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University of Cali- Wenzhouand Its People ? 1992 by The Regentsof the University of California 1. trepreneurial especially and scholarsas Some of thesehad been promoted by Chinesejournalists The term "models" (moshi)foremulation by otherruralcommunities. thepost-1980 "models" had. Located almostat the midpoint of China's easterncoast. L. market mechanism. Liu is Professor of PoliticalScience.This articledeals withone of the mostfaance on indigenous in ZhejiangProvince. 696 . Xiangzheng Qiyemoshiyanjiu [A studyof modelsof rural enterprises] (Beijing: ZhongguoShejuikexue Chubanshe. 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.1988). L. Wenzhouconsistsof an urbanized area (488 squarekilometers) and a largeruralregion intotheWenzhoumu(dividedintoeightcounties)thatwas incorporated Santa Barbara. fornia. specialization. in different ways. 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. flexible patterns ofownership. Accordingly. ruralcommunities. Chen Jiyuan and Xia Defang.1 "model" meantthata community's social and economic program bestrepresentedthe developmental strategy of the current nationalleadership. and reliresources. Alan P. Another inevitably possible as a microcosm gain of a studylike thisis to see Wenzhou'sdevelopment of Chinese modernization. Important aspects and dilemmasof China's and economic intorelief political development maybe thrown byan analysis of Wenzhou.THE "WENZHOU MODEL" OF DEVELOPMENT AND CHINA'S MODERNIZATION Alan P.
and southwestern bordersand effectively themunicipality isolating from therestoftheChinesemainland.In traditional times.the main linkbetween Wenzhouand the restof China was by sea. SincetheSong dynasty (960-1279).theyproducedforthe market.ALAN P. In recentyears.partly emigrants due to its proximity to Taiwan (mak- . western. forming the northeastern. The topography is rugged. Above all. the populationin the urbanizedarea increased by 148%. lumber.000.5% ofthearea) are mostly alongthecoast and are criss-crossed withrivers and canals. From 1906 to 1921. thepeoplebecamehighly mobileand skilledin longdistance trade. thepeopleofWenzhouhave turned the area's naturalendowments and geographic locationintocomparative in commercial advantage. controlof Wenzhou has always been problematic. Wenzhouese becameexperienced For thecentral smugglers.500 square kilometers.all in northeast to southwest alignment. The plains(17. werealso the people's reactionsto politicalpressures. Consequently.or forthatmatter.forexample. Historically.4 million.notably tea. and thus Wenzhou's emigration untrendcontinued abated.and Wenzhouese migrants constituted in Europe. and long-distance Emigration trade. The region is poor in mineral resources but richin commercial crops. Wenzhou was burdenedwith a deepeningdemographic crisis in the twentieth caused partly century. and fishing. however. whichenabledWenzhouto sustain a larger population than its geography and naturalendowments would have allowed. Successivedynasties fromthe Song to theQing (1644-1912) closedtheWenzhouportfrom timeto time in order to stop incursions by Japaneseand Chinese pirates. 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. the entire province suffered from serious under Mao. They specializedtheirproduction crops and crafts-in otherwords. L. thenand now.the annual number of Wenzhouese in otherpartsof China amountedto 270. government of China. sugarcane.78% of the territory is mountainous withthreeranges. due partlyto Zhejiang's being the politicaldiscrimination home province of ChiangKai-shek. The urbanarea is a mere4% of the municipality's 11. Zhejianghad the highest number of to Taiwan in 1949. Out of this social and economicconditiongrewanotherof Wenzhou's traditionsoutmigration. as well as one-fourth of the populationthat in 1989 stood at 6. fruit. 83% of all Zhejiangimmigrants Wenzhou. by a risein manufacturing industries and of refugees civilwars and the Japanese partly by an influx escapingfrom invasion. LIU 697 nicipality underthenew "cityadministering county"(shiguan xian) policy in 1981.
