Modernization Of China Essay

Length: 14 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Government Type: Essay Paper: #35996709 Related Topics: Socialism, Glory Road, Cultural Revolution, Agricultural Revolution
Excerpt from Essay :

Modernization of the Chinese Government and Democracy

In the past 35 years, China has experienced significant transformation and modernization of its democracy and governance. This modernization process was brought by the death of Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People's Republic of China and the Chairman of the country's Communist Party since 1943. Prior to his death, Chairman Mao had started a Cultural Revolution in 1966 in attempts to revive socialism in the country and eliminate capitalistic corruption and bureaucratic inflexibility. The initiation of the Cultural Revolution was preceded by several political and social campaigns that urged Mao to propel the country towards the much anticipated socialism, which was regarded as a promised paradise. Following Mao's death, China has experienced considerable transformation due to socialism, which has in turn resulted in modernization of the Chinese government and democracy. The other changes brought by socialism include economic transformation to an extent that the country is a major economy in today's world.

The Chinese Dream

The Chinese Dream is basically made of three major features i.e. national prosperity, people's welfare, and rejuvenation (Songhua, 2013). This dream has been the basis of every revolutionary, transformation, and modernization initiative adopted in the country and by successive governments. In essence, this dream has constantly acted as the solution of the long standing issue of transforming the nation. Throughout the years, The Chinese Dream has continued to carry the historical greatness of the country and conformed to the times with regards to the country's present experiences and global changes. As The Chinese Dream has conformed to the times, modernization has been incorporated as part of it. The inclusion of modernization has become a definitive and uniting factor by which the Chinese people and society move from the past into the future. Modernization has been incorporated into The Chinese Dream because of the ancestors' dream of prosperity and egalitarianism.

According to the Chinese people, The Chinese Dream over the past century can be described as the dream mentioned by the funding father China to become an equal country on the global stage. This has contributed to the country's pursuit of rejuvenation and modernization as the country seeks to play a major role in the global economy. This dream has included every rich and poor Chinese and transcended the North and the South in the past and future. The Chinese Dream has essentially become the greatest calling of the nation's citizens for more than 100 years. The dream has provided the impetus for the country to carry out political, social, and economic reforms that have been rooted in its rural and urban society and contributed to numerous changes in the country's fundamental social structure in an exceptional manner.

China's Cultural Revolution

During the past century, the Chinese people have constantly been concerned and raised questions regarding The Chinese Dream, which incorporates national prosperity, people's welfare, and rejuvenation (Songhua, 2013). These questions and concerns are regarded as part of the solution to a century-old issue regarding transforming the country. The need for transformation of China during the past 100 years has been fueled by the fact that the country is relatively the only ancient civilization that has effectively maintained in continuity in today's world and society.

The need for transformation of the Chinese society was driven by the fact that the country's society had been rotting since mid 19th Century because of the effect of external forces. Moreover, calls for transformation were fueled by the tendency by the Chinese people to fight back when foreign powers tried to bully them. Generally, the Chinese society has been characterized by century-old history of national struggle and humiliation. Actually, the history of China shows that Chinese people fought against aggression by foreign powers and feudal lords between 1840 and 1949 in order to gain national independence. As a result, the country embarked on a transformation mission and modernization path in order to rejuvenate the great Chinese nation but without necessarily going back to Han or Tang dynasties. The transformation and modernization path of China was largely a process of self-change that enabled the country to rejuvenate itself to its present economic


Mao initiated this transformation process a decade before his death in order to eliminate capitalist corruption and bureaucratic rigidity and rejuvenate socialism in the country (Coase & Wang, 2012, p.1). The Cultural Revolution was a by-product of political and social campaigns that persistently indicted Mao to propel the country towards the promised paradise of socialism. Mao launched this revolution based on the belief that the country could eliminate poverty and move towards socialism through unity of thought and action by all Chinese people. The unity in thought and action would contribute to socialism and national prosperity through ensuring people use their energy and talents in a collective cause. In addition, the unselfish and property-less Chinese people would be rejuvenated by socialism.

Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution at a time when the Chinese people and society had shed the burden of history and feudalism and were without distraction of material interests and western capitalism. Therefore, the Chinese people had relatively no option other than to respond and participate in socialism. While The Cultural Revolution was initiated with good intentions, it did not generate desired results because of Mao's deeply flawed ideology and rushed revolutions. Actually, the Chinese people ended up experiencing the most devastating famine in the history of humanity after the commencement of the Cultural Revolution. This revolution also ended up detaching the Chinese people from their cultural roots and development of contemporary times. During this period, the enterprising Chinese people were soon reduced to lifeless cogs through socialism.

Modernization of China

Despite the unsuccessful attempts by Chairman Mao to transform China through socialism and the Cultural Revolution, China has been on a modernization path that has not only transformed its fundamental social structure but also changed its government and democracy. This modernization has largely occurred in the past 35 years after the death of Mao Zedong, the nation's founding father. The modernization of the Chinese government and democracy was started during the post-Mao period and without a clear roadmap or destination in mind. In essence, China's journey of modernization is the outcome of hardships, setbacks, and successes in the socialist road. The modernization path of China has involved mobilization of billions of peasants and workers who joined national rejuvenation initiatives after passively waiting for their fate during the political, social, and economic reforms initiated by Chairman Mao. These people joined the cause and became part of an active leading force towards the creation of an all-round industrial system and nationwide defense system (Songhua, 2013).

From a political perspective, the modernization of Chinese government and democracy was influenced by two major events in China's history i.e. The fall of the Qing Dynasty and the death of Chairman Mao. The fall of the Qing Dynasty contributed to modernization of governance in China by making it extremely difficult to reunify the country and its people. This fall was succeeded by weak governments that failed in addressing local problems and resisting the aggression by foreign powers. These two major problems proved to be enormous challenges in the governance of a contemporary China. Consequently, reunification of China and the establishment of a strong government became a prerequisite for development and establishment of any plan towards modernization. This process focused on establishing a strong Chinese government with strong governance capabilities that would assume a key role in the nation's development process. The reunification and independence of China in the development process were realized during the New Democracy Revolution.

The death of Chairman Mao provided the necessary impetus that would significantly transform the country's history and position it in the international stage. The post-Mao Chinese government established socialist modernization and the nation's great economic transformation. The socialist modernization involved the shift from New Democracy Revolution based on evaluation of China's history and realities. The post-Mao Chinese government established socialist modernization based on the premise that China's modernization initiative could be accomplished through a socialist system. This belief was based on lessons from the strengths and weaknesses of the Cultural Revolution initiated by Chairman Mao prior to his death.

The modernization of Chinese government and democracy is also attributed to the development of the country to become a capitalist nation in the past 35 years. The start of post-Mao government was characterized by numerous reform initiatives that basically made China to become a market economy by the end of the 90s and its eventual incorporation into the World Trade Organization in 2001. According to modernization theory, capitalism is the groundwork for democracy since it lessens state controls by highlighting the significance of the individual and the rule of law (Saayman, 2013). China became a capitalist, which resulted in modernization of its government and democracy, through the first two…

Sources Used in Documents:


Coase, R. & Wang, N. (2012). How China became capitalist. New York, NY: Palgrave


Coase, R. & Wang, N. (2013, February). How China Became Capitalist. Retrieved April 9, 2015,

9, 2015, from
Johnson, P. (2013, November). China 35 Years After Deng the Roadmap of Reform is a Long-term Vision Implemented Step-by-step. Retrieved April 9, 2015, from
Retrieved April 9, 2015, from

Cite this Document:

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