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Communism in an Economically Developing China The future of communism in China is unknown as the world economy becomes more international Communism has been in China since 1949 and is still present in the countrys activities Presently China is undergoing incredible economic growth and promises to be a dominant power early in the next century Chinas social tradition has come under heavy pressure from forces of modernization generated in a large part by the sustained contact with the West that began in the middle of the nineteenth century The Western incursion not only refined China militarily but brought in its course new ideas- nationalism science and technology and innovations in politics philosophy and art Chinese leaders have sought to preserve the nations cultural uniqueness by promoting specifically Chinese blends of tradition and modernity China has undergone several major political transformations from a feudal-like system in early historical times to a centralized bureaucratic empire that lasted through many unpredictable changes till 1911 to a republic with a communist form of government in the mainland since 1949 Economic geography and population pressure help account for the traditionally controlling role of the state in China The constant indispensability for state interference whether for great public works programs or simply to keep such a large society together brought up an authoritarian political system The family prevailed as the fundamental social economic and religious unit Interdependence was very prominent in family relations while generation age sex and immediacy of kinship strictly governed relations within the family Family rather than nation usually created the greatest allegiances with the result that nationalism as known to the West came late to the Chinese In principle the elite in the authoritarian political system achieved their positions through merit rather than birth or wealth There was an examination system that provided a vehicle for recruiting talented citizens to serve the emperor which was a valuable and unusual institution in a society characterized by personal connections
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