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1992 The “Wenzhou Model” of Development and China's Modernization

1992 The “Wenzhou Model” of Development and China's Modernization

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1992 The “Wenzhou Model” of Development and China's Modernization
1992 The “Wenzhou Model” of Development and China's Modernization

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The "Wenzhou Model" of Development and China's Modernization Author(s): Alan P. L. Liu Source: Asian Survey, Vol. 32, No.

8 (Aug., 1992), pp. 696-711 Published by: University of California Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2645363 . Accessed: 10/08/2011 17:57
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Important aspects and dilemmasof China's and economic intorelief political development maybe thrown byan analysis of Wenzhou. ruralcommunities.1 "model" meantthata community's social and economic program bestrepresentedthe developmental strategy of the current nationalleadership. Xiangzheng Qiyemoshiyanjiu [A studyof modelsof rural enterprises] (Beijing: ZhongguoShejuikexue Chubanshe.1988). in different ways. market mechanism. fornia. Wenzhouconsistsof an urbanized area (488 squarekilometers) and a largeruralregion intotheWenzhoumu(dividedintoeightcounties)thatwas incorporated Santa Barbara.THE "WENZHOU MODEL" OF DEVELOPMENT AND CHINA'S MODERNIZATION Alan P. L. Chen Jiyuan and Xia Defang. Another inevitably possible as a microcosm gain of a studylike thisis to see Wenzhou'sdevelopment of Chinese modernization. and reliresources. Located almostat the midpoint of China's easterncoast. flexible patterns ofownership.University of Cali- Wenzhouand Its People ? 1992 by The Regentsof the University of California 1. mous "models": Wenzhoumunicipality of any detailedstudyof a subsociety such as thepresent one One virtue in Wenzhoulies in depicting thenatureof thesocial and cultural context within whichdevelopment has to takeplace. specialization. 696 . Accordingly. trepreneurial especially and scholarsas Some of thesehad been promoted by Chinesejournalists The term "models" (moshi)foremulation by otherruralcommunities. thepost-1980 "models" had. Alan P. Liu is Professor of PoliticalScience.This articledeals withone of the mostfaance on indigenous in ZhejiangProvince. Liu One of the most significant aspects of the post-Mao of China was the rise of many eneconomic and social development thosealong the easterncoast.achievedthe in a rise use oftheprofit motive and the following: rapid personal income. L.

western.notably tea. by a risein manufacturing industries and of refugees civilwars and the Japanese partly by an influx escapingfrom invasion. the entire province suffered from serious under Mao.the main linkbetween Wenzhouand the restof China was by sea. werealso the people's reactionsto politicalpressures. LIU 697 nicipality underthenew "cityadministering county"(shiguan xian) policy in 1981. controlof Wenzhou has always been problematic.and Wenzhouese migrants constituted in Europe. L.5% ofthearea) are mostly alongthecoast and are criss-crossed withrivers and canals. forming the northeastern. The topography is rugged. however. The plains(17. whichenabledWenzhouto sustain a larger population than its geography and naturalendowments would have allowed. Historically. Successivedynasties fromthe Song to theQing (1644-1912) closedtheWenzhouportfrom timeto time in order to stop incursions by Japaneseand Chinese pirates. and long-distance Emigration trade. Zhejianghad the highest number of to Taiwan in 1949. thepeopleofWenzhouhave turned the area's naturalendowments and geographic locationintocomparative in commercial advantage. Above all. and southwestern bordersand effectively themunicipality isolating from therestoftheChinesemainland. The urbanarea is a mere4% of the municipality's 11.000. Wenzhou was burdenedwith a deepeningdemographic crisis in the twentieth caused partly century. Out of this social and economicconditiongrewanotherof Wenzhou's traditionsoutmigration.ALAN P. In recentyears. SincetheSong dynasty (960-1279). the populationin the urbanizedarea increased by 148%.or forthatmatter.4 million. government of China.forexample.78% of the territory is mountainous withthreeranges. due partlyto Zhejiang's being the politicaldiscrimination home province of ChiangKai-shek. and fishing. The region is poor in mineral resources but richin commercial crops. as well as one-fourth of the populationthat in 1989 stood at 6. Consequently. Rural household industries thrived and an extensive infrastructure oflocal markets also developed. Wenzhouservedas the trading centerof southeast Zhejiangand northern Fujian and as the main entrepot for trade with large northern portssuch as Ningbo and Shanghai. thenand now. thepeoplebecamehighly mobileand skilledin longdistance trade.partly emigrants due to its proximity to Taiwan (mak- .theyproducedforthe market. sugarcane. From 1906 to 1921.500 square kilometers. and thus Wenzhou's emigration untrendcontinued abated. They specializedtheirproduction crops and crafts-in otherwords. fruit. Wenzhouese becameexperienced For thecentral smugglers.the annual number of Wenzhouese in otherpartsof China amountedto 270. 83% of all Zhejiangimmigrants Wenzhou.In traditional times.all in northeast to southwest alignment. lumber.

