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Economic Take Off or Great Leap Forward?

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Soviet Assessments of China after Mao

image of The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

This article examines Soviet analyses of the economic reforms that China implemented during the 1980s under Deng Xiaoping. Many historians have argued that Soviet economic reform efforts during the Perestroika era might have been more successful had the Kremlin more closely followed Chinese efforts. This article shows that Soviet economists and sinologists carefully studied China’s reforms to agriculture, industry, and foreign investment law. By the mid-1980s, the article suggests, a significant section of the Soviet intelligentsia believed that China’s market-based economic reforms were working and that the Soviet Union should learn from them.

Affiliations: 1: Yale University,


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