China Was Already Very Strong Before the Reforms

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Tradition’s Legacy
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China had ballistic, intercontinental missiles, satellites, nuclear bombs, and nuclear submarines...

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<p>Our modern higher education system was founded in the late Qing Dynasty. Institutions of higher education -- like Beida -- were established by the Qing dynasty. And Tsinghua University. So, the education system was started in the Qing dynasty. And we had&nbsp;<em>Jiangnan Zhizao Ju</em>, I forgot the English name of this factory, but they imported some German engineer. They brought in modern technology, basic skills for manufacturing. And ROK [sic] established a modern financial system. In 1935, when there was <em>Baiying Weiji</em>, the civil crisis -- actually, the civil crisis was caused by United States -- they hurt China and forced the Guomindang government -- the Nanjing government -- to create a modern currency system. And then in Mao Zedong&rsquo;s time, China established a modern interest rate system, so when Deng Xiaoping launched his reform, China was already a very strong country.&nbsp;In 1949, out of 500 million Chinese people, there were only 160,000 daxue sen, people with bachelor&rsquo;s degrees. But, by the end of Mao&rsquo;s rule, there were over 8 million. And the life expectancy in 1949 was just 39; less than 40. But, by the end of Mao&rsquo;s rule, when the reform started, the average life expectancy had risen to 69. Thirty years more than in 1949. And China had <em>liangdan yixin</em>, ballistic, intercontinental missiles, satellites, nuclear bombs, and nuclear submarines. So as an academic, I would try to stick to a so-called political-neutral stance.</p>
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Jin Canrong discusses China's pre-reform strengths.