Presentation on theme: "2013 Post-Mao China. The post-Mao political order was given its first vote of confidence at the Eleventh National Party Congress, held August 12-18, 1977."— Presentation transcript:
The post-Mao political order was given its first vote of confidence at the Eleventh National Party Congress, held August 12-18, 1977. Hua was confirmed as party chairman, and Ye Jianying, Deng Xiaoping, Li Xiannian, and Wang Dongxing were elected vice chairmen. The congress declared the end of the Cultural Revolution, blamed it entirely on the Gang of Four, and reiterated that "the fundamental task of the party in the new historical period is to build China into a modern, powerful socialist country by the end of the twentieth century." Many contradictions still were apparent, however, in regard to the Maoist legacy and the possibility of future Cultural Revolutions.
Deng: Making a Communist Bureaucrat Grows up in well-off family in Sichuan Province (southwestern China) To France 1920-26 for work/study education program: "To learn knowledge and truth from the West in order to save China." – The 1500 Chinese students sent to France for this program bred many of the leading Chinese revolutionaries in later years. – Works in factories, including Renault plant near Paris: “The bitterness of life and the humiliating treatment by foremen or capitalist running dogs had exerted a deep impact upon me.”
Deng: Making a Communist Bureaucrat To USSR and “Communist University of Toilers of the East” 1926-27 Back to China, participates in the Long March of 1934-36, rises in the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party – At right: Deng in 1941 In Communist regime under Mao Zedong, Deng is pragmatic more than ideological.
Deng Xiaoping Purged At start of China’s Cultural Revolution, Deng is exiled to work in a tractor factory. Returns to influential position in 1974 but in 1976 is attacked again and loses party leadership role. 1967 Cultural Revolution poster slogan: "Thoroughly pulverize the Liu-Deng reactionary line!“ [Liu was another moderate leader who was purged.]
Background to Deng Xiao Ping Participated in the Long March with Mao Rose to power in the CCP as the general secretary Views on economics differed from Mao – Mao = egalitarian, Deng = focused on economic development During the failure of the Great Leap Forward, Deng suggested allowing privatization of farms to increase food production (Lenin’s NEP?) Survives all of Mao’s purges – Deng utilized free market to revive the economy from GLF – Back to politics in 1973 with the help of Zhou Enlai 1978 becomes the Chairman of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) – key to controlling China – He is 74 years old at the time!!!
The Post-Mao Period, 1976-78 The jubilation following the incarceration of the Gang of Four and the popularity of the new ruling triumvirate (Hua Guofeng, Ye Jianying, and Li Xiannian) were succeeded by calls for the restoration to power of Deng Xiaoping and the elimination of leftist influence throughout the political system. By July 1977 the Central Committee exonerated Deng Xiaoping from responsibility for the Tiananmen Square incident (posters criticising Mao and the Gang of Four at Zhou’s memorial). Deng admitted some shortcomings in the events of 1975, and finally, at a party Central Committee session, he resumed all the posts from which he had been removed in 1976.
Man of the Year 1980: Deng Xiaoping became the leader of China New focus: economic not political concerns
Decentralization The death of Mao Zedong brought about the rise of Deng Xiaoping in 1978. He began the process of Decentralization. “Eating in Separate Kitchens”
Decentralization (cont.) A strong central government is more capable of meeting basic needs of people. The Government does step in when needed. The political factor is not given enough weight.
The new balance of power clearly was unsatisfactory to Deng Deng sought genuine party reform Soon after the National Party Congress, he took the initiative to reorganize the bureaucracy and redirect policy. His longtime protege Hu Yaobang replaced Hua supporter Wang Dongxing as head of the CCP Organization Department. Educational reforms were instituted, and Cultural Revolution-era verdicts on literature, art, and intellectuals were overturned.
The year 1978 proved a crucial one for the reformers. Two competing factions— – that headed by Hua Guofeng (soon to be branded as a leftist) – that led by Deng and the more moderate figures Fifth National People's Congress was held in February and March 1978. Serious disputes arose over the development of the national economy, the Hua forces calling for still more large-scale projects that China could not afford.
