chapter  4
24 Pages

Party leadership transition and the bureaucratic restructuring for industrial reform

The CCP elites between 1920s and 1950s largely came from the backgrounds of peasants, soldiers, and urban lower-middle class (Scalapino, 1972). Most of them had no experience coordinating large-scale industrial production by the inauguration of PRC. Through the First Five Year Plan and Soviet aid projects in the 1950s, CCP imported the Stalinist central industrial ministries system and nurtured the fi rst generation of CCP’s central economic bureaucracy. During this process, a reservoir of young engineers, technicians, managers, and skilled workers were trained and absorbed into the CCP cadre system; many senior revolutionary veterans also developed themselves into leaders of industrial development and headed the central economic bureaucracy. Some of them, such as Chen Yun and Bo Yibo, had certain experience in economic management in the pre-liberation period, while many others, such as Li Xiannian, Yu Qiuli, and Zhang Aiping, came purely from military backgrounds but demonstrated formidable organizational capability and commitment to promote industrial catching-up.