and Hu Fangsong.1988). postand telecommunications.Meanwhile. and commerce) increased from3 billionyuanin 1980 to 13 billionyuanin 1988 (current exchange rate $1 = 5.vol. and smuggling occurred. Xinhuashe Jizhe. Formula forSuccess . The mostdramatic changeoccurred in theruralarea where theproportion ofthevalueofnonagricultural produc2.goneback to precommunist practices. emerged. communications.9% forthe province. 170.35 yuan). ruralWenzhouhad.3 By the end of Mao's era. "An Alarming Case of Counterrevolutionary Restoration in Wenzhou. which requiredWenzhoueseto stay put and farm.9 billionyuan. AUGUST 1992 ingit vulnerable to invasion by theNationalists) and partly due to itsway of lifethat was antithetical to Mao's preference forcollectivization and socialistenterprises. The failure of Mao's ruralpolicyto solve Wenzhou'sMalthusiancrisis to thepeople'snostalgia contributed fortheir old waysoftradeand travel. in Wenzhou"collectivizationhad been turned intoprivate black market farming.p. 3.beggary. From 1978 to 1989.. agriculture. and in the early 1970s the demographic pressure was such thatin some Wenzhoutowns the sale of women.2and the people nevertotallyabandoned theirway of specializedproduction and long-distance tradeunderMao's rule.VOL. building trades. Wenzhou Di Juqi [Rise of Wenzhou] (Nanning: GuangxiRenminChubanshe. JinGuowen."RenminRibao (People's daily. p. March 22. 8.Wenzhouled Zhejiangin annual rate of population increase: 2.Wenzhou'sindustrial output rose from one to 8. 1977.NO. Dangdai Zhongguo di Zhejiang[Contemporary Zhejiangof China]. eds. ShangJingcai.1989)." That Wenzhouwas namedas a national"model" was based on a number of impressive facts(see Table 1). 4.698 ASIANSURVEY. collectiveenterprises had collapsedand beenreplaced by'underground factories' and 'underground labor markets. transport. From 1950 to 1982.1987).went againstthe grainof craftsmen and long-distance traders. XXXII. 1 (Beijing: ZhongguoShehuikexue Chubanshe.the Maoist collectivization program. 2.Zhongguo Renkou: ZhejiangFengce[Chinesepopulation: Zhejiangvolume](Beijing: ZhongguoCaizheng Jingji Chubanshe. WangSijunand WangRuizi.As one 1977 pressaccountreported. by and large.Zhou Yilin.Wenzhou was thefirst locality to resist theestablishment ofadvancedagricultural producers' cooperatives in 1955-56.4% in Wenzhouand 1.hereafter RMRB).' "4 Againstthe background of Wenzhou's distantand recenthistory its economicachievements after1980 were more a renaissance and an evolutionary processthan an economic "takeoff. and Lin Bai. The totalproduct of society (thesum of thegrossoutputvalue of industry. Mao's administration invested littlein Zhejiang'sor Wenzhou's economicdevelopment.
6. 5.1984)." Wenzhou Tongxin [Wenzhoubulletin].13 10. no. 26. and the average income of Wenzhou peasants. 116.esp.the central governmentcontributed 20 million of the total 130 million yuan in constructioncosts and it contributedno funds for the establishmentof the export processing zone. both constructed mainly with local resources. 1991. and 1990 Zhongguo Nianjian [Almanacof China's economy] Jingii (Beijing: Jingji Guanli Chubanshe.6 The key to Wenzhou's success may be summed up in one phrase: adapting traditional institutionsto modern conditions. WenzhouMoshi Yanjiu [A study of the Wenzhoumodel](Beijing:ZhongguoShehuikexue Chubanshe. the Longwan Export Industry Zone.7% in 1980 to 67% in 1985. 75. (Beijing: Jingji 1989).1987).July 22. and opened its firstinternationalairport. For the airport.its formula may be described as a combination of "three Ms"-mass initiativeness. Jingii tion in the total social product rose from 31. "TechnicalConditions in a Society'sEconomy..2 123. 13/14(1990).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. During the same period.5 In 1990 Wenzhou established its own export processing zone. . Huang Jiajing. LIU 699 TABLE 1 Economic Growthof Wenzhou."in Lin Bai et al. L.12 165 48.and 1990 Zhongguo Nianjian.. was 50% above the national average in 1989 (924 yuan in Wenzhou as compared to 601 yuan for the nation). 1978-1989 1978 1980 30.ALAN P. p. 1989 Zhongguo Jingji Nianjian[AlmanacofChina's economy] Guanli Chubanshe.89 924 SOURCES: Zhang Renshou and Li Hong.1990).01 14.96 1986 87. Specifically.48 65.95 832 89. p."The Rise of Longwan.21 508 73. "WenzhouAirport Gives Liftto RegionalEconomy."ChinaDaily.pp.DwightPerkinsand Shabid Yusuf.92 25. Wenzhou Moshi Di Lilun Tansuo [An exploration of the theoretical implications of the Wenzhoumodel](Nanning: GuangxiRenminChubanshe.partiv. the proportion of the labor force employed in nonfarmwork in the rural area increased from22% to 38%. eds.75 1988 133.1990). p. 100-120.07 94.Rural Development in China (Baltimore:Johns HopkinsUniversity Press. which before 1980 was among the lowest in the nation.
