Assess The Impact Of Interference By Foreign Powers On China's Development In The 20th Century

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Assess the impact of interference by foreign powers on China’s development in the 20th century

During the 20th century China underwent a massive transformation. In the early 1900s China was a mass of land lacking any real political cohesion and so was plagued by disputes between the many ruling warlords. However, by the year 2000 China was considered a major contender on the world stage and still is today; it almost seems certain that China will become the most powerful nation on earth in the next 50 years. This major transformation is seen to be a great success of China, considering the relatively short amount of time in which it was accomplished, but the question still remains as to whether entire credit should be given to China
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Mao intended to achieve economic development by emulating the USSR in utilising a “Five-Year plan” and it can be said that with this level of influence China initially began to improve its prospects, its economic growth comparing “favourably with that of the USSR”. This is perhaps the first fully (and successfully) implemented case of China adopting the policies of foreign nations to their own advantage in aiding development. However, the level of impact of the USSR’s influence, and minor interference, pales in comparison to the impact of the failure of Mao’s Second Five Year plan had on China. Known rather ironically as the Great Leap Forward, the soldiers of this movement, known as “General Grain” and “General Steel”, certainly did not deliver what was promised. Mao’s agricultural collectivisation scheme suffered from the inefficiency often present in economies without the progressive stimulus of competition, and left the nation starving, the official number of deaths being 14 million (although this figure is said to be a “substantial underestimate” by most scholars). The main problem with Mao’s agricultural policy was the over estimation of production by party officials: the amount of grain claimed to have been produced on one particular year was 375 million tons, when in fact a far more modest 200-210 tons had been produced. The scheme to develop China into a major world exporter in steel