Saturday, October 03, 2009

Contemporary China in 60 years (1960 - 1964)

(1949 - 1954)
(1955 - 1959)

1960: Three Years of Natural Disasters (三年自然灾害)

Drought land led to death of plants. "In 1960, at least some degree of drought and other bad weather affected 55 percent of cultivated land, while an estimated 60% of agricultural land received no rain at all." (cited from Wikipedia)

The Three Years of Natural Disasters was the period between 1958 and 1961 in China, which was characterized by widespread famine. Why was the superior socialist society NOT able to avoid the great famine caused by the "natural" disasters? The disaster temporarily cooled down the hype of socialism in China during the 1950s. Some Chinese intellects started to rethink the future of China. Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping became the leaders of the new trend.

1961: Daqing Oilfield (大庆油田)

In 1961 Deng Xiaoping (on the right) came to inspect the progress of constructing Daqin Oilfield.

In the following two decades, Daqin Oilfield was the model of New China Industry.

1962: Sino-Indian War (中印边境战争)

Chinese soldiers were firing in the war.

Despite of its many impacts to the world politics and especially to India, the Sino-India War had led to several major consequences that greatly affected China in the following decades. (1) The victory (an unquestionable military victory in contrast to China's claimed "victory" in Korean War) again tremendously consolidated CPC's governing over China. (2) The victory consolidated Mao Zedong's personal control of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). This consolidation of military leadership eventually gave Mao the ability of starting the Great Culture Revolution to defeat his political enemies in just few years later. (3) The victory finalized China's overtake of Tibet. The Sino-India War claimed that any attempt of separating Tibet from China would be hopeless. (4) After the war, the Indian role in international affairs was greatly reduced and India's standing in the Non-Aligned Movement suffered. In comparison, the world started more and more listening to China's voice. The victory paced the way for China to become a major power of the world.

1963: Zhou Enlai toured 10 Countries in Africa (周恩来访问非洲10国)

Zhou Enlai visited African nation Mali. In the middle was Premier Zhou Enlai.

The victory in the Sino-India War gave China tremendous confidence to be more aggressive in world affairs. Premier Zhou Enlai's tour to 10 African countries from late 1963 to early 1964 was one of its most importance consequence. In the tour, Premier Zhou showed his great skill in foreign affairs. Through Zhou's superior display, China won the heart of many Africans. It laid the foundation for People's Republic of China's return to United Nation in 1971.

1964: First Chinese Atomic Bomb Test (中国第一颗原子弹试爆成功)

The cloud generated by the first Chinese atomic bomb test.

China became the fifth nation that could build atomic bombs. The remarkable success at the meantime demonstrated to the world China's exceptional capability in scientific research as well as in manufacture production. From the moment, China entered a brand new era (the industrial age) in its 5000-year history.

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