' "4 Againstthe background of Wenzhou's distantand recenthistory its economicachievements after1980 were more a renaissance and an evolutionary processthan an economic "takeoff. 8. 1977.35 yuan). and in the early 1970s the demographic pressure was such thatin some Wenzhoutowns the sale of women.9% forthe province.1987). The totalproduct of society (thesum of thegrossoutputvalue of industry. JinGuowen.Zhou Yilin.9 billionyuan. The failure of Mao's ruralpolicyto solve Wenzhou'sMalthusiancrisis to thepeople'snostalgia contributed fortheir old waysoftradeand travel.Zhongguo Renkou: ZhejiangFengce[Chinesepopulation: Zhejiangvolume](Beijing: ZhongguoCaizheng Jingji Chubanshe. ShangJingcai.and Hu Fangsong.1989).4% in Wenzhouand 1.2and the people nevertotallyabandoned theirway of specializedproduction and long-distance tradeunderMao's rule. Xinhuashe Jizhe." That Wenzhouwas namedas a national"model" was based on a number of impressive facts(see Table 1). communications. "An Alarming Case of Counterrevolutionary Restoration in Wenzhou.Meanwhile. collectiveenterprises had collapsedand beenreplaced by'underground factories' and 'underground labor markets.1988). AUGUST 1992 ingit vulnerable to invasion by theNationalists) and partly due to itsway of lifethat was antithetical to Mao's preference forcollectivization and socialistenterprises. Dangdai Zhongguo di Zhejiang[Contemporary Zhejiangof China]. and smuggling occurred.p. Mao's administration invested littlein Zhejiang'sor Wenzhou's economicdevelopment. 3. From 1978 to 1989. 1 (Beijing: ZhongguoShehuikexue Chubanshe. Formula forSuccess . and commerce) increased from3 billionyuanin 1980 to 13 billionyuanin 1988 (current exchange rate $1 = 5.VOL. p.goneback to precommunist practices. WangSijunand WangRuizi. in Wenzhou"collectivizationhad been turned intoprivate black market farming. March 22. 2.the Maoist collectivization program."RenminRibao (People's daily.As one 1977 pressaccountreported.hereafter RMRB). XXXII.Wenzhou'sindustrial output rose from one to 8. eds.Wenzhou was thefirst locality to resist theestablishment ofadvancedagricultural producers' cooperatives in 1955-56. ruralWenzhouhad. agriculture.NO.went againstthe grainof craftsmen and long-distance traders. which requiredWenzhoueseto stay put and farm.. by and large. 170. building trades.vol. transport. emerged. From 1950 to 1982. The mostdramatic changeoccurred in theruralarea where theproportion ofthevalueofnonagricultural produc2. and Lin Bai.698 ASIANSURVEY.3 By the end of Mao's era. postand telecommunications.Wenzhouled Zhejiangin annual rate of population increase: 2. 4. Wenzhou Di Juqi [Rise of Wenzhou] (Nanning: GuangxiRenminChubanshe.beggary.

13/14(1990). 6. Wenzhou Moshi Di Lilun Tansuo [An exploration of the theoretical implications of the Wenzhoumodel](Nanning: GuangxiRenminChubanshe.the central governmentcontributed 20 million of the total 130 million yuan in constructioncosts and it contributedno funds for the establishmentof the export processing zone.1990). WenzhouMoshi Yanjiu [A study of the Wenzhoumodel](Beijing:ZhongguoShehuikexue Chubanshe. p. the proportion of the labor force employed in nonfarmwork in the rural area increased from22% to 38%.Rural Development in China (Baltimore:Johns HopkinsUniversity Press. 116.8 1989 Total product of society (100 million yuan) Gross output value of industryand agriculture (100 million yuan) Gross output value of industry (100 million yuan) Annual average income of peasant (yuan) - 18. "WenzhouAirport Gives Liftto RegionalEconomy. L. and opened its firstinternationalairport. the Longwan Export Industry Zone.92 25.DwightPerkinsand Shabid Yusuf. 1991. (Beijing: Jingji 1989). Huang Jiajing.13 10. both constructed mainly with local resources."ChinaDaily.7% in 1980 to 67% in 1985. which before 1980 was among the lowest in the nation.75 1988 133.12 165 48.95 832 89.1984). Specifically.96 1986 87.and 1990 Zhongguo Nianjian. 75. no.6 The key to Wenzhou's success may be summed up in one phrase: adapting traditional institutionsto modern conditions. "TechnicalConditions in a Society'sEconomy.esp. 100-120."The Rise of Longwan.partiv.48 65. and 1990 Zhongguo Nianjian [Almanacof China's economy] Jingii (Beijing: Jingji Guanli Chubanshe. 5. p. LIU 699 TABLE 1 Economic Growthof Wenzhou.5 In 1990 Wenzhou established its own export processing zone.07 94.1987).2 123.. . 1989 Zhongguo Jingji Nianjian[AlmanacofChina's economy] Guanli Chubanshe. During the same period.01 14.89 924 SOURCES: Zhang Renshou and Li Hong." Wenzhou Tongxin [Wenzhoubulletin]. For the airport. and the average income of Wenzhou peasants."in Lin Bai et al. was 50% above the national average in 1989 (924 yuan in Wenzhou as compared to 601 yuan for the nation).21 508 73.ALAN P.its formula may be described as a combination of "three Ms"-mass initiativeness. Jingii tion in the total social product rose from 31.pp. eds. 26.July 22.1990). 1978-1989 1978 1980 30. p..

