The period of socialist transformation from 1953-1956

So far as the structure of social classes and strata is concerned, the academic circles generally described the period from October 1949 to December 1956 as the transitional period. The early part of this transitional period fr om 1949-1952 was called the period of national economic recovery, and the period from 1953-1956 was called the period of socialist transformation. This section discusses the changes in the structure of social classes and strata in the period of socialist transformation. Mao Zedong said: “The general line and task of the party in the transitional period is to basically complete national industrialization and the socialist transformation of agriculture, handicraft industry, and capitalist industry and commerce in 10 to 15 years or more.”10 This was what later often referred to as “one change and three transformations.”

National industrialization

After three years of rectification and management, by the end of 1952, the national economy had recovered, and industrial and agricultural production had reached the highest level in history. The industrial and agricultural output value in 1952 was 82.72 billion yuan, an increase of 77.5% over 1949 and about 20% higher than the highest level. The fiscal revenue was 18.37 billion yuan, steel output was 1.349 million tons, and grain output was 308.8 billion Jin. Employees’ wages and

Structure of social classes, strata in China 185 fanners’ income all increased significantly, and people’s living standards were preliminarily improved. This set the stage for economic constniction. As early as 1951, the people’s government was planning to formulate an economic construction plan. In early 1952, a leading group led by Zhou Enlai and Chen Yim was set up. After long-term research and discussion and listening to the opinions of the leaders and experts of the Soviet Union, the First Five-Year Plan of Economic Development was drawn up and a decision was made to implement it on January 1, 1953. Large-scale industrial-oriented national economic construction was to be carried out. The First Five-Year Plan for economic construction went smoothly. The party and the government devoted great efforts to it, and the central government and leaders at all levels conscientiously implemented the plan. Human, material, and financial resources across the country were mobilized and put in economic constniction. The masses were very supportive and enthusiastic about it. The First Five-Year Plan also received strong support and assistance from the Soviet party and government, which successfully assisted in the constniction of 156 key projects. In addition, 694 key projects above the quota were constnrcted at the initiatives of various regions. A total construction investment of 76.6 billion yuan, or about 700 million Hang of gold,11 was invested in constniction during the First Five-Year Plan, most of which was invested in infrastructural constniction such as industrial manufacturing, transportation, and post and telecommunications. In industrial constniction, most investments went to the heavy industry. The First Five-Year Plan laid the foundation and made a good start for subsequent industrialization in China.

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