This investigation seeks to answer the research question: “To what extent did the Chinese Civil War brings effects on the economic aspect?” During the Republic of China, the foreign capitalist economy controlled China’s financial and economic lifeline. They used political and economic privileges to plunder China’s resources and suppress the Chinese national capitalist economy. The feudal landlord economy occupied most of the rural land, cruelly exploiting and oppressing the peasants, causing peasants’ hardship and the rural economy to shrink. In the revolutionary struggle of the Chinese for independence, freedom, democracy, and unity, a new social and economic form must be established to replace the old social and economic form, and this economic form will be changed by Chinese Civil War.
Starting with the basic information of the Chinese economy, China’s economy has had a distinct polarization between the rich and the poor since the 1900s. For example, Bing Xin, a famous Chinese author, has actually reflected the different life choices that people made at the time based on social reasons. Also, from her later work, the “difference” also illustrates the grim situation of the polarization between China and the two countries. In the article ‘Differences,’ Bing Xin used the different experiences of two children to demonstrate China’s economic and social differences in the 1930s.
Child A was born in a cultural family, and Child B was born in a butcher’s family. They have different treatments from the moment they are born, in the simplest standard, they eat and wear differently. Bing Xin used these differences to express the serious differences between the rich and the poor in Chinese society in the 1930s and expressed the concept that ‘children at different starting lines will have different fates.’ The work showed the situation of Chinese economy has experienced the polarization of the rich and poor. The civil war in China has seriously deepened the polarization of the rich and poor in China’s economy.
The polarization between the rich and the poor in China is not a good phenomenon, because it shows that the wealth of the rich in China is too saturated and the poor may not be able to meet the basic needs of life. Such an economic situation is not good for China, because such a polarized society will not give many people a fair chance. This means that such a society will cause the Chinese government to lose many outstanding talents who can contribute to the world. To an extent, according to Maddison’s ‘Development Centre Studies: The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective’ and ‘The World Economy: Historical Statistics’ combined with the income of export commodities mentioned earlier, the information states that the total profit of export commodities in China over the years shows a ‘U’ shape.
The peak of this ‘U’ began with the export of silk and porcelain in the Ming Dynasty, and then gradually declined due to the ‘closed-door’ policy of the Qing Dynasty. The bottom of the ‘U’ shape is undoubtedly the period of the Chinese Civil War. Because of the war, China’s economic export rate has been low, but since the People’s Republic of China was formally established, China’s export revenue has gradually increased.
From another perspective, the Chinese economy has generally deteriorated due to the serious lack of Chinese labor after the war, because in the war many countries have used their assets in the military, and there are not many resources that can be allocated to China’s export industry. Philip Richardson’s ‘Economic Change in China, C.1800-1950’ mentioned that China’s overall economic recession during the Chinese Civil War has a lot to do with China’s main labor force being called into the battlefield. The most important thing is that China’s civil war has led to the loss of labor, so the decline in the level of social and economic development is very much related to the civil war in China. In addition to China’s economic decline, this negative development has also led to civilians not having enough food and no productivity. Therefore, it can be reflected that during the civil war in China, not only did Chinese people do not have enough food, but people’s living standards were not guaranteed. Therefore, the subsequent population loss was a domino reaction caused by the decline in people’s living standards.
Moreover, another reason for the Chinese civil war to affect the Chinese economy is the sharp decline in China’s exports during the Chinese Civil War. China’s exports in 1935 were only one-eighth of that in 1959, which is enough to prove that the Chinese economy began to improve after the war. According to Chinese history, the Ming Dynasty was an open era for China’s import and export market, and it was also the heyday of Sino-foreign exchanges. There are a lot of Chinese products that have been launched to foreign countries in the Ming Dynasty. The GDP percentage of the Ming Dynasty is not comparable to that of modern China. China’s Ming Dynasty economy has consistently reached its peak.
Because China’s silk products and ceramic products are deeply loved by foreigners, these export commodities have had a positive impact on the economic development of the Ming Dynasty. However, the good times did not last long. Later Qing policies and retreat policies affected China’s import and export market, and many export products were stranded in China. In later period, China’s civil war has intensified the decline of China’s import and export market. It was not until 1949 that China was liberated. After the end of the civil war, China’s import and export market began to return to its heyday. Therefore, combined with the fact that most of the Chinese economy exports silk and ceramic products, the Chinese civil war has also seriously affected the Chinese economy to some extent.
Dig into a deeper level, China’s civil war has a large part of its responsibility in the formation of a prosperous and poor economy in the Chinese economy. According to ‘Economic Development and Integration in Asia and Latin America’ by Jiang Shixue, he mentioned “After the Chinese Communist Party gained sovereignty over mainland China, the Chinese mainland has always belonged to the society of the average wealth distribution before the reform and opening up. After the postwar civil war, China, at one time, pursued the planned economic system under the socialist system and gradually moved toward the market economy.”
Here, it can be seen that the economic system of the whole society has changed a lot since the civil war, which has led to serious polarization between the rich and the poor in the Chinese economy. According to China’s current situation, the poor in China are concentrated only in urban villages. China’s 1950s was an era of massive population loss, because China’s civil war made the Chinese Nationalist Party and many people who did not want to stay in China immigrate. The loss of population has caused house prices to fall, but house prices and population losses seem to be an infinite loop. This infinite loop has exacerbated the downturn in the Chinese economy, just like the butterfly reaction.
According to Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo’s ‘Which Regional Inequality? The Evolution of Rural-Urban and Inland-Coastal Inequality in China from 1983 to 1995’, the article mentions that the further intensification of the disparity between the rich and the poor may cause serious political and social problems. Therefore, it can be concluded that China’s civil war has promoted the seriousness of China’s polarization between the rich and the poor to a certain extent, and this is a bad influence because this influence has caused the instability of the Chinese society to a certain extent. This influence can even rise to conflicts between races.
In conclusion, the Chinese civil war has mainly affected the later Chinese economy from two aspects. First, the Chinese civil war has led to the polarization of the rich and poor in China’s society. Second, the Chinese civil war has led to higher and higher profits for Chinese import and export commodities. The first of these two aspects is a bad influence, and the second is a very good positive impact.