In This Review

China under the Four Modernizations, Part I: Selected Papers submitted to the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress
China under the Four Modernizations, Part I: Selected Papers submitted to the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress
By
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982, 610 pp
Economic Reform in the PRC
Economic Reform in the PRC
By Edited and translated by George C. Wang
Westview Press, 1982, 155 pp

Published under the auspices of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, the first volume is the most useful and detailed discussion yet available about the post-Mao economic reforms and the possible scenarios for the future. According to the specialists who contributed to this volume, China's overall performance is characterized by strong but erratic growth, and China is one of the few developing nations to have avoided massive foreign debt. On the other hand, agricultural production is barely keeping up with population; oil production peaked in 1979 and is declining; and energy shortfalls will be a brake on growth for the next few years. Finally, inflation, unemployment and industrial bottlenecks have been increasing and they raise the possibility that, as Robert Dernberger suggests, the current emphasis on raising living standards may be only temporary. Thus, there may be continuing shifts in Chinese economic policy rather than the widely predicted stability. The second volume, edited by Wang, will be of interest to specialists. It is a fascinating account by a number of PRC economists of the problems that they see in China's present economic system, and the directions they would like economic reform to take.