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Effective reform in China : an agenda /
Henry K.H. Woo.
New York : Praeger, 1991.
viii, 260 p. ; 22 cm.
0275937402 (alk. paper)
More Details
New York : Praeger, 1991.
0275937402 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [241]-249) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-07:
From Sun Yat-sen's visionary scheme for the "international development" of China to Chairman Mao's autarkic, militarized fantasy of a Great Leap Forward, 20th-century Chinese development planning has rarely been marked by conspicuous success. A consistent objective in planners' preferences has been rapid heavy industrialization, witnessed by the present leadership's tarnished "Four Modernizations" program. What sets the present work apart from such plans is the author's vigorous advocacy of an "agriculture-first" development strategy. Woo, a Hong Kong economist, first pillories the ideological and practical errors of socialism, then sums up the basics of economic development protocols, and concludes by making his case for an ecologically sound, neobucolic China "populated by a mass of knowledge workers engaged permanently in farming." There is some value in Woo's effort to rethink the rather shaky foundations of contemporary PRC modernization dogma, but this book seems to fall between two stools. It lacks sufficient analytical rigor to satisfy mainstream economists and displays too little empirical analysis of fresh data to attract other specialists in contemporary China. Upper-division and graduate collections. -R. P. Gardella, United States Merchant Marine Academy
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1991
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Long Description
A deepening economic crisis and a demoralized work force are the primary issues of concern in Henry K.H. Woo's examination of the overall direction of reform in China. Untenable reform initiatives during the 1980s which led to public disillusionment, financial chaos, and ultimately to the bloody collision between government and students in 1989 are closely scrutinized with a commitment to their remedy. Woo's recommendations for viable reform are grounded in his assertion that China's problems can be helped only by recognizing the essential nature of China as a socialist country whose economy is primarily agricultural and is still developing. The major portion of the text develops reform strategies that both acknowledge China's cultural and political framework and challenge existing conventional tenets of developing economies. China as a stable agriculture-first economy in which there will be eventual implementation of price decontrol is Woo's vision, a concept that will no doubt stimulate debate among economists, sinologists, scholars, and policymakers interested in or integral to China's future.
Table of Contents
China at the Crossroads
The Bankruptcy of Practiced and Theoretical Socialism Vision, Capital and Development
The Tenets of Development and Feasible Strategies
The Case for Agriculture and an Appraisal of Agricultural Development in China since 1949 An Agenda For Effective Reform
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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