and bankloans.286 130. AUGUST 1992 2 HouseholdIndustries in Wenzhou.VOL. 1989 Zhongguo Jingji Nianjian. Zhang Renshouand Li Hong. 133-35.000 eral patternof Wenzhou economy](Wenzhou: Zhejiang RenminChubanshe." allowancesfrom overseas kin. Wenzhou Moshe Yanjiu [Studyof the Wenzhoumodel] (Beijing: ZhongguoShehuikexue Chubanshe. 1979-1988 Year 1979 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1988 Number 1.Wenzhou Geju[GenJingii and markets-and "one I"-interstices. first and foremost. SOURCES: He Rongfei.8 also transmitted vitalinformation back homeconcerning thenational marThe household ketand newproduction technology..7 in tradiall threeof whichhad thrived tional times. after bounding beinglong suppressed in The spiritof mass initiativeness was manifested. eds.698 100. These industries were. Wu Xiang. 1986.700 TABLE ASIAN SURVEY. profits from work in "underground factories.made possibleby the Wenzhoumigrants working in China. earnings from exporting speciallocal products. 105.NO. p.disseminating performed information (especially about marketsoutside of Wenzhou).231 20. A studyfoundthatinitialinvestment in Wenzhou's elsewhere householdindustries came from fivesources: incomeearnedby migrant laborers. pp.and markettowns. Of thesethemostsubstantial sourcewas theincomefrom who migrants. spondedto whatone Chinesescholarhad suggested as thethreepillarsof Wenzhou'spost-Maoeconomy: householdindustries. .1987).407 150.363 39. 8.1990). Dajiong. August4. XXXII. 7."RMRB. "On the DevelopingRural Commodity Economyof Wenzhou.in turn. the rapidgrowth of householdindustries. industries reliedheavilyon thehighmobility ofa largenumber ofWenzhouese sales agentswho themultiple functions ofsales. 8. as shownin Table 2. sales agents(gongxiao-yuan).844 13. The "threeMs" corremobility. and contracting ("puttingout"). Their vigorousgrowthafter 1980 may be due to a reeffect underMao's rule. Zheng andMa Jinlong.partiv.
ALAN P.builton thefoungratedin market townsthatwere. one mightadd. LIU 701 TABLE 1984-1990 3 DesignatedTownsin Wenzhou. and politics. simple goods modernindustry and especially. institutions of revival after1980 of Wenzhou'straditional The vigorous and marsales agents).moreoften of dationsof traditional market centers. Wenzhoueseof interstices excelled in producing Economically. whichsalesmen-turned-businessmen timewerethebase areas from organin surrounding villages to producegoodsforsale industries ized household in the nationalmarket or exportoverseas. Wenzhou XueshuWeiyuanhui. RenminChubanshe. data on 1990 were jiang Province](Hangzhou: Zhejiangsheng reference.These townswere the meeting businessmen. neglected by large-scale . household industries. 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. divisionsof Zhe[Administrative ed. and theyperformed ward and downwardlinkagefunctions.Table 3 showsthe rapidgrowth in each specializing townsin Wenzhouofwhichtenwerethemostfamous. The new townswerealmost all situatedon the coastal plain wheretherewas an abundanceof both upriversand canals to ease communications.. ZhangRenshouand Li Hong. kindof manufacturing a particular (see Map 1).Zhejiang1986). ChenshiGuihua workson urbanplanning 1985-1986](Zhejiangsheng Moshi Yanjiu. society. and at the same and even foreign places forlocal.Wenzhouesehouseholdindustries goods that belonged to the "excluded middle."in "Urbanization and Pattern SOURCES: TingJunqing. national. Zhejiangshengxingzhenquhua shengMingzhengting." suppliedto me by a Chinesescholarand werepartof "internal and the sales agentswere inteof householdindustries The activities thannot.1988)." that is. L. ChenshiGuihua Xuesha Lunwenxuan(1985-1986) [Collectionof selected Zhejiangsheng in ZhejiangProvince. long-distance trade(through bythe skillful exploitation kettownswouldnothavebeenpossiblewithout in the Chineseeconomy.
7%) processe he god bo carie auiubagsndplacyardn75)gfbis(. "Peasants'LeavingFarming forCommerce.pp.5%).platic good (27) )iad good* plnati she(.iaotI Pujian provincen qL a * ---- 9 County seat~~~~~~R C~ountynboundary <. Li Reshouand Huang Jiajin. 171-82. ienduty aquatic products 94suyo (2.5) n ee olycryishanrquls qts pountyay 9.and (27%).VOL.%).wn~~~~~~cty cut cl_.~ ~ oj hoe (2. .5)utn (18.5%). 8. XXXII. an pline (2%) polyacrlc-ie platicbag cothn (2.702 MAP ASIAN SURVEY. AUGUST 1992 Market Townsof Wenzhou 1 The Ten Specialty o SpTonejic mre toIw ma >~~~R~ia''S.) -ein /cut by agens shwedzheu folwnOopsiin9hrwr boundayunin ----Wezhousale ~County and watchbands Sve-tl moe (5." in Wenzhou MoshiDi Lilun Tansuo.NO.
