Socialist Market Economy - History

History

The transition to a socialist market economy began in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping introduced his program of "Socialism with Chinese characteristics". Initial reforms in decollectivising agriculture and allowing private businesses and foreign investment in the late 1970s and early 1980s later led to large-scale radical reforms, consisting of privatisation of the state sector, liberalisation of trade and prices, and dismantling the welfare state in the late 1990s. Since the beginning of Deng Xiaoping's reforms, China's GDP rose from some 150 billion USD to more than 1.6 trillion USD, with an annual increase of 9.4 percent. As of 2004, 50% of the remaining state-owned enterprises have been transformed into joint-stock companies.

The private sector's share of the GDP rose from less than 1% in 1978 to 70% by 2005, a figure that is still increasing. Due to the poor performance of traditional state enterprises in the market economy, China embarked on a massive restructuring program of corporatization. Under this scheme, the state retains ownership and control of large enterprises but the central government has little direct control over the operations of state-owned enterprises. Recently the Conservative Hu-Wen Administration rolled back many of Deng's reforms, leaving observers dubbing 2008 the "third anniversary of the end of reform.

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