The Great Famine and a Change of policy (Changes (Communes policy was…
The Great Famine and a Change of policy
A change of policy 1962 - 65
Mao – has retired from politics, but kept the title Party Chairman.
Deng Xiaoping – General Secretary of the Party
Liu Shaoqi – new Head of State
Pragmatism and rationality replace fanaticism and utopianism
January 1962 Liu speech to 7000 cadres
He dismissed Mao’s claims that successes outweighed failures 9:1
He also rejected the argument that weather conditions caused the famine.
He announced that the problems were due 30% to natural disasters and 70% due to manmade disasters.
He launched a new economic plan
Communes policy was scaled back/ reversed.
Peasants were given freedom to produce what they wanted on small private plots and make their own decisions about fertilisers
They were allowed to trade on the free market.
They could claim unused land and cultivate it.
Emergency aid was sent from factories in cities to rural areas
The emphasis was put on profitability.
Production was changed to support agriculture.
Those with technical knowledge were promoted
Many of those imprisoned under the Anti-Rightist campaign were returned to positions of power.
Prisoners in labour camps were put to work remaking a lot of cooking utensils that had been melted in backyard furnaces.
Private plots created an incentive for peasants to work.
Light industry grew at 27% per year and heavy industry at 17%
1965 – agricultural production recovered to the 1957 level.