Shanghai Paradox: Rush to modernize revives past sins – Peter Kwong

From the International Herald Tribune, via A Glimpse of the World blog:

Around 1980, the party leadership admitted that three decades of orthodox Communism had produced little economic gain and constant political upheaval. In a 180-degree turn, party leaders began to push a market economy, encouraging people to get rich fast instead of striving for equality.

The initial experiment was carried out at Shenzhen, a town across the border from Hong Kong, because the party did not trust that it could keep ’s notoriously capitalist-minded people under control. It was only in 1991, in the aftermath of the Tiananmen massacre, when Beijing desperately needed to appease popular discontent, that the party leadership finally “opened” . Once let loose, the city wasted no time. [Full text]

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