The industrialisation of China (1953)

This editorial by Ji Yun, called “How China Proceeds with the Task of Industrialisation”, appeared in the People’s Daily on May 23rd 1953:

“The five-year construction plan, to which we have long looked forward, has now commenced. Its basic object is the gradual realisation of the industrialisation of our state.

Industrialisation has been the goal sought by the Chinese people during the past one hundred years. From the last days of the Manchu dynasty to the early years of the republic, some people had undertaken the establishment of a few factories in the country. But industry as a whole has never been developed in China… It was just as Stalin said: “Because China did not have its own heavy industry and its own war industry, it was being trampled upon by all the reckless and unruly elements”…

We are now in the midst of a period of important changes, in that period of transition, as described by Lenin, of changing “from the stallion of the peasant, the farmhand, and poverty, to the stallion of mechanised industry and electrification.”

We must look upon this period of transition to the industrialisation of the state as one equal in importance and significance to that period of transition of the revolution toward the fight for political power…

It was through the implementation of the policies of the industrialisation of the state and the collectivisation of agriculture that the Soviet Union succeeded in building up, from an economic structure complicated with five component economies, a unified socialist economy; in turning a backward agricultural nation into a first-class industrial power of the world; in defeating German fascist aggression in World War II; and in constituting itself the strong bastion of world peace today.

We are looking upon the Soviet Union as our example in the building of our country. Soviet experiences in the realisation of industrialisation are of great value to us…

The foundation of socialism is large industrial development. Lenin said, “There is only one real foundation for a socialist society, and it is large industry. If we do not possess factories of great size, if we do not possess a large industrial structure with the most advanced equipment, then we shall generally not be able to talk of socialism, much less in the case of an agricultural country”.

Accordingly, in order to enable our state to progress victoriously toward socialism, we must construct large industries. … Numerous facts have proved that it is futile to attempt the enforcement of socialism on the foundations of small agriculture or small handicrafts. Industry must first be developed to provide possibilities for the collectivisation and mechanisation of agriculture, for the socialist reform of agriculture.

At the same time, only with the industrialisation of the state may we guarantee our economic independence and non-reliance on imperialism.”