Deng Xiao Ping’s Ideologies "better to be poor under socialism than rich under capitalism." (adage of Cultural Revolution) (“De-Maoization”) Against the Cultural Revolution – 1979 declared a major setback Four Modernizations :industry, agriculture, science and technology, and national defence Deng’s policies were more practical and responsive to the economic times – willing to alter communist ideologies for what’s best for the country “a cat that catches mice is a good cat, whether white or black” – A policy of material gain as the goal – Not as concerned with political change/ revolution Unwilling to release control over the people
Deng Xiaoping China’s leader 1982-1989 Emphasized and promoted the: FOUR MODERNIZATIONS 1.INDUSTRY 2.AGRICULTURE 3.TECHNOLOGY 4.NATIONAL DEFENSE 5.Did not accomplish the fifth: Democracy Corruption and special treatment for officials and communist party leaders lead city residents and students to demonstrate for democracy. Deng Xiaoping interpreted the Tiananmen Square demonstration in Beijing as a demand to end the Communist party. He responded with military intervention of both troops and tanks. Improvements in living conditions were noted also among the peasants as governmental restrictions were loosened.
Political Reforms Criticism of Gang of Four led to greater criticism Democracy Wall becomes a forum for public dissent Pro-democracy advocates growing “5 th Modernization” –Wei Jingsheng (show trial, 15 years)
More Political Reforms Deng travels, seeking new markets and allies Foreign journalists (like Jan Wong) allowed to report from within China Intellectuals allowed some criticism 1986: students encouraged to participate in government –Demonstrate for better conditions and freedoms
Gang of Four On Trial The most celebrated defendant is Jiang Qing, 67, the widow of Mao Tse-tung The Gang of Four, led Mao's reckless and violent Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 They were arrested four years ago, shortly after Mao's death in 1976 Deng had been critical of the Cultural Rev. & the Gang of Four 20,000-word indictment http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924552,00.html#ixzz1MR7HFRkm
The Gang of Four on Trial One of the more spectacular political events of modern Chinese history was the month-long trial of the Gang of Four and six of Lin Biao's closest associates. A 35-judge special court was convened in November 1980 and issued a 20,000-word indictment against the defendants. The indictment came more than four years after the arrest of Jiang Qing and her associates and more than nine years after the arrests of the Lin Biao group. Beyond the trial of ten political pariahs, it appeared that the involvement of Mao Zedong, current party chairman Hua Guofeng, and the CCP itself were on trial.
Gang of Four Trial The prosecution wisely separated political errors from actual crimes. The crimes included: – the usurpation of state power and party leadership; – the persecution of some 750,000 people, 34,375 of whom died during the period 1966-76; and, – in the case of the Lin Biao defendants, the plotting of the assassination of Mao.
Gang of Four Punishments January 1981 the court rendered guilty verdicts against the ten. Jiang Qing received a death sentence with a two-year suspension; later, Jiang Qing's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Jiang Qing appeared to be protected from execution by Mao’s legacy. The same sentence was given to Zhang Chunqiao, while Wang Hongwen was given life and Yao Wenyuan twenty years. Chen Boda and the other Lin Biao faction members were given sentences of between sixteen and eighteen years.
Gang of Four Out of the Way They were sentence to death, Later commuted to long-term imprisonment After a period of political indoctrination Jian Qing was released in 1991 and died soon after – some reports say she committed suicide
Trial Part of De-Maoization The trial further eroded Mao's prestige and the system he created. In pre-trial meetings, the party Central Committee posthumously expelled CCP vice chairman Kang Sheng and Political Bureau member Xie Fuzhi from the party because of their participation in the "counterrevolutionary plots" of Lin Biao and Jiang Qing. The memorial speeches delivered at their funerals were rescinded. There was enough adverse pre-trial testimony that Hua Guofeng offered to resign before the trial started.
