Economic systems reform in China, as in most other countries that have experimented with fundamental reform, was initiated with narrow economic goals in mind. But reforms as sweeping as those attempted in China can rarely be kept confined within boundaries of economics and technology. Such reforms inevitably spill over into political sphere. One major element of reform that long predated the 1984 directive was the decision to open up the economy to foreign trade and investment. China had never achieved complete autarky, but during the early Cultural Revolution period, anyone who advocated importing foreign technology could count on being criticized. There was some connection between the opening of the economy and the effort to increase the role of market forces. The boom in the economy of Guangdong Province in the latter part of 1980s that spilled over into the export sphere would probably not have been possible if key inputs had been available only through application to the central planners.