leaders."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. Talk About Kexue Chubanshe. OthersincludedZhao Ziyang.or Henan quicklyrepeasantsin poor provinces cropsand commercial whichstemmed from to householdfarming verted crafts industries.Tian of special significance Weiyuanhui Yanjiushe. PrivateBusinesses.2%)."A Comprehensive Zhongyang 10. sales businesses and self-employed owned family mainlydue to privately of industrial outputby private agents."Wenzhouese RMRB. all knownfortheir of thesewas Wan Li whosepersonaltie to Deng Xiaopingwas important to Wenzhou.in themid-1980s. thepattern omyin deciding such as Zhejiang. factor such as a lag in governmena permissive thancould be gainedfrom of all the models forthe "Wenzhoumodel" was the furthest tal control. L." Context The Political . and prospects](Beijing: Zhonguo Shejui privateeconomy: Currentsituation. trade with private in theirrelationships in other localities a headstart over Wenzhou had people trading tradition. Wenzhou's consumerindustry structure. 2.Wenti.Wenzhoueseexploitedthe weakestlink in a Soviet-type and circulation." of China's industrial crevices ecoSocially.Wenzhou used its massive nomic system: distribution Politically. Wenzhou'sdevelopment. Zhongguo Jingii:Xianzhuan.1989). gainednationalattenjust as itsdevelopment Second. support political neededmuchstronger however.ALAN P. LIU 703 grewtruly"in the glass frames(2.Anhui. guidancefrom Withtheirlong and enterprises. As notedearlier. numberof sales agentsto take advantageof this interstice.Wenzhou won active supportfroma group of influential The most advocacyofbold economicreforms. during grewrapidly economy as itsprivate Wenzhouwas at an advantage had not yet a timeof "controlvacuum" when the nationalgovernment to a marketeconomy. ZhongguoMinzhuJianguohui Look at Wenzhou'sPrivateEconomy.pp. Yao Liwenand Zhen Jian. June19.. takingadvantageof thispoliticalinterstice.it benefited areas suchas Wenzhoube givena highdegreeofautonthatimpoverished offarm or business Consequently. 135-49. From 1980 to 1988 theproportion in Wenzhouincreasedfrom1% to 41%. 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.ed. problems."Wenzhouwas able ofbourgeois was theeconomicfoundation of politicalfactors. after1980 was Wenzhou'srenaissance fromsocialism. Withoutclear made the necessaryadjustments wereat a loss on how to proceed local governments Beijing. ownership. national tion. 1988.p.
NO. pp." rulesand regulations.11 in April the municipality toured he personally Du Runsheng. 87. 1987).the title"experimental for leadership. forthemunicipalin nationalpropaganda outsidecadres.After Party'stop ideologuesand not a supporter to Beijing. and defending advertising bookson Wenzhou'sachievements. Tian Jiyun. themoment on the specialreports and People'sDaily carried type. Wenzhou Duihualu [Dialogues in Wenzhou] (Nanning: Guangxi Renmin Chubanshe. A patron-client and Wenzhouowed its the Shanghaiand Wenzhoupartyestablishments.. it and report "model" in a front-page withWenzhou leadersin publishing otherShanghaimedia collaborated itsproducts. 11. beitof an intangible area's economicsuccess." Thoughan "exofan "experimental theformal status beengranted zone. perimental to emphasize in China. current tionalpremises. one of the Communist most significant of privateownership. an had formed and Wu Xiang had also visitedWenzhouand apparently "lobby"forWenzhouin Beijing. With Deng Xiaoping'strust.Wenzhouhad also gainedstrong appeared to have developedbetween relationship level. 8. and freeruraltradein Anhui. He instructed the Wenzhoupartyestablishment cadre leadership educationon the "two cultures"(socialismand science). householdfarming promoted successfully in in seeingWenzhouovercoming poverty and he tooka personalinterest leadersthathe would Wenzhouparty likemanner. the organof the "the Wenzhoumodel" to theLiberation honorific to Wenzhouas a first referred The newspaper ShanghaiPartyCommittee. . at theregional support political Third. AUGUST1992 ofthe (director Du Runsheng and vicepremier). 100-101.. on May 12.and subsequently. eds." theformer neara "specialeconomic zone" was nowhere perimental of tradito "be freefrom the restrictions on Wenzhouthe right bestowed and policiesofthenation. and Wenzhou Di Ganbu [The cadresofWenzhou].VOL. Lin Bai et al. Othernationalleaderssuch as Zhao Ziyang. on visitsto Wenzhou by severe restrictions in economic development. p. Although itspossibleinfluence he tried to limit zone" statusto Wenzhou. Daily. tain statusin the eyesof Beijing'sfractured alWenzhouhad obtaineda degreeof nationalendorsement.704 ASIAN SURVEY.the State Council announcedthat Wenzhouhad Hu's return zone.and moderation Wenzhou'suncerzone" indicated ity. Of course. XXXII. member (Politburo Jiyun of the CentralComRural Policy ResearchCenterunderthe Secretariat of the Rural Policy Research mittee). 1985. That in turnset thestagefora informal visit in 1986 by Hu Qiaomu.and Wu Xiang (deputydirector Wan Li had CenterunderState Council). attitudeof the Hu Qiaomu's visitto Wenzhou exposed the ambivalent of "exHu agreedto thegranting "left"amongBeijingleaders.Nevertheless.In 1985Wan promised and Wenzhou'sachievements take Deng Xiaopinga videotapedescribing 1986.
