China, Japan, and the U.S. in the 20th Century

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China, Japan, and the U.S. in the 20th Century

During the later half of the 20th century, China and Japan underwent both economic and non-economic reforms that were aided by the influence of the United States. In China, the death of Mao led to the rise of the dark horse candidate Hua Guo Fang, a transitional figure who denounced the Gang of Four. Though only in power for a few years, his last act was to revive Deng Xiaoping’s political office, a man that would do more for China in the next 20 years than the last century combined. In Japan, the loss of the war to the Allies has resulted in the occupation of Japan by U.S. soldier. The post World War II occupation greatly affected the economic and political structure of later Showa Japan. Most reform, economic and political is a direct legacy of this occupation. No one foresaw the radical changes that would be made in post-Mao China under the rule of Deng Xiaoping. The once removed CPC official took his position as Supreme Leader of China at the age of 77. However the changes that were seen in his next 20 years of office would be more radical than any leader of China before him. Deng was a follower of his predecessor and mentor Zhou Enlai, and with his coming of office announced that China was adapting the Four Modernizations – agriculture, industry, science and tech, and national security. These four modernizations originally set fourth by Zhou Enlai, became defining features of 20th century China. The Four Modernizations were designed to make China a great economic power by the early 21st century. These reforms essentially stressed economic self-reliance. The People's Republic of China decided to accelerate the modernization process by stepping up the volume of foreign trade by opening up its markets, especially the purchase of machinery from Japan and the West. By participating in such export-led growth, China was able to speed up its economic development through foreign investment, a more open market,...
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