"RMRB. 7.VOL. earnings from exporting speciallocal products. after bounding beinglong suppressed in The spiritof mass initiativeness was manifested..231 20. 8. Of thesethemostsubstantial sourcewas theincomefrom who migrants.disseminating performed information (especially about marketsoutside of Wenzhou). 1986. "On the DevelopingRural Commodity Economyof Wenzhou.NO. 105.and bankloans. SOURCES: He Rongfei. p. and contracting ("puttingout"). Wenzhou Moshe Yanjiu [Studyof the Wenzhoumodel] (Beijing: ZhongguoShehuikexue Chubanshe. spondedto whatone Chinesescholarhad suggested as thethreepillarsof Wenzhou'spost-Maoeconomy: householdindustries.in turn. These industries were.made possibleby the Wenzhoumigrants working in China.partiv.1987). The "threeMs" corremobility. pp. Dajiong.8 also transmitted vitalinformation back homeconcerning thenational marThe household ketand newproduction technology. 1979-1988 Year 1979 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1988 Number 1.and markettowns. AUGUST 1992 2 HouseholdIndustries in Wenzhou. profits from work in "underground factories.844 13.363 39. Wu Xiang. .Wenzhou Geju[GenJingii and markets-and "one I"-interstices. 8. 1989 Zhongguo Jingji Nianjian. August4. Their vigorousgrowthafter 1980 may be due to a reeffect underMao's rule. the rapidgrowth of householdindustries.1990).407 150.286 130.698 100. 133-35. XXXII. Zhang Renshouand Li Hong.700 TABLE ASIAN SURVEY." allowancesfrom overseas kin.000 eral patternof Wenzhou economy](Wenzhou: Zhejiang RenminChubanshe. first and foremost. Zheng andMa Jinlong. industries reliedheavilyon thehighmobility ofa largenumber ofWenzhouese sales agentswho themultiple functions ofsales. A studyfoundthatinitialinvestment in Wenzhou's elsewhere householdindustries came from fivesources: incomeearnedby migrant laborers.7 in tradiall threeof whichhad thrived tional times. eds. as shownin Table 2. sales agents(gongxiao-yuan).

.Zhejiang1986). divisionsof Zhe[Administrative ed. The new townswerealmost all situatedon the coastal plain wheretherewas an abundanceof both upriversand canals to ease communications. LIU 701 TABLE 1984-1990 3 DesignatedTownsin Wenzhou." suppliedto me by a Chinesescholarand werepartof "internal and the sales agentswere inteof householdindustries The activities thannot. L. Wenzhou XueshuWeiyuanhui.Table 3 showsthe rapidgrowth in each specializing townsin Wenzhouofwhichtenwerethemostfamous. ChenshiGuihua workson urbanplanning 1985-1986](Zhejiangsheng Moshi Yanjiu. Wenzhoueseof interstices excelled in producing Economically.ALAN P. RenminChubanshe. household industries. long-distance trade(through bythe skillful exploitation kettownswouldnothavebeenpossiblewithout in the Chineseeconomy.1988). kindof manufacturing a particular (see Map 1). 1984 9 6 4 7 12 13 1 5 1 1985 14 9 (10) 14 12 14 4 5 (1) 1988 16 10 11 16 13 16 4 6 2 1990 21 12 16 20 14 18 4 6 2 County Leqing Yongjia Ouhai Ruian Pingyang Cangnan Wencheng Taishun Dongtou ofCitiesand Townsin Wenzhou. simple goods modernindustry and especially. and theyperformed ward and downwardlinkagefunctions. national. data on 1990 were jiang Province](Hangzhou: Zhejiangsheng reference. whichsalesmen-turned-businessmen timewerethebase areas from organin surrounding villages to producegoodsforsale industries ized household in the nationalmarket or exportoverseas. and at the same and even foreign places forlocal.These townswere the meeting businessmen.builton thefoungratedin market townsthatwere. ChenshiGuihua Xuesha Lunwenxuan(1985-1986) [Collectionof selected Zhejiangsheng in ZhejiangProvince. one mightadd. ZhangRenshouand Li Hong.Wenzhouesehouseholdindustries goods that belonged to the "excluded middle."in "Urbanization and Pattern SOURCES: TingJunqing." that is.moreoften of dationsof traditional market centers. society. Zhejiangshengxingzhenquhua shengMingzhengting. and politics. neglected by large-scale . institutions of revival after1980 of Wenzhou'straditional The vigorous and marsales agents).

iaotI Pujian provincen qL a * ---- 9 County seat~~~~~~R C~ountynboundary <. 171-82. ienduty aquatic products 94suyo (2.5%)." in Wenzhou MoshiDi Lilun Tansuo.) -ein /cut by agens shwedzheu folwnOopsiin9hrwr boundayunin ----Wezhousale ~County and watchbands Sve-tl moe (5.platic good (27) )iad good* plnati she(. 8.NO. Li Reshouand Huang Jiajin.wn~~~~~~cty cut cl_.%). "Peasants'LeavingFarming forCommerce. an pline (2%) polyacrlc-ie platicbag cothn (2. . AUGUST 1992 Market Townsof Wenzhou 1 The Ten Specialty o SpTonejic mre toIw ma >~~~R~ia''S.7%) processe he god bo carie auiubagsndplacyardn75)gfbis(.pp. XXXII.5)utn (18.702 MAP ASIAN SURVEY.5%).5) n ee olycryishanrquls qts pountyay 9.VOL.~ ~ oj hoe (2.and (27%).