"Seven Explanations on Villages. beneused the"Wenzhoumodel"to reap-for themoment-an intangible mechanism and a fuller use ofthemarket fit:advocacyoflocal autonomy symbolized by Wenzhou.p.as Shanghai'sclient. and pick up the latestnews on markets skilledworkers. For examparticipated tives. and one from six from sevenfrom townsor townships.Wenzhou'srapidgrowth and grassroots politicalsupport.vigorously meritorious deedsofthe Di Ganbu."Minzhu Yu Fashi [Democracyand rule of law]. especially: Wenzhou Di Juqi. L."Storiesfrom Wenzhou. Although thiswas a verylimited tionwas significant."14 res engaging However. 1987). The lowerthe administrative level. and businessmen and Shanghai engineers retired gettechnical aid byhiring handmachinery. References to thesecan be foundin theseriesofbookson Wenzhoueditedby Lin Bai et al. amples. 13.and 178.an averagetwo-year party in 1981.the position erableproblems of the Wenzhou Party Committee changed hands 17 of first secretary tenureforeach secretary. As ble by a fluidlocal partyleadership had considMao and Deng administrations boththe had earlier dynasties. variasample.removing 18 of the 27 leadingmunicipal shakeupoccurred thattheWenzhouese interstices leaders. p. 118. it in the face of attacksfromthe "left. in managing Wenzhou. Wenzhou Xinfengqing [New social trends ofWenzhou](Nanning: GuangxiRenminChubanshe. Testimony frommy inspections the foregoing analysiswhenhe said: "I discovered ofcadthattheprosperous localities almostalwayshad higher proportions in commerce or industry themselves. 4-17.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). ZhengWenyuan and Jiang Yaochun. There weremanycases of cadres' ob12.Wenzhoucadresweredividedin their attitudes towardprivate business.its internal unclassifiable. benetangible Wenzhoueseobtained In otherwords. also Wenzhou Di Ganbu. 35. in Wenzhou'sprivate economy.as Wenzhou's patron. 39 and 230. As was well known. pp.like the nationalelite.whichrecorded ple.one of whichwas from villages. LIU 705 12 MeanwhileWenzhoucadres.Furthermore. counties. From 1949 to 1984.pp. 8 (1986)." wentto Shanghaiin drovesto buy secondsales agents."in Wenzhou Duihualu.ALAN P. and Shanghaiin turn. . 14. 147. no. Zhang Guisheng. three the municipal partyestablishment.beingnaadvantage. politicalcontrolfrom after1980was made possiLast but notleast.Shanghaileadersblamed in the era of reform on too much theircity'slackadaisicalperformance the nationalgovernment. pp.. and production.13 These wereamongthepolitical used to their village(cun) levelcadres.thebook Wenzhou included18 excadresof Wenzhouin promoting industry and commerce. 20.A major political times. fitsfromthe relationship. Wenzhou Di Ganbu.
9 and 72. However. and Zhongguo ShekeyuanJingjisuo Wenzhounongcundiaochazu.theirobward Wenzhou of leftist the Wenzhouesewill to structions wereintermittent and failedto thwart develop.and manynew businesses 15. "PushingForwardRural EconomicDevelopment. however. the mosttangible eftantlocal and nationalimplications.NO.and township offices managing a local busiinvolving levels.no. in Wenzhouinevitably produceda host of Rapid economicdevelopment and negative. In almostevery recorded case ofcontroversy one of thoseoffices.706 ASIANSURVEY. 233.15 experienced shortages.Xiangzheng QiyeMoshi Yangjiu. town. Consequences Developmental . in Wenzhou 16. allowedregional to proceed. mainly positions structing private commerce commerce and industry at county. By 1987 labor forcewereactuallyneededto cultivate businesses had absorbed 75% ofthe household industries and other private or towns now and some counties formerly impoverished surpluslabor.as discussedearlier.theywere weakenedby the ambivalent nationalleaders. The attractions ofnonfarm occurredin the 1980s.thelatter was foundto be from whenever vigorously Beijinglaunchedone These cadresusuallyresponded of compasuch as the "rectification of its episodicideologicalcampaigns. 8.VOL.Before1980. In coastal areas. nessmanand a cadre. thenit was consisgovernment specialization tentwithcomparative advantageforWenzhou to importgrain." JingjiYanjiu [EcoMoshiDi Lilun Tansuo.6 million-strong the availableland. 6 (1986).pp. to surplus werenotconfined work. 30% to 40% of farmland was no longerbeingcultivated.000ofWenzhou's2. Chen Jiyuan and Xia Defang. in thenumbers ofsurplus was a reduction fectofWenzhou'sdevelopment farm laborers.p. WenzhouDi Juqi.A majorcreditforincreasing ployedin either manufacturing femaleemployment mustgo to Wenzhou's ubiquitoushouseholdindusemployedyoungfemalesfromimpovertries. liberalism"campaign in nies" in early 1985 or the "anti-bourgeois toattitude 1986-87.16 In viewof Wenzhou'shistory and grainimports Mao's policy. withimporsocial and economic bothpositive consequences.witha laborers. AUGUST1992 in their in party and industry. nomicResearch]. Among ofa risein nonfarm workin Wenzhouwerewomen. givenan opporwould choose nonagricultural work. 111-12. and Wenzhounow reliedsubstantially on to feedits population. XXXII. And as long as the Chinese tunity. it was onlyto be expected thatthepeasants. An overalldeclinein agriculture in farm three-fourth decreasepermou (one sixthofan acre) in investment land by Wenzhoupeasants. pp. Economically. thechief beneficiaries It was reported that 80% of the municipality's adult femaleswere emor services.only570.
