that more and more social scientists in China are showing increasing interest in understanding the crucial role of the government in a society which is undergoing transformation from a traditional, rural society into modern, industrial nation.  

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Conclusion

To sum up, we see that Western mainstream China scholars discredit the CPC's insistence on stability instead of bold political reform. Their conviction about the increasing Chinese demands for democratisation in the future may also be an error.26 This contradicts sharply with the dominant mindset in China that political pluralism or multi-party democracy are not the vital and pressing issues for the country. Commentators in China believe, that the country is passing through a transitional phase, hence has to grapple with problems of corruption, increasing crime, widening income disparity and misuse of political power etc. A new framework will take time as China travels along the uncertain terrain of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. But to describe these efforts as "crisis of faith in the existing ideology" or "the death of Marxism in China" will be a gross mistake. We must give the benefit of doubt to the Chinese ruling elite and their intellectual resources, and allow them to take their time to meet the mainstream of world evolution. If China can blaze a new trail to show a better formula of socio-political transformation than what the west has imposed on the Third World countries, it will be all the more welcome.

Here, I must draw public attention to the current Chinese discourse on the future of China from a cultural view-point. There is optimism among a section of Chinese intellectuals that a kind of renaissance is taking shape in China which is described by the famous Professor of Philosophy of Beijing University, Zhang Dainian, as embarking on a new road of Chinese modernisation by rejecting the two other alternatives of either a whole-hog westernisation or a restoration of traditional Confucian order. Sources of such optimism have its roots in modern Chinese history, particularly in the experiences accumulated over the past one hundred years during which China has emerged a strong, sovereign socialist country. Professor Zhang rejects both bourgeois liberalisation and conservative Confucian renaissance models as inevitable death-traps. In an aritcle re-printed in Xinhua Wenzhai (Xinhua Digest) recently, Professor Zhang and Wang Dong, co-authors of the article, firmly declare that only by following the overall path of creating socialism with Chinese characteristics can Chinese civilisation achieve modernisation. The article goes on to list down ten major contributions that the new China would be making in the history of the world civilisation in the next century. Professor Zhang calls them "Ten Creations", they are: (1) creating a strong, democratic, civilised new and modern socialist China, (2) creating a new culture with Chinese type of socialism based on a high degree of unity of the material and spiritual civilisations, (3) creating a new type of structure based on socialism with Chinese characteristics: a new type of market economy -a new type of democratic polity -a new type of scientific culture, (4) creating a trans-century Chinese wave of "structural reform" "take-off economy" "national unity" and "cultural renaissance", (5) creating a new road and new pattern of socialist modernisation with Chinese characteristics, (6) creating a modern, reformed Chinese nationalism, (7) creating a new value system based on socialism with Chinese characteristics, (8) creating a new methodological body enriched with the spirit of the times as well as the oriental essence, (9) creating a modern revival of new Chinese civilisational forms and (10) creating a modern, new type of subjectivity, blended with a new world culture of the twenty-first century.

Professor Zhang thus refutes Huntington and school who are vociferously propagating the so-called "clash of civilisations" and "China threat" theories, by arguing that such theories are born not out of ignorance but out of prejudices. Zhang Dainian and Wang Dong conclude their essay on a note of optimism regarding future of China as well as a peaceful, non-hegemonic, multi-centered world order in which there will be harmony between eastern and western cultural systems and value concepts. This happy note gives hope to foreign, especially Indian, China watchers to expect a new China emerging in our new millennium which is only two years away. While "Chinese characteristics" are exclusive Chinese property, its universal lesson will not be lost once China succeeds in breaking away from the western imposition of "modernisation", in proving it wrong that "all roads lead to Rome or Westminster or Washington". We, in India, are particularly interested in the Chinese defiance against the western cultural hegemony, and will watch with keen interest how far they succeed. Perhaps, a close comparison of the two nations' experiences can benefit each other, and help strengthen the "Chinese characteristics" in their long march towards the socialist goal as well as create an Indian awareness for "Indian characteristics" in our own socio-political evolution

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1, Touraine, Alain. (1997) What Is Democracy? Tr. David Macey. See the Introduction. p. 8, (Colorado & London: Westview Press).

