chapter  VIII
The Great Leap Forward (1958–1959)
ByBill Brugger
Pages 33

The Great Leap Forward, which was ushered in by the Third Plenum of the Eighth Central Committee in September–October 1957, was to see changes in Chinese society more profound than at any other time in the history of the People's Republic. Sino-Indian relations were very cordial until well into the Great Leap period until Nehru expressed his intention to alter the People's Republic's policy towards Tibet. The Great Leap Forward took place in an atmosphere of growing international tension and any evaluation of the fervour engendered at that time must take into account sentiments of patriotism. The extended debate on defence in the summer of 1958 led to a qualitatively new stage in the Great Leap. Reforms in urban and rural administration in the autumn of 1958 were accompanied by reforms in industrial management. Economists, both Chinese and Western, will no doubt continue to argue at great length about the positive and negative features of the policies pursued in 1958.