Download Contemporary China - An Introduction by Michael Dillon PDF

By Michael Dillon

This publication offers a concise advent to modern China. it truly is meant as a primary e-book for these coming new to the topic, delivering the fundamental details that the majority humans want to know, with no going into over the top aspect. Its insurance comprises the financial system, society, politics and diplomacy; China's heritage, in particular the 20th century; and Taiwan and Hong Kong in addition to the People's Republic of China. The booklet presents an up to date and transparent advisor to the usually bewildering adjustments that have taken position in China within the past due 20th and early twenty-first centuries. It attracts at the huge, immense physique of empirical and theoretical examine that's being performed through economists, political scientists and sociologists on modern China, yet is itself written in non-technical and available language. It doesn't suppose any earlier wisdom of China and motives of chinese language phrases are supplied through the booklet. It encompasses a map, a chronology, a thesaurus of chinese language phrases, biographical notes on key figures, and a advisor to extra interpreting.

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Rural tradition and the village economy The population of traditional China consisted almost entirely of peasants who owned their own land, tenant farmers, agricultural labourers and landowners. There was only a small urban sector. County towns were established as the seat of magistrates (zhixian) who were civil servants entrusted with the dual role of administering their county on behalf of the emperor and enforcing the law. The term ‘magistrate’, by which they are always known in the West, is somewhat misleading as their main function was local administration: there was, however, no tradition of separating the legal system from government.

For thousands of years in the pre-historical period and under the successive dynasties of the empire, China was an almost exclusively rural and agricultural society: well into the twentieth century, as much as 80 per cent of the population lived in the countryside and worked on the land. That proportion declined significantly in the second half of the century. Since 1949, China has undergone a remarkable process of industrialisation and urbanisation, both in the age of the planned economy of 1949–78 and in the reform era that followed.

Lin Biao, in a spectacular and still largely unexplained escapade, apparently attempted to seize power in 1971 and was killed when his aircraft crashed in Mongolian territory while flying towards the Soviet Union. An alternative and more sophisticated, political programme began to emerge after Lin’s death. This programme was associated initially with Zhou Enlai, an 18 Introduction enigmatic and ruthless, but enormously popular, character. Zhou had managed to survive the Cultural Revolution relatively unscathed without having been publicly criticised and was not linked too closely with either faction, although documents that have been subsequently released make it clear that he played a leading role in the organisations that were responsible for some of the callous purges during the period.

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