Under the direction of Deng Xiao Ping since 1978, China underwent a formidable period of growth and development, which has still not been interrupted. For the first time in history, hundreds of millions of persons forgot their poverty, their indigence, and their illiteracy. As a direct result of its prosperity, China became more powerful and unassailable. Finally liberated from its ideological chains, the economy experienced an unprecedented ascent; if it was the sole criterion, there is no doubt that it would have measured an extraordinary success. No other country in the world has ever grown for so long with such massive and consistent paces. Contemporary China established itself by the mark of its GDP’s annual growth. Its strongly authoritative system allowed China to retract its recent past rapidly and effectively. Although its critics were always timid, Deng reacted to the socialist system’s repudiation: “when you open the window,” he said, “it’s inevitable that gnats fly in.” In reality, much more important themes permeated the scene and changed China’s character. Perhaps they didn’t impose themselves, and they were probably a necessary step, but they definitely derived from the blind alleyway down which ideology lead the country.
The summary of China’s success lies in the combination of growth and stability. The latter precedes the former but is not always a consequence of it. In order to produce, discipline is necessary. The workers attracted to factories in the big cities could not demand rights because they were newly liberated from backbreaking labor. They couldn’t hope for unimagined freedoms because it would throw the order of accumulation and profit into disarray. Discipline was essential, alternative parties and antagonist unions did not exist. With numerical frigidity, China proved it was possible to create wealth with obedience rather than individualism, with control over freedom and with an authoritative system in place of laissez-faire policies. The investment-production-export-accumulation cycle demonstrated itself to be invincible. The PCC was the principal beneficiary along with the Chinese people and multinational corporations. Moreover, Beijing was skilled at maintaining order, preventing any contraindications to development from becoming uncontrollable lacerations. Not only were the economic success surprising, but also the government’s ability to retain control. For this dual win, China revealed itself as a happy exception to the history books. The reasons are numerous and all equally important: the rigidity of the political system and Chinese nationalism, the distribution of wealth and the absence of western democracy. This combination created a strong bastion, a modern Great Wall to provide protection.