Final Condemnation of Mao and Clarifying his Memory
The plenum adopted the 35,000-word "Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the People's Republic of China." The resolution reviewed the sixty years since the founding of the CCP, emphasizing party activities since 1949. A major part of the document condemned the ten-year Cultural Revolution and assessed Mao Zedong's role in it: "Chief responsibility for the grave `Left' error of the `cultural revolution,' an error comprehensive in magnitude and protracted in duration, does indeed lie with Comrade Mao Zedong.... [and] far from making a correct analysis of many problems, he confused right and wrong and the people with the enemy.... Herein lies his tragedy."
At the same time, Mao was praised: – for seeking to correct personal and party shortcomings throughout his life, – for leading the effort that brought the demise of Lin Biao, and – for having criticized Jiang Qing and her cohort. Hua too was recognized for his contributions in defeating the Gang of Four but was branded a "whateverist." Hua also was criticized for his anti-Deng Xiaoping posture in the period 1976-77.
Several days after the closing of the plenum, on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the CCP, new party chairman Hu Yaobang declared: "although Comrade Mao Zedong made grave mistakes in his later years, it is clear that if we consider his life work, his contributions to the Chinese revolution far outweigh his errors.... His immense contributions are immortal." These remarks may have been offered in an effort to repair the extensive damage done to the Maoist legacy and by extension to the party itself. Hu went on to praise the contributions of Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Peng Dehuai, and a score of other erstwhile enemies of the late chairman. The new party hierarchy sought to assess, and thus close the books on, the Maoist era and move on to the era of the Four Modernizations.
China’s Grand Diplomatic Strategy “Bide time, hide brightness, don’t take the lead, but do something.” Peaceful rise/development To be a responsible great power
Comparison between Mao’s Cold War Mentality & Deng’s Post- Cold War Mentality Mao: China should make preparations “for an early world war, a major war and nuclear war.” If you are not with us, you are against us. Deng: China’s foreign policy in the 1980s, and in fact in 1990s, even in the 21 st century, can be summarized in two sentences. China makes efforts to maintain world peace and oppose hegemony. China always belongs to the third world.” If you are not against us, you are with us.
The Open-Door Policy Work hard to join the world Welcome international trade & foreign direct Investment China entered the WTO in 2001 China’s tariffs dropped to 6% from an average of 41% in five years Study abroad
“Missions impossible” Accomplished in China Centrally-planned economy transformed into market economy, with growth the fastest ever New rising power has not resulted in a war, territorial expansion, or a challenge to the world order Relations between China & other powers & neighbors better rather than worse
Socialism or Capitalism? Democracy or Dictatorship? Deng favored moderate reforms in political life but advocated one-party rule by the Chinese Communist Party and a strong role for the Chinese military. Dissidents continued to suffer repression
Early Post-Mao: Economic Changes Four Modernizations (agriculture, national defense, science and tech, and industry) dismantling of the commune system open door policy Free markets, state-owned enterprise reform Gradual emergence of a market economy and the embracing of globalization
10 Year Plan (way better than 5) Driven by incentives and catching up Military: –Modernize technology Science and Technology: –Reform education, send students overseas Industry: –Heavy industry, SOE’s, limited autonomy Agriculture: –Mechanize, Household Responsibility System
Intensification of economic reforms in 1992 with Deng Xiaoping’s “southern tour” Move toward a market economy and the gradual removal of the “iron rice bowl” ( 铁 饭碗 ) Establishment of a new ideology of entrepreneurship and globalization Collusion between PRC state and global and domestic capital Entrance into the WTO (2001) and fuller integration with the global economy Market Reforms and Globalization
Deng changes communism by “restructuring” the Chinese economy "to get rich is glorious" “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” Economic Reform in China “Black Cat, White Cat, it doesn’t matter as long as the cat catches mice”
Add information from research Find propaganda posters Find political cartoons
“De-Maoization” and Four Modernizations Against the Cultural Revolution – 1979 declared a major setback Four Modernizations :industry, agriculture, science and technology, and national defence Deng’s policies more practical and responsive to the economic times Willing to alter communist ideologies for what’s best for the country
Deng: “less empty talk and more hard work” Four Modernizations – Agriculture – Industry – Science – Defense Praise for scientists and intellectuals vs. peasants Peasants allowed to sell crops from their land Special economic zones created to create more trade and development.
