Red China's Communes

March 18, 1959

Report Outline
Revolutionary Changes in Red China
Steps on Path to Regimented Living
Communes and Sino-Soviet Relations

Revolutionary Changes in Red China

Creation of Communes to Spur Production

Communist China is in the midst of drastic social and economic changes that are revolutionizing the manner of life of great masses of its people. The Red regime, ruling a country of vast population and low living standards, has mobilized millions of men and women to do the work of thousands of machines. In effect, it is putting human capital to the stupendous task of transforming a primitive economy into that of an advanced industrial state capable of competing with the Soviet Union and with the United States.

The “people's commune” is the instrument that has been chosen to enable Red China to make a “great leap forward” in agricultural and industrial production. No two communes are necessarily alike, but each is supposed to be, now or eventually, a self-sufficient entity embracing from 10,000 to 50,000 persons organized on military lines. Members of communes are to be cared for from cradle to grave and, under Peking's original plans, were expected in return to give up virtually all personal possessions, accept extreme modification of age-old customs and institutions, and dedicate their lives and labor to a new China.

By autumn of last year, the more than 500 million peasants in mainland China were being rapidly reduced to the status of conscripts in a semi-slave army, required to work at whatever place and whatever task their Communist masters ordered. More than 99 per cent of the peasants already had “joined” communes, and government spokesmen confidently predicted huge increases in food, coal, and steel production.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Apr. 08, 2022  China Today
Jul. 24, 2020  China Rising
Jan. 25, 2019  China's Belt and Road Initiative
Jan. 20, 2017  China and the South China Sea
Apr. 04, 2014  China Today
May 07, 2010  U.S.-China Relations Updated
Nov. 11, 2005  Emerging China
Aug. 04, 2000  China Today
Jun. 13, 1997  China After Deng
May 24, 1996  Taiwan, China and the U.S.
Apr. 15, 1994  U.S. - China Trade
Apr. 13, 1984  China: Quest for Stability and Development
Dec. 05, 1980  Trade with China
Sep. 08, 1978  China's Opening Door
Feb. 08, 1974  China After Mao
May 26, 1972  Future of Taiwan
Jun. 16, 1971  Reconciliation with China
Aug. 07, 1968  China Under Mao
Sep. 13, 1967  Burma and Red China
Mar. 15, 1967  Hong Kong and Macao: Windows into China
Apr. 27, 1966  China and the West
Nov. 25, 1964  Relations With Red China
Oct. 05, 1960  Russia and Red China
Mar. 18, 1959  Red China's Communes
Oct. 22, 1958  Overseas Chinese
Jul. 24, 1957  China Policy
Apr. 24, 1957  Passport Policy
Feb. 16, 1955  Problem of Formosa
Sep. 15, 1954  Red China and the United Nations
Apr. 28, 1953  Status of Red China
Apr. 03, 1953  War in Indo-China
Mar. 13, 1952  Chinese-Soviet Relations
Jun. 20, 1951  Blockades and Embargoes
Aug. 29, 1950  Formosa Policy
Mar. 09, 1950  Aid to Indo-China
Nov. 24, 1948  China's Civil War
Aug. 06, 1945  Government of China
Feb. 17, 1945  Development of China
Jun. 07, 1943  Oriental Exclusion
Oct. 26, 1936  Chino-Japanese Relations
Jan. 02, 1928  The Position and Problems of Chinese Nationalism
Apr. 15, 1927  Foreign Intervention in China
Feb. 04, 1927  China and the Great Powers
Dec. 18, 1925  Extraterritoriality in China
Sep. 24, 1924  Military and Civil Aspects of the War in China
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific