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The Political and Economic Policies of Russia and China

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  1. Introduction
  2. China and Russia before the Fall of Communism
  3. Economic Transformation after the fall of Communism
  4. Russia's Economic Model
  5. China's Economic Model
  6. Comparing China and Russia
  7. Conclusion


At the end of World War II, the international community became notably divided upon political and economic lines. While many countries in the West chose a capitalist democracy many in the East had chosen communism/Marxism as the central means for social development. Although both of these systems clearly have some merit, capitalism and democracy were able to triumph as communism fell in the early 1990s. With the fall of communism came the realization that the communist economic system would no longer work. As such, formerly communist countries had to officially enter the free market in an effort to rebuild their economies. Even though formerly communist states had shared similar ideals with respect to political and economic development, when it came to entering the free market, each state developed notably different policies for achieving international economic integration. Such is the case with China and Russia.

[...] Although the answer seems quite evident overall, the staunch adherence of the Chinese and Russian governments to the tenets of communism may serve as the basis to prevent this evolution for a number of decades. Thus, the ideological establishment of communism in the context of these countries becomes more evident. Until leaders are able to see beyond these issues, they will be limited in their ability to achieve stable economies. References Breslin, S.G. (1996). China: Developmental state of dysfunctional development. [...]

[...] Karatnycky goes on to note that the paradox of what has occurred in Russia can be easily explicated if one is willing to look beyond the surface and analyze the impact the new policies developed by the government have had on the development of the economy in Russia. According to Karatnycky, the reason why Russia has not seen stunning growth in terms of economic development stems from the fact that the government has not moved toward policies that would allow for the full development of capitalism in the state. [...]

[...] rapid development of urban areas, in fact, has widened the economic gap between the newly rich urbanites and the peasants? (p. 10). As such, many of China's farmers are finding it difficult to survive under these conditions. Although Chu does note that many farmers are better off now than under the reforms made by Mao, the reality of poverty and blight is quite common among this population. The second problem being experienced by the Chinese in terms of economic development is the unwillingness of the government to relinquish bureaucratic control of certain industries. [...]

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