Four Modernizations Drawing on contacts in the Communist leadership and disillusionment with radical failures, Deng climbed back to power in the late 1970s He pushed for the “Four Modernizations”—agriculture, industry, defense and technology – Poster caption: “Struggle to Realize the Four Modernizations”
Deng Xiaoping and the Rural Workforce Initially, the peasant framers loved Deng Xiaoping. This changed when the CPC Central Committee passed “China’s Economic Structure Reform.” Rural farmers were left with a surplus of output.
Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin’s Policies Towards the Urban Unemployed Unemployment was originally unheard of. The Government had to compensate for workers effected by the economic transition. They were divided into 3 categories: the Unemployed, the Xiagang, and the Newly Indigent
Unemployed Workers started being hired only on limited term contracts. One percent of wages had o go to an unemployment fund. Unemployment insurance could only go to state enterprise workers.
Xiagang This term refers to workers who were no longer needed but still associated with their firm. Workers were retrained in this program, then redistributed. Program was scrapped in 2001.
Newly Indigent This was the name given to the urban poor who were unable to get a job. In this plan ties were severed with their former employer and they were given assistance. People who worked for firms not directly owned by cities were not receiving the aid.
Improvement of Living Standards Since 1978 400 million people have been lifted out of poverty in China — about 75 percent of the world's total poverty reduction over the last century. Agriculture tax exempt in 2006 Free education up to 9 th grade life expectancy reached 73 by 2010
Economic Successes Economics Farmers were allowed to produce more food on their own initiative Private ownership is allowed Borrowed from foreign states to boost infrastructure (failure?) 1979 Special Economic Zones instead of borrowing money – First four cities Shenzen, Zhuhai, Shantou, Xiamen near HK and Taiwan were given administrative independence and legal freedom to conduct foreign trade
Special Economic Zones Special tax incentive for foreign investment in the SEZs Greater independence is provided for International trade activities Products are primarily export oriented Market driven economic activity Attracts and utilizes foreign capital Means to China’s booming manufacturing industry flowing through these zones
Billboard in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (SEZ)
Economic Successes 1984 successful negotiation to return Hong Kong to the Chinese Agreed that HK would be returned to China in assurance that it would keep its economic and social systems Leads to mass emigration (a lot to Richmond) in fears of the changeover – 80’s and 90’s HK acts like a SEZ Instead of China bringing down HK, it seems that the success in HK has become a model for China to follow
Economic Successes Tenure was abolished and many made way for more qualified people to take government positions 1984 revives China to a point that it is self sufficient on food 1984 successful negotiation to return Hong Kong to the Chinese Mao re-unified China, Deng pushed its economy forward
RESULTS Consumer product growth Foreigners invest more China joins the WTO US trade imbalance GDP grows
More RESULTS Rich/poor gap grows Environmental Degredation Rural/urban gap grows
China’s Economic Miracle 1.GDP has grown at an annual average rate of 10 % for 30 years 2.China becomes world’s second largest economy 3.Largest exporter, second largest importer, second largest trading nation in the world 4.Foreign reserves: $2,447 billion (Mar 2010; ranked 1st), 1 billion per day 1st
An Economic Miracle China’s economy has grown at about 8% yearly per person for the last 30 years—about a tenfold increase in output per person. By some measures, China now has the second- largest economy in the world. When Deng became leader, over half China’s population was poor by global standard. Now the figure stands at 10% or less. At the same time, there are about 28 Chinese billionaires today.
China ’ s Progress in Technology Canton-Wuhan high-speed train at speed of 165 miles per hour; 4 hours from Beijing to Shanghai (600 miles) It now has the second largest R & D budget China’s GPS Walk in the space
Examples of Speed of Development 1.Total length of highways: 39 th in world in 1997, 2 nd in 2002; The total length of China's expressways is 65,065 km in 2009 (1989-2009), the second longest only after the United States.United States 2.Number of telephones: 83 million in 1997, 1.1 billion in 2010 3.5 million college graduates a year, including 700,000 engineers, 10 times as many as the U.S. 4.Largest auto maker and consumer (more than 10 million in 2009)
In two decades China has experienced the same degree of industrialization, urbanization and social transformation as Europe did in two centuries - Newsweek, Issue 1, 2008 “Rome is not built in one day.” But a new “Manhattan” appeared in Shanghai in 15 years.
