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China and the Open Door Policy
by Kevin Barry Bucknall, Ph.D.
ISBN: 978-0-917990-72-4
The areas of foreign trade, foreign investment, economic aid, and special economic zones are examined in detail and the rapid improvement in the economy after the adoption of the Open Door policy is explained.

After Mao's death in 1976, followed by the rapid overthrow of the Gang of Four, the way was open for his successors to choose which path to follow. This book examines the reasons for the complex series of changes in policy after 1949, demonstrates why the Cultural Revolution itself led to a need for major change, reveals the political and economic options open after the death of Mao, and shows why the Open Door policy was finally chosen. The factors involved in this decision include the backward state of the domestic economy, the struggles and infighting within domestic politics, and the wider sphere of international relations.

China became communist in 1949 and following the lead of the Soviet Union, the leading communist nation of the day, established a centrally planned economy. Cracks in this soon began to emerge and by the mid 1950s a debate began about what was the proper way forward. Politics and economics became intertwined. The failure of the Great Leap Forward (1958-60) led to major economic problems and some starvation, and a more liberal political and economic line was adopted. The Great Leap Forward was the brainchild of Mao and its failure resulted in him being forced from centre stage. However, he fought back into power and initiated the Cultural Revolution in 1966. This period, exhilarating for some both in China and the West, had major negative effects on the economy and on much of society in general.

BOSON also offers Japan: Doing Business in a Unique Culture and Chinese Business Etiquette and Culture by Kevin B. Bucknall.

About the Author

Kevin Bucknall's interest in Asia dates back to his military service in Singapore and Malaya, as it then was. He spent the evenings with Chinese friends, and played clarinet and saxophone in a local Chinese nightclub. Since then, he has lived almost all his life in Asia and Australia, including periods in China, Hong Kong, and Thailand. He has negotiated in and published extensively about China, including three books and over twenty articles. He has written also about Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. He has a B.Sc.(Economics) from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. from the Australian National University.

Kevin Bucknall was appointed the Foundation Head of the School of International Business Relations, at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, where he ran the Centre for the Study of Australia-Asia Relations and for many years was a member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs.

He has held a variety of posts in commerce, local government, national government, and the United Nations. Kevin Bucknall's most valuable contribution in life is his invention of the concept of Simulcast. Simulcast is TV pictures accompanied by FM sound on the radio, which is much used around the world for presenting serious music on TV. He has spent much of his life working in academia, to which he kept returning after periods in the real world. He put much effort into improving teaching and learning and is the author of Studying at University: how to make a success of your academic course.

For some time he spent half the year lecturing in economics, the Chinese economy, and participating in courses in cross-cultural communications and legal negotiation, at Griffith University. The other half he did whatever he wanted. This usually meant traveling, writing, and generally enjoying life among the actors, authors, musicians, and other sundry bohemians in Primrose Hill, London. He is now retired and still doing what he wants.