" Context The Political . June19. ownership. Wenzhou's consumerindustry structure. trade with private in theirrelationships in other localities a headstart over Wenzhou had people trading tradition.Anhui.ALAN P. and prospects](Beijing: Zhonguo Shejui privateeconomy: Currentsituation. Talk About Kexue Chubanshe. PrivateBusinesses.Tian of special significance Weiyuanhui Yanjiushe. ZhongguoMinzhuJianguohui Look at Wenzhou'sPrivateEconomy. thepattern omyin deciding such as Zhejiang. during grewrapidly economy as itsprivate Wenzhouwas at an advantage had not yet a timeof "controlvacuum" when the nationalgovernment to a marketeconomy.Wenzhou used its massive nomic system: distribution Politically. numberof sales agentsto take advantageof this interstice.Wenzhou won active supportfroma group of influential The most advocacyofbold economicreforms.pp. Withoutclear made the necessaryadjustments wereat a loss on how to proceed local governments Beijing.1989). L.in themid-1980s. OthersincludedZhao Ziyang. factor such as a lag in governmena permissive thancould be gainedfrom of all the models forthe "Wenzhoumodel" was the furthest tal control.it benefited areas suchas Wenzhoube givena highdegreeofautonthatimpoverished offarm or business Consequently.or Henan quicklyrepeasantsin poor provinces cropsand commercial whichstemmed from to householdfarming verted crafts industries."Wenzhouwas able ofbourgeois was theeconomicfoundation of politicalfactors. after1980 was Wenzhou'srenaissance fromsocialism. support political neededmuchstronger however. gainednationalattenjust as itsdevelopment Second. leaders. national tion.. From 1980 to 1988 theproportion in Wenzhouincreasedfrom1% to 41%. LIU 703 grewtruly"in the glass frames(2. Yao Liwenand Zhen Jian. takingadvantageof thispoliticalinterstice.2%). all knownfortheir of thesewas Wan Li whosepersonaltie to Deng Xiaopingwas important to Wenzhou. 1988.Wenti. Wenzhou'sdevelopment. As notedearlier."Wenzhouese RMRB. 10 It was no wonderthat firms the"left"have charged that"Wenzhou'sway ofWenzhoufrom criticisms economyof Wenzhou was the way of capitalism"and "the commodity liberalism.p. guidancefrom Withtheirlong and enterprises. problems.ed. Zhongguo Jingii:Xianzhuan. sales businesses and self-employed owned family mainlydue to privately of industrial outputby private agents. 2. 135-49."in Guojia "Qiwu" Qijian ZhongdiZhongguoSiying Qianjing[China's Di Siying Jingji Yangjiu Ketizhu. of have its because a combination to way from amongnationalleadersin 1979-80 a consensus First.Wenzhoueseexploitedthe weakestlink in a Soviet-type and circulation."A Comprehensive Zhongyang 10." of China's industrial crevices ecoSocially.

themoment on the specialreports and People'sDaily carried type. pp. attitudeof the Hu Qiaomu's visitto Wenzhou exposed the ambivalent of "exHu agreedto thegranting "left"amongBeijingleaders. it and report "model" in a front-page withWenzhou leadersin publishing otherShanghaimedia collaborated itsproducts.and moderation Wenzhou'suncerzone" indicated ity. eds. Of course..In 1985Wan promised and Wenzhou'sachievements take Deng Xiaopinga videotapedescribing 1986. A patron-client and Wenzhouowed its the Shanghaiand Wenzhoupartyestablishments. AUGUST1992 ofthe (director Du Runsheng and vicepremier). 87.the title"experimental for leadership.and subsequently. Daily. p. beitof an intangible area's economicsuccess. Lin Bai et al. on May 12.Wenzhouhad also gainedstrong appeared to have developedbetween relationship level.and Wu Xiang (deputydirector Wan Li had CenterunderState Council). Wenzhou Duihualu [Dialogues in Wenzhou] (Nanning: Guangxi Renmin Chubanshe. and Wenzhou Di Ganbu [The cadresofWenzhou]. the organof the "the Wenzhoumodel" to theLiberation honorific to Wenzhouas a first referred The newspaper ShanghaiPartyCommittee.Nevertheless. forthemunicipalin nationalpropaganda outsidecadres.11 in April the municipality toured he personally Du Runsheng.VOL. 1987). ..After Party'stop ideologuesand not a supporter to Beijing. and freeruraltradein Anhui. on visitsto Wenzhou by severe restrictions in economic development. 11. current tionalpremises. householdfarming promoted successfully in in seeingWenzhouovercoming poverty and he tooka personalinterest leadersthathe would Wenzhouparty likemanner. member (Politburo Jiyun of the CentralComRural Policy ResearchCenterunderthe Secretariat of the Rural Policy Research mittee). Tian Jiyun. 1985. perimental to emphasize in China. Othernationalleaderssuch as Zhao Ziyang. at theregional support political Third. 8. 100-101.the State Council announcedthat Wenzhouhad Hu's return zone. With Deng Xiaoping'strust.704 ASIAN SURVEY. XXXII." rulesand regulations.NO. That in turnset thestagefora informal visit in 1986 by Hu Qiaomu. He instructed the Wenzhoupartyestablishment cadre leadership educationon the "two cultures"(socialismand science). tain statusin the eyesof Beijing'sfractured alWenzhouhad obtaineda degreeof nationalendorsement. an had formed and Wu Xiang had also visitedWenzhouand apparently "lobby"forWenzhouin Beijing. and defending advertising bookson Wenzhou'sachievements." Thoughan "exofan "experimental theformal status beengranted zone. Although itspossibleinfluence he tried to limit zone" statusto Wenzhou. one of the Communist most significant of privateownership." theformer neara "specialeconomic zone" was nowhere perimental of tradito "be freefrom the restrictions on Wenzhouthe right bestowed and policiesofthenation.