Early Post-Mao: Cultural Changes Official sanctification of “liberalization” at the Fourth Congress of Writers and Artist (1979) Spread of openness to political realm Democracy Wall movement of 1978-79: Wei Jingsheng ( 魏京生 ) and the Fifth Modernization: Democracy ( 第五个现代化民主 与其他 ) liberalization in CCP cultural policy Cultural explosion characterized by experimentation Western influences Above: police intervene at Democracy Wall; left: copy of dissident journal Today
Rise of Popular Mass Culture in the PRC Guangchang 广场 (Square) 1980s > to Guangchang (Plaza) 1990s
Education Successes Education: Tries to reverse the “uneducation” of the Cultural Revolution – encourages studying abroad – intellectuals sent to the farms during the Cultural Revolution, Hundred Flowers and Great Leap Forward were allowed to reunite with their families Promotes learning in universities and scientific research *studied in France in his 20s
Resume the college entrance examination in 1977
Wall Poster Attacking Deng as an Old Emperor: Spring 1989
Tiananmen Square Massacre 1989 Leaders of the 1986 demonstration were painted as hooligans and were misleading other students Hu Yaobing (General Secretary) had been tolerant of student demonstrations and dies in 1989 Students gather to mourn Hu’s death
Tiananmen Square People wanted political reform 1978, people began to criticize the gov’t 1986 arrested key leaders April 1989, students held a demonstration in Beijing.
Tiananmen Square Gov’t officials refused to talk to students Demonstrations continued Martial law was imposed - citizens helped students
Success or Failure? One Child Policy 1979 1980 China has 1 billion people Began as a temporary measure but lasts to today and will continue (reassessment in 2010) Has been limited to urban populations Fines, pressures to abort a pregnancy, and forced sterilization accompanied second or subsequent pregnancies
In 2007 China contributed more to global growth than the United States, the first time another country had done so since at least the 1930s. Since 1978 400 million people have been lifted out of poverty in China — about 75 percent of the world's total poverty reduction over the last century. Lawrence Summers has recently pointed out that during the Industrial Revolution the average European's living standards rose about 50 percent over the course of his lifetime (then about 40 years). In Asia, principally China, he calculates, the average person's living standards are set to rise by 10,000 percent in one lifetime! » Newsweek, Issue 1, 2008
Effects of One Child Policy Caused a disdain for female babies – abortion, neglect, abandonment, and even infanticide 114 males for every 100 females (world average is 105:100) “Little Emperor Syndrome” of spoiled only children Estimated to have lowered the population by 300 million 80’s generation now of childbearing age and are allowed to have two per couple (if you don’t have siblings)
Deng’s handpicked successors First two – were selected as economic reformers – were purged for political liberalization Hu Yaobang – CCP General Secretary from 1978-87 Zhao Ziyang – CCP General Secretary from 1987-89
Deng’s handpicked successors Last two – were selected as technocrats – politically “reliable” – economic reformers Jiang Zemin – CCP General Secretary from 1989 Hu Jintao – CCP General Secretary since 2002
From Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao CCP General Secretary (2002) – 16th National Party Congress – Hu Jintao replaced Jiang Zemin PRC State President (2003) – 10th National People’s Congress – Hu Jintao replace Jiang Zemin the first peaceful and orderly leadership succession in PRC history
NEXT China Enters the New Millennium China Under Jiang In 1997, Deng dies; Jiang Zemin takes power Hardliners want Jiang to move away from Deng’s reforms In 2002, Jiang steps down in favor of Zhu Rongji Both Jiang and Zhu favor continued reforms SECTION 5 Transfer of Hong Kong Hong Kong—former British colony, city in China, major economic power In 1997, Britain hands Hong Kong back to China
NEXT China Beyond 2000 Economics and Politics Economic reforms reduce poverty in China Though many countries have economic problems, China’s economy grows Many in China want political reforms China is becoming more involved with other countries SECTION 5