workers werebetween "child farmers" in the countryside wereeither opinionheld thatchildren in theChinese conditions exposedthegeneral in Wenzhousimply laborers forruralchildren. traditional But therewas an anomicaspect to Wenzhou'sdevelophold industries.18 As to disparities that found thatamong1.000yuanwhilethatofemployees 19 Therehad also beengrowing between private disparity being600 yuan).1987). 149. No17.p. Income differential in in a studyof 50 businessmen was reported and employees employers was between 1986. p. Yanjiushi. Lin Bai et. The so-called problem of child . 256-65. pp.whilein eightmountainous and nonagagricultural between incomewas 100 yuan.professions. 10% labor in manufacturing. Yuan Enzheng. In a survey townof Liushi was of the manufacturing age annual incomeof residents to the westthe average townships 986 yuan. of Wenzhou](NanDi Sichang[Markets vember 6. 1986.. and Zhongguo Minzhu Jianguohui Look.but a of the numberof child workers No exact estimate roughcountput thetotalat close to 10. al. Chubanshe. countryside. status of employregions.The averagemonthly either of whichwas moreand morepublicemployees 100 yuan.ALAN P. sales. was income disparity-between occurredmainly Regional differences ment. 19. "A Comprehensive (tongnong)or "child workers" (tonggong). 20% theaverageincomeof work. such as lack of educationalopportunities risein houseand thepost-1980 discrimination againstfemales. incomeofa cadrewas and publicsectoremployees.599households theLeqingstudy work. mouncoastalareas and underdeveloped prosperous economically between in 1984. 59. Wenzhou ning: Guangxi Renmin Chubanshe. of the cradle of the "Wenzhou model"-it was the centerof production products-it was foundthat483 of the aluminum badgesand plasticfilm 405 ofthemgirls.." p. In a 1985 studyof Jinxiang. of theway in whichWenzhoudevelopedwereconSome of theeffects concerns buttheone thathad arousedpublicand governmental troversial. Wenzhou Moshi Yu Fuyu Zilu [Wenzhoumodelof economy 18.000 of had an averageannualincome in in 10% services. "Notes on Wenzhou'sCustomsand Tradition:Women."RMRB. In contrast. eds. in some cases constituting 17 employees. contracting. 1987). in private sectoror engaging leavingforthe private child labor. ricultural in specialized more." p. foremploying werealso criticized Wenzhouesebusinesses was available. theaverofLeqingcounty tainousareas.000to 50. 50% yuan or 10.and typesof employment. MengXiaoyun. 145. L.theresult businesson the side. it foundthatthe averageannual incomeof employers was 1.forexample.000. (ShanghaiShehuikexue its road to affluence] Look. Local theages oftenand sixteen.500yuan(thelowest 30. LIU 707 50% to 80% of the ished mountainous areas."A Comprehensive Weiyuanhui Zhongyang and ed. 1. nonagricultural and 5% in other between a farming householdwas 600 yuan in 1984.