2. People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) February 25, 1997, Beijing.

3. Mao Zedong. Selected Works of MaD Tse-tung, Vol. 2, Peking: Foreign Language Press, 1953, 195.

4. Mao, Selected Works, Vol. 4, p. 31.

5. Mao, Selected Works, Vol. 3, pp. 283-84.

6. Deng Xiaoping wenxuan (Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping 1976-1982), People's Publishing House, Beijing, 1983, p. 261.

7. Wang Zhanyang (1993) Mao Zedongdp jianguo fanglue Y'J dangdai Zhongguo de gaige kaifang, (The State building policies of Mao Zedong and the current reform and opening up of China), Guilin People's Publishing House, p. 643.

8. Lee, Sarel (1976) Subterranean Individualism: Contradictions of Politicisation, in Telos, No.32.

9. Holmes, Leslie (1997) Post-Communism: An Introduction (London: Polity Press).

10. Upset, M (1960) Political Man: The Social Basis of Politics ( London: Heinemann).

11. Vu Gongmei (1993) Zailun zai shenhua gaige zhong xunqiu zhengzhi wending (Again on seeking political stability in intensifying the Reform), in Wu Daying and Vu Gongmei (eds.) Reform and Open-door versus Political Stability (Beijing : Chinese Publishing House of Democratic Legal Sysyterns).

12. Xiao Zhen (1981) Beijing Review, August 10-17. As cited in Paul B(JNles and Tony Stone, "China's Reforms: A Study in the Application of Historical Materialism"; Science & Society. Vol. 55, No.3, Fall 1991, pp. 261-90.

13. Selected Writings of Zhou Enlai (1984) Vol. 2, (Beijing: People's Publishing House).

14. Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping (1983) (Beijing : People's Publishing House).

15. Jie Chen, Vang Zhong and Jan William Hillard. (1997) "The Level and Sources of Popular Support for China's Current Political Regime", Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 30, No.1, pp. 45-64.

16. Liang Udong and Huang Zhengchao. (1993) "On maintaining political stability in China's modemisation process", in Wu Daying and Vu Gongmei (eds.) Gaigekaifang yu zhengzhiwending (Reform and Open-door versus Political Stability) Beijing: Publishing House of Democratic Rule of Law, China.

17. Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping: 1978. 1982.(1983) p. 237, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.

18. Ibid. p. 172.

19. Ibid. p. 236.

 

20. Ibid. p. 261

21. Zhao Ziyang. (1987) "Advance along the Road to Socialism with Chinese Characteristics" Beijing Review, 30: 45, November 9. 15

22. Jiang Zemin. (1989} Beijing Review, 32: 41, October 9-15.

23. Lal, Sham. (1997} "The Ironies of Independence", Biblio, Vol. 11, Nos. 7-8, pp.8-9.

24. Gu Xin. (1995} "A Civil Society and Public Sphere in post-Mao China? An Overview of Western Publications" in China Information .

25. Ibid.

26. Wakernan, Frederick Jr. (1993) "The Civil Society and Public Sphere Debate: Western Reflections on Chinese Political Culture", in Modern China, Vol. 2, April.

27. Walder, A. (1989) "The political sociology of the Beijing upheaval of 1989", Problems of Communism.

28. Wang Hui, Leo Ou-fan Lee and Michael M. J. Fischer (1994). "Is the Public Sphere Unspeakable in Chinese? Can Public Spaces (gonggong kongjian) Lead to Public Spheres?" In Public Culture, Vol. 6, University of Chicago.

29. Shen Vue (1986), "Bourgeoisie rights should be translated as towns people's rights", in Tianjin Shehui Kexue, (Tianjin Social Sciences) Vol. 4.

30. Shen Vue {1990), "An examination of towns people's society" in Zhexue Yanjiu {Philosoplical Studies), Vol. 1.

31. Xi Zhaoyong {1990), An examination of "examination of townspeople's society", Zhexue yanjiu, Vol.5.

32. See Public Culture, Vol. 6, 1994.

33. Ibid. p. 601

34. Dushu ('Reading" magazine), Vol. 1, :>. 12, 1997 Beijing: Sanlian Publishing House.

35. Deng Zhenglai, " Civil society versus the state: an academic appraisal", in China Social Sciences Quarterly, Vol. 5, Spring, 1993. Hong Kong.

26. Zhang Dainian and Wang Dong, Zhonghua wenmingde xiandai fuxing he zonghe chuangxin, (The modern resurgence and composite innovations of Chinese civilization) Xinhua Wenzhai (Xinhua Digest), No.8, 1997.

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1998 Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi

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