Communist Party The Communist Party's 66-million membership makes it the biggest political party in the world. Its tight organisation and ruthlessness help explain why it is also still in power. The Party oversees and influences many aspects of people's lives - what they learn at school and watch on TV, their jobs and housing, even the number of children they are allowed. It is an elite group made up largely of government officials, army officers and model workers. As such, it is unrepresentative of China as a whole. Only 17% of members are women and 78% are over 35 years old, though efforts are under way to broaden its membership and attract more young people. Joining the Party brings significant privileges, which explains why membership continues to rise. Members get access to better information, their children get better schooling, and many jobs are only open to members. Most significantly in China, where personal relationships are often more important than ability, members get to network with decision- makers influencing their careers, lives or businesses. Politburo Every significant decision affecting China's 1.3bn people is first discussed and approved by a handful of men who sit on the Party's political bureau (Politburo), the nexus of all power in China. The 24-member Politburo is elected by the Party's central committee. But real power lies with its nine-member Standing Committee, which works as a kind of inner cabinet and groups together the country's most influential leaders. How the Standing Committee operates is secret and unclear. But its meetings are thought to be regular and frequent, often characterised by blunt speaking and disagreement. Senior leaders speak first and then sum up, giving their views extra weight. The emphasis is always on reaching a consensus, but if no consensus is reached, the majority holds sway. Once a decision has been made, all members are bound by it. The Politburo: China's most powerful men Today’s World: China & Its Neighbors
CHINA & TAIWAN Taiwan has one of Asia's few functioning democracies and one of its strongest economies. But for the island's 23 million people, the future is overshadowed by an unresolved dispute with China. A LITTLE HISTORY Taiwan has been inhabited for thousands of years, but the first known settlers probably came from South East Asia rather than China. The island first appears in Chinese records in AD239, when China sent an expeditionary force to explore - a fact Beijing uses to back its territorial claim. But thereafter, consecutive Chinese rulers paid little attention to Taiwan, sometimes outlawing emigration there, and sometimes describing it as a base for pirates. In 1895, following war between Japan and China, Taiwan was given to Japan in perpetuity as reward for its victory. Tokyo quickly developed its new colony's economy, lifting agricultural output and laying the foundations of Taiwan's later, rapid growth. But Japan's defeat in World War II brought further upheaval. The US and Britain had agreed that Taiwan should be handed over to their ally, Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China government, which was then in control of most of China. But in the next few years, Chiang's troops were beaten back by the Communist armies under Mao Zedong. Chiang and the remnants of his Kuomintang (KMT) government fled to Taiwan in 1949. This group, referred to as Mainland Chinese and then making up 1.5m people, dominated Taiwan's politics for many years, even though they only account for 14% of the population. CURRENT STATUS There is disagreement and confusion about what Taiwan is, and even what it should be called. Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China (ROC) government, which fled the mainland to Taiwan in 1949, at first claimed to represent the whole of China, which it intended to re-occupy. It held China's seat on the United Nations Security Council and was recognised by many Western nations as the only Chinese government. But in 1971, the UN switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing and the ROC government was forced out. Since then the number of countries that recognise the ROC government diplomatically has fallen to less than 30. China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province which it has vowed to retake, by force if necessary. It says the ROC's lack of diplomatic recognition proves that the world agrees there is only one China. But Taiwan's leaders say it is clearly much more than a province, arguing that it is a sovereign state. It has its own constitution, democratically-elected leaders, and 400,000 troops in its armed forces.
