Two Societies In Opposition: The Republic Of China And The People's Republic Of China After Forty Years

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Two Societies In Opposition: The Republic Of China And The People's Republic Of China After Forty Years

Edited by Ramon H. Myers
Hoover Press, 1991
370 pp. $38.95
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This is a solid collection of essays on Taiwan and China resulting from a conference at the Hoover Institution in 1989. There are three perceptive and rather pessimistic essays on the People's Republic. Tom Gold of Berkeley writes about the "schizophrenic" picture of the climate for private business in China. The state has introduced a number of reforms to encourage private business but, in practice, authorities at all levels show ambivalence, if not outright hostility, toward the private sector, especially in urban areas. Harry Harding, in a useful overview of Chinese politics during the past 40 years, concludes that the immediate prospects are for a relatively weak central government alienated from large segments of society, with limited control over the provinces and deep cleavages in its own ranks. Nicholas Lardy, a prominent specialist on the Chinese economy, says that China's reforms remain "partial," and "far less market-oriented" than those of other socialist states. He stresses the increasing power of provincial and local governments that, he says, is incompatible with market reform.

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