held theviewthatthe "Wenzhoumodel" was moreapplicableto Chinese than the alternate "southern Jiangsu model" (sunan). of private firms to number close on the groundsthattheyturnedout substandard goods.rudimentary and relianceon family-owned skillsin nonfarm and managed production. Of these. of private sion or construction houses.allowingWenzhou to in Beijing. was the most important crafts. ruraldevelopment of government-owned local enterprises.Beijing'sinconsistent and after In thefallof 1990.thenationalpressof China had timeand againexposed of some Wenzhoubusinessmen."wrotetwo Chinesescholars.NO. vertising. Wenzhouand ChineseModernization . followedby a campaignto expose Wenzhou.and substandardand counterfeit especially in illegalpossesWenzhoualso had its shareof politicalgraft. Since 1979. XXXII.VOL. deceitfulcontracts. AUGUST1992 ment. and parts of Yongjia were referred world"and not partof the "Wenzhoumodel.p.708 ASIANSURVEY. In early 1991."20 history." smuggling.the mountainouscounties of Wencheng. strong. Wenzhou Moshi Yanjiu. wereequippedwiththis centuries.Beijingsuddenly forced a large tionswentevenfurther. from and versatile institution thatChinesepeoplehad inherited universal.famedforitsappliances. in thetownof Liushi. out thatWenzhousharedwiththevast ban areas. directions.howof its products stagea specialexhibit 20.the significance A considerable number of Chinesescholars extended beyonditsterritory." Yet another possibleconon Wenzhou as a model concernsBeijing'streatment of it.the crucial role of the family betweenWenzhou and the restof Chineserural commoncharacteristic "was stillthemostbasic. Hu Qiaomu's ambivalent tory directhe Tiananmencrisisin June1989. 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. Zhang Renshouand Li Hong. This was false advertising. to as Wenzhou's "third Taishun. such as falseadthefraudulent practices goods. use of moreadwhichconsisted in urand relianceon subcontracting from statefirms vancedtechnology.mobility.low level of savings.targeting and "yellowpublications.How manyChineseruralcommunities Wenzhouthesebehavioral traits is a mootpoint. of Wenzhou'sway of development In the finalanalysis. The straint has steered at the center Wenzhouin self-contradicfractured leadership attitude has alreadybeennoted. 211. "Family. Even within component were not distributed evenly. the government turnedaround. society. 8. These scholarspointed of Chineseruralcommunities thefollowing characteristics: long majority distancefrommajor industrial cities. At the same time.
Wenzhou's development showed that as modernization of a complexsocietyproceeded.the state inevitably en21.border lands. 22. In otherwords.It was no longer just a regional trading center.and peoplefrom all overthecountry came to Wenzhou'sfamed tenmarket townsto trade. a 1988 pressreport said thatsince 1979 some had arrived in thesouthwest 40. "40.thestatemustexercise powerin orderto transfer a partof the surpluses fromproducing communities to people otherthan the producers. Wenzhounow playedtwo specializedroles in China's modernization. no. 12-14. 1-15. First of all."RMRB. and impoverished communities. Bao Bingzhongand Xu Dongmin. making or leasingequipment insteadofbuying it.p. Though Wenzhou's role as a model was problematic. no community could remain self-contained.Beijing'sinconsistent of Wenzhoucontributed treatment moreto anomicbehavior of collective thanit did to thestrengthening enterprises.Wenzhouesethemselves precarious do withobsoletemachinstatusby refusing to reinvest. wholecommunities came to play specialized roleswithin thelargerwhole. duringwhich he in bold economic Wenzhou's calledon thewholenationto persist reforms. FebruRegistered ary 27. in May starrose again and Li Peng made a first visitto the municipality 1992. instead. 23. Li Jui-huan Being Hit Quietly. 1988. naespecially concerning the interrelationship of community. 56 (1991).23 The history of Wenzhou's economic change since 1949 has demonstratedthe relationof nationalpowerto surplusand community autonomy.21 After Deng Xiaopingtouredthe special economiczones in Guangdongin January1992. 2 (1990)." Moreover. University]. L. LIU 709 on the to increase ever. pp. its economic growth as an empirical facthad definitive implications forChina's modernization. The first was as a nationalfreemarket. pp.000 WenzhouCraftsmen and Merchants in Yunnan.Wenzhouparty cadreswereinstructed propaganda superiority of state-owned firms. For example." Chaoliu [Tide monthly]. tion.000 Wenzhoumerchants borderprovince of Yunnan to open up businesses." ShanghaiShifandaxue Xuebao (Bulletinof ShanghaiNormal no. "Left-turn of the Wenchow Model. "An Explorationof the Private Economy in Wenzhouand Its Prospects.ALAN P. . 2. Wenzhou'ssecondrole was as a linkbetween China's "first world"and "thirdworld.22 eryand dilapidated buildings. In a complexnationsuchas China.and growth. By so doing. butwas oriented toward thewhole of China. This contradictory treatment by Beijingcould not have been too reassuring to any ruralcommunity thatmay have wishedto emulatethe reactedto their "Wenzhou model. Lang Lang." Wenzhoueseplayedthe second role self-consciously as theytargeted the "thirdworld"of China fortheir goods: isolated mountainous regions.
