chinas dynastic cycle

China went through dynastic, imperial rule, Western and Japanese encroachments on its sovereignty and territories, nascent national unification under Sun Yat Sen and Chiang Kai Shek, and a successful Communist revolution since 1949 that drove the KMT forces under Chiang to Taiwan. Mao unified China as never before as the world's largest Communist state but plunged her into economic disaster through his economic experiments and a cultural revolution.
After Mao's death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping's ascendancy andeconomic reforms enabled China to finally achieve her economic great leap forward into self-sustaining economic growth at the highest levels in the world. Deng's successors have continued with the economic reforms and instituted some political reforms under the "one country, two systems" paradigm, exemplified lately by Hongkong's becoming a Special Autonomous Region. China's economic and military might worries a number of her Asian neighbors. Hongkong under British rule was one of the earliest newly industrialized economies, or so-called Tiger economies, in East Asia.
Pro-democracy dissidents were crushed at TienamenSquare in Beijing in 1989, but the underground democracy movement is alive. The democratic opening in Hongkong, now a Special Autonomous Region, and the dramatic example of democracy on Taiwan demonstrate the advantages of matching economic freedom with political freedom. With external moral support and pressure, the home-grown democracy movement awaits the crucial support of a faction of the national leadership to gain momentum for political liberalization. Like Mao, Deng looked back into China’s past for ideas. He chose to extricate the State from a portion of the agriculture sector that it had never – before Mao – been involved in, by giving peasants control over some of what they planted and marketed. Deng’s early reforms restored markets in non-staple food

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