From Rethinking the Soviet Model to Searchinhg for Chinas Path

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-7-45-55
O. Borokh (, 
Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (IDV RAN), 32, Nakhimovskii Prosp., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation;
A. Lomanov (, 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Received 25.04.2021.

Abstract. The article is focused on the evolution of the approaches of the Communist Party of China’s leadership to the Soviet model; it analyzes changing accents in its understanding that dominated in different periods, and the normative conclusions made from critical understanding of the Soviet experience. In 1956, Mao Zedong called to “take the USSR as a mirror” and underscored the importance of national specifics in modernization process. Since the late 1970s, Deng Xiaoping considered the Soviet model completely outdated and ineligible to any improvement, his reforms policy excluded any possibility of China’s return to the Soviet patterns. He solved the task of taking lesson from the “Soviet warning” in economy by abandoning high centralization and rigid planning. Since the 1990s, the themes of stability of party power, amassing public support, and ability of the ruling party to respond decisively to serious crises, occupied an increasingly prominent place in the Chinese debates on the Soviet lessons. Under Xi Jinping, the attention focused on the influences of the loss of political convictions by the party members and of the spread of “historical nihilism” on the collapse of the USSR and the downfall of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The focus in rethinking of the Soviet model shifted to the spheres of control over administrative power, institutionalization of rights, fight against corruption, modernization of the governance system. The chain of continuity of China’s development course is built around the theses about the priority of national specifics and a critical attitude towards foreign experience. It is concluded that during the period of reforms, the development of market economy in China went far beyond the original framework of Soviet centralized planned economy. In the political sphere, Soviet lessons keep their relevance and serve as a justification for the course of strengthening the ideological cohesion of the ruling party. 

Keywords: Communist Party of China, Soviet experience, Mao Zedong, economic reforms, Deng Xiaoping, state governance, Xi Jinping


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For citation:
Borokh O., Lomanov A. From Rethinking the Soviet Model to Searchinhg for Chinas Path. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 7, pp. 45-55.

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