From 1949 to 1984. ."in Wenzhou Duihualu. and production. 35. in managing Wenzhou. 14.and 178. no. beneused the"Wenzhoumodel"to reap-for themoment-an intangible mechanism and a fuller use ofthemarket fit:advocacyoflocal autonomy symbolized by Wenzhou. Wenzhou Xinfengqing [New social trends ofWenzhou](Nanning: GuangxiRenminChubanshe. 4-17. also Wenzhou Di Ganbu. 8 (1986). ZhengWenyuan and Jiang Yaochun.pp. For examparticipated tives. The lowerthe administrative level.vigorously meritorious deedsofthe Di Ganbu.13 These wereamongthepolitical used to their village(cun) levelcadres. Although thiswas a verylimited tionwas significant."Storiesfrom Wenzhou.an averagetwo-year party in 1981..the position erableproblems of the Wenzhou Party Committee changed hands 17 of first secretary tenureforeach secretary.the morenumerand industry of cadres' contributing to commerce ous werethe instances to the same adminisbelonged townsand townships (notethatdesignated trative from a former secretary supported county party level). 147. 20. Zhang Guisheng. three the municipal partyestablishment.one of whichwas from villages. 1987). As was well known. As ble by a fluidlocal partyleadership had considMao and Deng administrations boththe had earlier dynasties. and businessmen and Shanghai engineers retired gettechnical aid byhiring handmachinery. counties." wentto Shanghaiin drovesto buy secondsales agents. and pick up the latestnews on markets skilledworkers.as Wenzhou's patron. pp. Wenzhou Di Ganbu. LIU 705 12 MeanwhileWenzhoucadres. in Wenzhou'sprivate economy.its internal unclassifiable.Wenzhou'srapidgrowth and grassroots politicalsupport. variasample. it in the face of attacksfromthe "left. "Seven Explanations on Villages.removing 18 of the 27 leadingmunicipal shakeupoccurred thattheWenzhouese interstices leaders. fitsfromthe relationship. L. pp.Furthermore.like the nationalelite.ALAN P."14 res engaging However.as Shanghai'sclient. amples.Shanghaileadersblamed in the era of reform on too much theircity'slackadaisicalperformance the nationalgovernment. p. and one from six from sevenfrom townsor townships.thebook Wenzhou included18 excadresof Wenzhouin promoting industry and commerce.beingnaadvantage. benetangible Wenzhoueseobtained In otherwords. and Shanghaiin turn.A major political times. 39 and 230. especially: Wenzhou Di Juqi.p.Wenzhoucadresweredividedin their attitudes towardprivate business. 118."Minzhu Yu Fashi [Democracyand rule of law]. References to thesecan be foundin theseriesofbookson Wenzhoueditedby Lin Bai et al. 13. There weremanycases of cadres' ob12. Testimony frommy inspections the foregoing analysiswhenhe said: "I discovered ofcadthattheprosperous localities almostalwayshad higher proportions in commerce or industry themselves.whichrecorded ple. politicalcontrolfrom after1980was made possiLast but notleast.

to surplus werenotconfined work. WenzhouDi Juqi.witha laborers.theirobward Wenzhou of leftist the Wenzhouesewill to structions wereintermittent and failedto thwart develop.and township offices managing a local busiinvolving levels. 6 (1986). AUGUST1992 in their in party and industry.VOL. and Wenzhounow reliedsubstantially on to feedits population. nessmanand a cadre. givenan opporwould choose nonagricultural work.Before1980. withimporsocial and economic bothpositive consequences.A majorcreditforincreasing ployedin either manufacturing femaleemployment mustgo to Wenzhou's ubiquitoushouseholdindusemployedyoungfemalesfromimpovertries. An overalldeclinein agriculture in farm three-fourth decreasepermou (one sixthofan acre) in investment land by Wenzhoupeasants.6 million-strong the availableland.000ofWenzhou's2. In coastal areas. 111-12. 30% to 40% of farmland was no longerbeingcultivated.no." JingjiYanjiu [EcoMoshiDi Lilun Tansuo. liberalism"campaign in nies" in early 1985 or the "anti-bourgeois toattitude 1986-87. Chen Jiyuan and Xia Defang. In almostevery recorded case ofcontroversy one of thoseoffices.pp. 8.16 In viewof Wenzhou'shistory and grainimports Mao's policy. in Wenzhouinevitably produceda host of Rapid economicdevelopment and negative. town. mainly positions structing private commerce commerce and industry at county. and Zhongguo ShekeyuanJingjisuo Wenzhounongcundiaochazu. XXXII.thelatter was foundto be from whenever vigorously Beijinglaunchedone These cadresusuallyresponded of compasuch as the "rectification of its episodicideologicalcampaigns.p. However. And as long as the Chinese tunity. By 1987 labor forcewereactuallyneededto cultivate businesses had absorbed 75% ofthe household industries and other private or towns now and some counties formerly impoverished surpluslabor.and manynew businesses 15. Consequences Developmental . Among ofa risein nonfarm workin Wenzhouwerewomen.as discussedearlier. pp. in Wenzhou 16. 9 and 72. however. "PushingForwardRural EconomicDevelopment. in thenumbers ofsurplus was a reduction fectofWenzhou'sdevelopment farm laborers. allowedregional to proceed.theywere weakenedby the ambivalent nationalleaders. thenit was consisgovernment specialization tentwithcomparative advantageforWenzhou to importgrain.706 ASIANSURVEY. it was onlyto be expected thatthepeasants. The attractions ofnonfarm occurredin the 1980s. thechief beneficiaries It was reported that 80% of the municipality's adult femaleswere emor services. Economically.Xiangzheng QiyeMoshi Yangjiu.15 experienced shortages. 233.only570. the mosttangible eftantlocal and nationalimplications.NO. nomicResearch].

countryside. theaverofLeqingcounty tainousareas. L.p. of Wenzhou](NanDi Sichang[Markets vember 6. In contrast. Lin Bai et. 1986. In a 1985 studyof Jinxiang.The averagemonthly either of whichwas moreand morepublicemployees 100 yuan. 1987). "Notes on Wenzhou'sCustomsand Tradition:Women. Chubanshe.000yuanwhilethatofemployees 19 Therehad also beengrowing between private disparity being600 yuan). traditional But therewas an anomicaspect to Wenzhou'sdevelophold industries.000.599households theLeqingstudy work. in private sectoror engaging leavingforthe private child labor..000 of had an averageannualincome in in 10% services. of the cradle of the "Wenzhou model"-it was the centerof production products-it was foundthat483 of the aluminum badgesand plasticfilm 405 ofthemgirls. 149.1987). Wenzhou ning: Guangxi Renmin Chubanshe. In a survey townof Liushi was of the manufacturing age annual incomeof residents to the westthe average townships 986 yuan.18 As to disparities that found thatamong1. The so-called problem of child . 20% theaverageincomeof work. Yanjiushi. 256-65. mouncoastalareas and underdeveloped prosperous economically between in 1984. p. it foundthatthe averageannual incomeof employers was 1.000to 50.forexample. 1. eds." p. in some cases constituting 17 employees. of theway in whichWenzhoudevelopedwereconSome of theeffects concerns buttheone thathad arousedpublicand governmental troversial. LIU 707 50% to 80% of the ished mountainous areas. al. sales.whilein eightmountainous and nonagagricultural between incomewas 100 yuan. contracting.and typesof employment. foremploying werealso criticized Wenzhouesebusinesses was available. (ShanghaiShehuikexue its road to affluence] Look. nonagricultural and 5% in other between a farming householdwas 600 yuan in 1984.professions. MengXiaoyun. pp. workers werebetween "child farmers" in the countryside wereeither opinionheld thatchildren in theChinese conditions exposedthegeneral in Wenzhousimply laborers forruralchildren. status of employregions. 19."RMRB. No17.ALAN P..500yuan(thelowest 30. ricultural in specialized more. and Zhongguo Minzhu Jianguohui Look. 50% yuan or 10. Yuan Enzheng. 145.but a of the numberof child workers No exact estimate roughcountput thetotalat close to 10."A Comprehensive Weiyuanhui Zhongyang and ed." p. Wenzhou Moshi Yu Fuyu Zilu [Wenzhoumodelof economy 18. incomeofa cadrewas and publicsectoremployees. was income disparity-between occurredmainly Regional differences ment. 10% labor in manufacturing. 59.theresult businesson the side. "A Comprehensive (tongnong)or "child workers" (tonggong). such as lack of educationalopportunities risein houseand thepost-1980 discrimination againstfemales. Income differential in in a studyof 50 businessmen was reported and employees employers was between 1986. Local theages oftenand sixteen.

8. vertising." smuggling. Of these." Yet another possibleconon Wenzhou as a model concernsBeijing'streatment of it. out thatWenzhousharedwiththevast ban areas. was the most important crafts.thenationalpressof China had timeand againexposed of some Wenzhoubusinessmen. to as Wenzhou's "third Taishun. from and versatile institution thatChinesepeoplehad inherited universal. of private sion or construction houses.howof its products stagea specialexhibit 20. At the same time.famedforitsappliances. use of moreadwhichconsisted in urand relianceon subcontracting from statefirms vancedtechnology.Beijing'sinconsistent and after In thefallof 1990. In early 1991. followedby a campaignto expose Wenzhou.low level of savings.VOL.and substandardand counterfeit especially in illegalpossesWenzhoualso had its shareof politicalgraft. These scholarspointed of Chineseruralcommunities thefollowing characteristics: long majority distancefrommajor industrial cities.mobility. of Wenzhou'sway of development In the finalanalysis. ruraldevelopment of government-owned local enterprises. in thetownof Liushi. held theviewthatthe "Wenzhoumodel" was moreapplicableto Chinese than the alternate "southern Jiangsu model" (sunan). XXXII. and parts of Yongjia were referred world"and not partof the "Wenzhoumodel.rudimentary and relianceon family-owned skillsin nonfarm and managed production. strong."20 history. This was false advertising.targeting and "yellowpublications.Beijingsuddenly forced a large tionswentevenfurther."wrotetwo Chinesescholars. such as falseadthefraudulent practices goods. "Family. Wenzhou Moshi Yanjiu.the mountainouscounties of Wencheng.allowingWenzhou to in Beijing. the government turnedaround. of private firms to number close on the groundsthattheyturnedout substandard goods. AUGUST1992 ment. Zhang Renshouand Li Hong.How manyChineseruralcommunities Wenzhouthesebehavioral traits is a mootpoint. society. Wenzhouand ChineseModernization .NO.the significance A considerable number of Chinesescholars extended beyonditsterritory. Even within component were not distributed evenly. wereequippedwiththis centuries. The straint has steered at the center Wenzhouin self-contradicfractured leadership attitude has alreadybeennoted. 211. deceitfulcontracts.the crucial role of the family betweenWenzhou and the restof Chineserural commoncharacteristic "was stillthemostbasic. directions.p. Since 1979. its survivability and cohesionwereextremely Those who held an affirmative view of Wenzhouas a model tendedto of itsformula forsuccess-mass iniglossoverthebehavioral component skills in long-distance trade-which had evolved over tiative.708 ASIANSURVEY. Hu Qiaomu's ambivalent tory directhe Tiananmencrisisin June1989.

wholecommunities came to play specialized roleswithin thelargerwhole. Wenzhounow playedtwo specializedroles in China's modernization." Moreover.21 After Deng Xiaopingtouredthe special economiczones in Guangdongin January1992.Beijing'sinconsistent of Wenzhoucontributed treatment moreto anomicbehavior of collective thanit did to thestrengthening enterprises. duringwhich he in bold economic Wenzhou's calledon thewholenationto persist reforms.000 Wenzhoumerchants borderprovince of Yunnan to open up businesses. For example.p." Wenzhoueseplayedthe second role self-consciously as theytargeted the "thirdworld"of China fortheir goods: isolated mountainous regions. "Left-turn of the Wenchow Model. "40. Wenzhou's development showed that as modernization of a complexsocietyproceeded.and growth. instead. LIU 709 on the to increase ever. First of all. pp. and impoverished communities. Bao Bingzhongand Xu Dongmin. 2. no."RMRB. no community could remain self-contained.ALAN P. butwas oriented toward thewhole of China. 56 (1991).the state inevitably en21. In otherwords. 1-15.It was no longer just a regional trading center. its economic growth as an empirical facthad definitive implications forChina's modernization. In a complexnationsuchas China. 12-14. a 1988 pressreport said thatsince 1979 some had arrived in thesouthwest 40. 2 (1990).22 eryand dilapidated buildings.and peoplefrom all overthecountry came to Wenzhou'sfamed tenmarket townsto trade. Though Wenzhou's role as a model was problematic. The first was as a nationalfreemarket. 23." ShanghaiShifandaxue Xuebao (Bulletinof ShanghaiNormal no. Lang Lang.Wenzhouparty cadreswereinstructed propaganda superiority of state-owned firms. 1988. L.Wenzhouesethemselves precarious do withobsoletemachinstatusby refusing to reinvest. 22." Chaoliu [Tide monthly]. making or leasingequipment insteadofbuying it. University].23 The history of Wenzhou's economic change since 1949 has demonstratedthe relationof nationalpowerto surplusand community autonomy. tion. Wenzhou'ssecondrole was as a linkbetween China's "first world"and "thirdworld. . This contradictory treatment by Beijingcould not have been too reassuring to any ruralcommunity thatmay have wishedto emulatethe reactedto their "Wenzhou model. Li Jui-huan Being Hit Quietly. pp. in May starrose again and Li Peng made a first visitto the municipality 1992. By so doing.border lands. FebruRegistered ary 27. naespecially concerning the interrelationship of community. "An Explorationof the Private Economy in Wenzhouand Its Prospects.000 WenzhouCraftsmen and Merchants in Yunnan.thestatemustexercise powerin orderto transfer a partof the surpluses fromproducing communities to people otherthan the producers.

" whichundermined to producesurpluses Shanghai'sability efficiently. The interrelation ofpower. This formof controlis mostefficient which communications betweennationalauthority and community are very difficult. tax collection by the center(especiallytax on profits) was difficult because of so many householdfirms.VOL."AnotherLook at the 'Southern Jiangsu Model.. (1987). Beijing exercised"feedbackcontrol" over them. Wenzhoudid notresort to such practices sinceitseconomic 24. 8. Frederick W. pp. problems associatedwithstatefirms:declining efficiency and profit. p. and autonomy elucimaybe further dated by examining the "southern briefly Jiangsu model. AUGUST1992 is based croachesupon community autonomy.Beijingemployedwhat one scholarcalled "venal control" in orderto obtain overWenzhouin whichthestateindulges a community in situations in partof its surplus.as a resultof Beijing'srecognition of a degreeof local "sovera parochial-type eignty. This form ofcontrol so thatthestatecan dependson excellent communications readilymonitora community's activity and.Whenautonomy way as Wenzhouwas underMao.710 ASIANSURVEY. werecollectively owned-that is.NO. As mentioned southern Jiearlier. a risingnumber offirms operating at a deficit. thensurplusproduction becomesproblematic. eds. if necessary. Frey. Guo Xiaomin. surplus.the latterwereburdened withthe same terprises. The center'sencroachment on the autonomy of southern Jiangsu towns was moreextensive thanon Wenzhou. no 3.After 1980. Beijingcould counton regular tax revenues but on the otherhand. XXXII.and Zhang Hongyu. That Wenzhouproduced muchmoresurplus 1980thanbefore after was also due to a changein the typeof authority thatBeijingapplied. 25. The economicdevelopment ofWenzhouafter 1980showedthata community's ability to maintain a highdegreeof autonomy is critical to its capais deniedin an extreme bility to producesurpluses. such as setting up toll stations and collecting illegal transit taxes.24 ThoughWenzhouproduced moresurpluses."Communication and Development"in Ithielde Sola Pool and WilburSchramm. 385. .But community autonomy on a distinct culture thatencompasses modesofproduction and exchange.Zhou Ruchang. Handbookof Communication (Chicago: Rand McNally. and a focuson welfare instead of development." Because these Jiangsu townswere situatedin an area withmoderntransportation and communication. 31-33. After Mao's death. ownedby local angsu ruralenterprises from theseengovernments.'" JingjiTizhiGaige [Reform of economicsystem]. 1973)." arose all over China in the formof autonomy local protectionism.25 Shanghai'ssponsorship of the "Wenzhoumodel" was yet anotherexampleof its leaders' reactionto Beijing's"feedbackcontrol. commandit. It is also noteworthy thatWenzhou'sautonomy was not parochial.

I refer to thenewmarket townsand theentrepreneurs of Wenzhou. and theemergence of a new middleclass.000 to 700.In a larger sense. L. Beijinghas not enactedsuch a law althoughthereis regulation privatebusiness. Wenzhou Moshi Yanjiu. almostalways aftera declineor collapseof a centralist and bureaucratic and partly due regime to the natureof thatregime. social and economicdeviancesoccurredall over China.26 These new entrepreneurs. Wenzhouwas a testof Beijing'sability to make a hard choice between a centrally plannedand a market-based economyand betweena political and a socioeconomic nationalism. small firms. ThoughWenzhoushowedportents ofa newnationhood. outmigration But themostintractable problem was Beijingpolitics.The new nationalism thatWenzhouese symbolize is similar to thenationalism ofthe "newlyindustrializing countries" of East Asia. muchof ruralChina will persist in seeking a livelihood withall its merits and demerits.Second. bothin economicactivity and population size. Chinese scholars have noted that countycapitals were eclipsedby thenew market towns.000 people in householdindustries in the ten specialty employed or otherbusinesses market in commerce towns.ALAN P. well contribute social mobility. Zhang Renshouand Li Hong. Firstofall.giving riseto a nationalism attached to socioeconomic development rather thanto politicalideology.some devianceswere possiblycaused by inadein thenational market and severedemographic quate competition pressure insideWenzhou. It was estimated that among the 600.as notedearlier. Finally. symptoms But theseshouldbe understood in a proper perspective. and small townsof Wenzhoumay to economicand politicalpluralism.p.To this of day. Third. causedbyBeijing'sinconsistent treatment and legislationthatwas inadequate to protect ofprivate therights business. 26. . LIU 711 recovery was dependent on playing a special role in the nationalmarket. In these towns were concentrated of the new entrepreneurs Wenzhou.one maysee theriseof a new powerbase forChinesenationalism thatis different from the typeto whichthe Communist Partyis passionately attached.Until Beijingdecides.one-fourth wereexperts and management.Wenzhou and in the interstices. If Beijingtruly wishedto adapt thenationaleconomy gradually to market forces. thenWenzhou's "cosmopolitan autonomy"or "open autonomy" shouldhave been a "model" forotherruralcommunities.some of the deviancesin Wenzhou were. 202. it also brought of disorganization in the anomic aspects of its development. These would probably diminish as othercommunities with Wenzhou in craftsand lightmanufacturing and began competing reducedoverpopulation.

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