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It was realized that only by matching the West in terms of economic growth and technological advancement could China hope to emerge as a great power once again. It would take all of Deng’s political finesse to maintain the political priorities of the CCP as a communist system and at the same time apply the economically liberal reform policies needed to make the Four Modernizations work. It was at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CCP in 1978 that Deng’s reforms gained political support to transform China.
Example Source B (page 26) is a photograph recording the arrival of Jiang Qing at her trial on 26 November 1980. Two armed guards flank her. Notice that: l Jiang is brought in with her hands handcuffed, looking grim and with her mouth set firmly, her lips pursed defiantly. l The two guards are young and armed, in sharp contrast to the middleaged prisoner. These observations indicate that the picture was taken for an official reason. While this does not make the source any less valuable, we must realize that this was probably taken for political reasons, perhaps to be distributed to the press.
In a marked departure from Maoism, foreign investment from the capitalist world, in particular Germany and Japan, was now permitted. The plan also emphasized traditional aspects of Maoist ideology such as the role of the masses’ revolutionary fervour in bringing about modernization. Economic reality fell short of expectations. Targets, such as increasing steel production from the 21 million tonnes produced in 1973 to 60 million by 1985 and eventually 180 million tonnes by 1999, were not met. Optimistic assessments of increased oil production also proved to be unfounded.