Geography

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52. Discuss the process known as the "Four Modernizations" and how the attitude of the Chinese leaders in this area contrasted with response to rise of democratic protests.

After Mao Zedong died in 1976, a power struggle followed that pitted the Gang of Four, which was a group of politicians led by Mao’s widow, against a group led by Deng Xiaoping. Since Deng took a more practical approach to solving China’s problems than Mao, most people sided with him because they were tired of death and disorder. In his mission to make China productive, he started a program called the Four Modernizations. This program’s goals were to improve agriculture, industry, science and technology, and defense as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, Deng was open to any ideas. The first step he took was to repair the damage done to farm production during the Great Leap Forward. He established the contract responsibility system in place of the communes. Under this system, the government rented land to individual farm families and each family then decided for themselves what to produce. The families contracted with the government simply to provide a certain amount of crops at a set price. Once they fulfilled the contract, they were free to sell any extra crops at markets. This increased the farmers’ production by about 8 percent more each year than they had the previous year.


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