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Four Modernizations

Four Modernizations

The Four Modernizations were the goals of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms. They were first introduced by Zhou Enlai in 1975 at the Fourth National People's Congress in one of his last public acts. After his death and Mao’s soon thereafter, Deng Xiaoping assumed control of the party in late 1978. In December 1978 at the Third Plenum of the 11th Central Committee, Deng Xiaoping announced the official launch of the Four Modernizations, formally marking the beginning of the reform era. The Four Modernizations were in the fields of:

  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Technology
  • Defense

The Four Modernizations were designed to make China a great economic power by the early 21st century. These reforms essentially stressed economic self-reliance. The People's Republic of China decided to accelerate the modernization process by stepping up the volume of foreign trade by opening up its markets, especially the purchase of machinery from Japan and the West. By participating in such export-led growth, China was able to speed up its economic development through foreign investment, a more open market, access to advanced technologies, and management experience.

Further reading

  • Hsü, Immanuel C. Y. (2000). The Rise of Modern China. 6th ed., New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512503-7.
  • Evans, Richard (1995). Deng Xiaoping and the making of modern china. 2nd ed., London: Penguin Books. ISBN 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2.

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