Throughout the past decades China has experienced rapid growth, despite sometimes challenging circumstances. In its climb to a successful nation throughout the years, China has implemented a variety of strategies. Its leaders have needed to reevaluate certain decisions and strategies, and adjust accordingly. In 1953, with the start of the first Five Year Plan, the focus on a heavy-industry oriented development strategy began. Initially this strategy was followed by rapid success. After the large amount of industrial growth China experienced during the first Five Year Plan, it is understandable that continuing with a heavy-industry oriented development strategy appeared to be a logical option to China's leaders. However, in the following decade severe consequences occurred. When considering China's economic conditions at the time, a heavy-industry oriented development strategy may not have been the wisest decision. .
This essay will discuss whether or not the heavy-industry oriented development strategy was a natural economic occurrence and if it required any government intervention. First, China's conditions prior to the implementation of a heavy-industry oriented development strategy will be described. Secondly, an attempt to understand China's leaders' reasoning behind their decisions will be given. Further, the contradictions between China's circumstances and the strategies implemented will be discussed, followed by a discussion of the amount of government intervention present during the heavy-industry oriented development. Lastly, the essay shall end with the conclusion.
China's economic development started at a low level. In 1949, when the People's Republic of China was founded, China's total output value of industry and agriculture was a mere RMB 46.6 billion, and the per capita GNI was at RMB 66.1 (Lin, 1996). .
At the time the first Five Year Plan was being formed, China's economy was predominantly agricultural.