CHINESE ECONOMY & ENVIRONMENT Since the communist regime decided to open up to foreign investment in 1978, China has become one of the world's fastest growing economies and is among its 10 largest. But, with growth rates close to 9%, some experts warn the Chinese economy may be overheating and that should it falter the rest of the world could suffer. In recent years, China has also become a trading giant - it is the world's fifth largest exporter of merchandise after the US, Germany, Japan, and France. The economic boom has, however, created new social and environmental problems. China's growth - with its increasing energy demands - has had a dramatic impact on the environment. A 1998 World Bank report found that 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities were in China, which is also blamed for some of the air pollution in Japan and Korea. China is the world's second biggest individual emitter of energy-related CO2 - as a developing nation it is not yet required to reduce its emissions. Water concerns are also growing. Rivers in the north are drying up, a situation blamed in part on the overuse of river water and the preponderence of dams. Urbanisation, on the other hand, has exacerbated flooding in certain areas by reducing drainage. Chinese society has undergone a transformation in recent years. More and more people are moving to the cities, giving up their traditional lifestyles. In many cities, skyscrapers dominate the skyline and Western brands fill smart new shopping centres. Take-up of mobile phones and computers has soared in recent years, and there are an estimated 90 million internet users, four times more than in 2000. But the modernisation of China also highlights a country of marked contrasts, with millions being left on the margins of the new prosperity.
MONGOLIA – THE NORTHERN NEIGHBOR In 1990 Mongolia abandoned its 70-year-old Soviet-style one-party state and embraced political and economic reforms. Democracy and privatisation were enshrined in a new constitution, but the collapse of the economy after the withdrawal of Soviet support triggered widespread poverty and unemployment. Mongolia spreads out across 1.5 million sq km of the Central Asian plateau, but its population is much smaller than the Mongol population of China. A third of the population lives in the capital, while half the people herd livestock in the countryside. But the centuries-old nomadic lifestyle is being eroded; some say it will be lucky to survive the changing times. The country has some of Asia's richest deposits of minerals, although these remain largely unexploited. Mongolia has an extreme climate, with a temperature range to suit. Droughts, and unusually cold and snowy winters, have in the past decimated livestock, destroying the livelihoods of thousands of families. Mongolia has expanded political and financial ties with the US, Japan and the European Union, but it remains dependent on its neighbours, Russia and China, for the development of its economy and trade. The legacy of Genghis Khan, the warrior who united warring tribes and established the Mongol empire in the 13th century, has been invoked in an attempt to foster national pride. RELATIONS: NORTH & SOUTH KOREA When the leaders of South and North Korea shook hands on the tarmac of Pyongyang airport in June 2000, it was possible to forget that their two countries were still technically at war, as they have been since 1953 when their conflict ended without a peace agreement. Since their division, South Korea has developed into one of Asia's most affluent countries and a leading exporter of cars and electronic goods while the North has slipped into totalitarianism and poverty. Relations with South Korea’s northern neighbour remain a major concern in Seoul, particularly over the North's fragile economy and its nuclear ambitions. South Korea has resisted international calls for sanctions against the North and since the late 1990s it has pursued a "sunshine" policy of engagement. This has involved aid - including shipments of fertiliser and rice - reunions between North and South Koreans, tourist projects and economic cooperation. South Korean companies employ thousands of North Korean workers at the Kaesong industrial complex, near the border. The demilitarised zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea is the world's most heavily-fortified frontier. For decades North Korea has been one of the world's most secretive societies. It is one of the few countries still under communist rule. North Korea emerged in 1948 amid the chaos following the end of World War II. Its history is dominated by its Great Leader, Kim Il- sung, who shaped political affairs for almost half a century. After the Korean War, Kim Il-sung introduced the personal philosophy of Juche, or self-reliance, which became a guiding light for North Korea's development. Decades of this rigid state-controlled system have led to stagnation and a leadership dependent on the cult of personality. Supreme leader Kim Jong-il heads a secretive, communist regime which tolerates no dissent The totalitarian state also stands accused of systematic human rights abuses. Reports of torture, public executions, slave labour, and forced abortions and infanticides in prison camps have emerged. Diplomatic efforts have so far failed to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions and US President George W Bush has named it as part of an "axis of evil". North Korea maintains one of the world's largest standing armies and militarism pervades everyday life. North Korea’s Military on Parade