VOL. The economicdevelopment ofWenzhouafter 1980showedthata community's ability to maintain a highdegreeof autonomy is critical to its capais deniedin an extreme bility to producesurpluses. As mentioned southern Jiearlier. ownedby local angsu ruralenterprises from theseengovernments. 1973). eds.After 1980."Communication and Development"in Ithielde Sola Pool and WilburSchramm. pp.Beijingemployedwhat one scholarcalled "venal control" in orderto obtain overWenzhouin whichthestateindulges a community in situations in partof its surplus. tax collection by the center(especiallytax on profits) was difficult because of so many householdfirms. Frederick W. and a focuson welfare instead of development. Frey. XXXII." whichundermined to producesurpluses Shanghai'sability efficiently. 31-33. problems associatedwithstatefirms:declining efficiency and profit.Zhou Ruchang. 8.24 ThoughWenzhouproduced moresurpluses. thensurplusproduction becomesproblematic. The center'sencroachment on the autonomy of southern Jiangsu towns was moreextensive thanon Wenzhou. p. This formof controlis mostefficient which communications betweennationalauthority and community are very difficult. a risingnumber offirms operating at a deficit.25 Shanghai'ssponsorship of the "Wenzhoumodel" was yet anotherexampleof its leaders' reactionto Beijing's"feedbackcontrol. commandit. The interrelation ofpower. surplus." arose all over China in the formof autonomy local protectionism. After Mao's death."AnotherLook at the 'Southern Jiangsu Model. AUGUST1992 is based croachesupon community autonomy. werecollectively owned-that is. Guo Xiaomin.710 ASIANSURVEY. This form ofcontrol so thatthestatecan dependson excellent communications readilymonitora community's activity and. That Wenzhouproduced muchmoresurplus 1980thanbefore after was also due to a changein the typeof authority thatBeijingapplied. such as setting up toll stations and collecting illegal transit taxes.'" JingjiTizhiGaige [Reform of economicsystem]. 25. if necessary.. Beijingcould counton regular tax revenues but on the otherhand.the latterwereburdened withthe same terprises." Because these Jiangsu townswere situatedin an area withmoderntransportation and communication. Beijing exercised"feedbackcontrol" over them. 385.as a resultof Beijing'srecognition of a degreeof local "sovera parochial-type eignty.But community autonomy on a distinct culture thatencompasses modesofproduction and exchange.Whenautonomy way as Wenzhouwas underMao.and Zhang Hongyu.NO. Handbookof Communication (Chicago: Rand McNally. It is also noteworthy thatWenzhou'sautonomy was not parochial. no 3. Wenzhoudid notresort to such practices sinceitseconomic 24. (1987). . and autonomy elucimaybe further dated by examining the "southern briefly Jiangsu model.
p. If Beijingtruly wishedto adapt thenationaleconomy gradually to market forces.26 These new entrepreneurs.some of the deviancesin Wenzhou were. and small townsof Wenzhoumay to economicand politicalpluralism. it also brought of disorganization in the anomic aspects of its development. Finally. Zhang Renshouand Li Hong.one maysee theriseof a new powerbase forChinesenationalism thatis different from the typeto whichthe Communist Partyis passionately attached. .giving riseto a nationalism attached to socioeconomic development rather thanto politicalideology.as notedearlier. 26. Third. It was estimated that among the 600. and theemergence of a new middleclass. small firms.000 people in householdindustries in the ten specialty employed or otherbusinesses market in commerce towns.000 to 700.The new nationalism thatWenzhouese symbolize is similar to thenationalism ofthe "newlyindustrializing countries" of East Asia. ThoughWenzhoushowedportents ofa newnationhood.some devianceswere possiblycaused by inadein thenational market and severedemographic quate competition pressure insideWenzhou.To this of day. muchof ruralChina will persist in seeking a livelihood withall its merits and demerits.ALAN P. 202. In these towns were concentrated of the new entrepreneurs Wenzhou. LIU 711 recovery was dependent on playing a special role in the nationalmarket. Beijinghas not enactedsuch a law althoughthereis regulation privatebusiness. causedbyBeijing'sinconsistent treatment and legislationthatwas inadequate to protect ofprivate therights business. social and economicdeviancesoccurredall over China. L. Firstofall. Wenzhou Moshi Yanjiu. These would probably diminish as othercommunities with Wenzhou in craftsand lightmanufacturing and began competing reducedoverpopulation. outmigration But themostintractable problem was Beijingpolitics. I refer to thenewmarket townsand theentrepreneurs of Wenzhou. bothin economicactivity and population size.one-fourth wereexperts and management. Wenzhouwas a testof Beijing'sability to make a hard choice between a centrally plannedand a market-based economyand betweena political and a socioeconomic nationalism.Wenzhou and in the interstices. well contribute social mobility. thenWenzhou's "cosmopolitan autonomy"or "open autonomy" shouldhave been a "model" forotherruralcommunities. symptoms But theseshouldbe understood in a proper perspective.In a larger sense.Second.Until Beijingdecides. almostalways aftera declineor collapseof a centralist and bureaucratic and partly due regime to the natureof thatregime. Chinese scholars have noted that countycapitals were eclipsedby thenew market towns.
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