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Soldiers, Weapons and Chinese Development Strategy: The Mao Era Military in China's Economic and Institutional Debate*


Renewed interest in China's defence modernization has focused new light on the connection between military goals and national high technology strategy. China is in the throes of a major effort to modernize its arsenal. Its technology planners have begun systematically to build a genuinely national high technology infrastructure that may ultimately enable Chinese defence planners to harness the dual use potential of many new technologies. Yet as scholars and policy-makers raise questions about present patterns and anticipate future trends, it seems more important than ever to take a long look backwards into the origins of the relationship between China's military and its economic development strategy.

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1. On the general tendency to squeeze the countryside to finance industrialization, see Seiden Mark, The Political Economy of Chinese Development (Armonk, NY: ME. Sharpe, 1993).

2. There is a voluminous literature on this emphasis, but sec especially, Lardy Nicholas, China's Economic Planning (White Plains: M.E. Sharpe, 1978), Lardy Nicholas, Economic Growth and Distribution in China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), Donnithorne Audrey, China's Economic System (New York: Praeger, 1967), and Bachman David, Bureaucracy, Economy, and Leadership in China: The institutional Origins of the Great Leap Forward (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991 ), pp. 96132. Interestingly, Chinese planners often gave even greater relative priority to heavy industry than did their Soviet counterparts, particularly during the two countries' respective first and second Five-Year Plan periods. See, for example, Ych K. C., “Soviet and Chinese industrialization strategies,” in Treadgold Donald W. (ed.). Soviet and Chinese Communism (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1967), pp. 326363.

3. This emphasis focused less attention on the sheer extractive capacity of the state apparatus and utilized various financial mechanisms and price policies to control the economy and thus develop favoured sectors. As with the Soviet emphasis, there is a voluminous literature on this set of ideas. Sec all sources previously cited, as well as Solinger Dorothy J., Chinese Business Under Socialism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), Solinger Dorothy J., “Economic reform via reformulation: where do rightist ideas come from?Asian Survey, Vol. 21, No. 9 (09 1981), pp. 947960, Yefang Sun, Shehuizhuyi jingji de ruogan lilun wenti (Certain Theoretical Questions in Socialist Economics) (Beijing: People's Press, 1979), and Bachman , Bureaucracy, Economy, and Leadership in China, pp. 5995.

4. Social relations were central to this emphasis because, as Carl Riskin has argued, Maoist economics suggested that “‘socialist transformation’ of the relations of production would stimulate rapid economic development by mobilizing the population and promoting what Western economic theory calls ‘x-efftciency’ … The conditions arousing greatest initiative were those that promised greatest success.” Riskin Carl, “Neither plan nor market: Mao's political economy,” in Joseph William A., Wong Christine P. W. and Zweig David (eds.), New Perspectives on the Cultural Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1991), pp. 133152.

5. The Chinese Fifth Campaign in Korea was particularly brutal in this regard and forced a major rethinking of Chinese organization in command and logistics. See, for instance, Xuezhi Hong, Kang Mei yuan Chao zhanzheng huiyilu (Memoir of the War lo Resist America and Aid Korea) (Beijing: Liberation Army Literature and Art Press, 1990). On the importance of the Korean War legacy more generally, see Lewis John Wilson and Litai Xue, China Builds the Bomb (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988), Whitson William, The Chinese High Command: A History of Communist Military Politics, 1927–71 (New York: Praeger, 1973), Joffe Ellis, The Chinese Army After Mao (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1987), and George Alexander L., The Chinese Communist Army in Action: The Korean War and its Aftermath (New York: Columbia University Press, 1967). In the 1960s Joffe was particularly perceptive on these points. See his Party and Army: Professionalism and Political Control in the Chinese Officer Corps (Cambridge, MA: Harvard East Asian Research Center, 1965).

6. Mao himself recognized the need for an indigenous deterrent as early as 1954, though the idea probably goes back to 1948–49. Indeed Liu Shaoqi had asked specifically about the nature of Soviet nuclear capability during his secret 1949 visit to the Soviet Union, before the 1 October establishment of the PRC. Just five years later, at an October 1954 meeting with military leaders, Mao recognized explicitly that the advent of the nuclear era had raised the benchmark for Chinese modernization on all fronts, telling colleagues: “Since the appearance of atomic weapons, military strategy, tactics and weaponry have all changed dramatically. In this area, we haven't the faintest understanding.” See Zedong Mao, “Zai guofang weiyuanhui diyi ci huiyi shang de jianghua” (“Speech at the first meeting of the National Defence Commission”) (18 October 1954), in Mao Zedong junshi wenji (Collected Military Works of Mao Zedong), Vol. 6 (Beijing: Military Sciences Press and Central Documents Press, 1993), p. 358. This document is ostensibly from China's Central Party archive, which remains closed to foreigners. By 23 October, Mao's decision for an indigenous programme was firm. He told the visiting Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that China required an independent nuclear deterrent. Zedong Mao, “Women yinggai gongtong nuli lai fangzhi zhanzheng, zhengqu chijiu heping” (“We should work together to end war and fight for an enduring peace”), based on a meeting transcript, in Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Central Documents Research Section of the CCP (eds.), Mao Zedong waijiao wenxuan (Selected Diplomatic Works of Mao Zedong) (Beijing: Central Documents Press and World Knowledge Press, 1994), p. 171. Obviously, this (lew square in the face of Mao's widely-touted statements about nuclear weapons being “paper tigers” and “unable to decide wars.” This theme has received extensive treatment in Lewis and Xuc , China Builds the Bomb. On the “paper tiger” theme, see Hsieh Alice Langley, Communist China's Strategy in the Nuclear Era (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1962), p. 131. Mao's remark about nuclear weapons being “unable to decide wars” comes from a speech delivered just after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Zedong Mao, “The situation and our policy after the victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan” (13 August 1945), in Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, Vol. 4 (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1961), p. 21.

7. Concern about the raw expense of sophisticated weapons development began to weigh heavily on Chinese politicians and planners almost immediately after the establishment of the Communist state in October 1949. At the core of this debate was the issue of trade-offs: how much would the purely civilian system “lose” if army-building and weapons development were to “win”? Indeed the weapons debate had a broad parallel in a contemporaneous argument about the size of the armed forces which led to a series of demobilization efforts throughout Mao's years in power. See, for example, Lingyao Ai, “Zhongguo jundui de ba ci jingjian zhengbian” (“The Chinese military's eight demobilization campaigns”), Junshi shijie (Military World), Vol. 3, No. 1 (01/02, 1990), pp. 7478.

8. On the theme of weapons development in the absence of strategy, see Lewis John Wilson and Litai Xue, China's Strategic Seapower: The Politics of Force Modernization in the Nuclear Age (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994) and Lewis John Wilson and Di Hua, “China's ballistic missile programs: technologies, strategies, goals,” International Security, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Fall 1992), pp. 540.

9. On these issues and the dramatic effect of the post-Leap retrenchment on Central government spending, see Lardy Nicholas, “The Chinese economy under stress, 1958–1965,” in MacFarquhar Roderick and Fairbank John K. (eds.), The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 14. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. 386–87.

10. John Gittings has itemized these threats, including two that were explicit during the Korean War (the first made in January-February 1953, the second in May 1953), three related to Indo-China (all delivered by John Foster Dulles on 2 September 1953,29 December 1953 and 29 March 1954), and two related to the Offshore islands (8 March (Dulles) and 16 March (Eisenhower) 1955, and September 1958). For details and sources on all seven explicit U.S. nuclear warnings to China, see Gittings John, The World and China (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 203.

11. In fact, the attempt to integrate the two spheres had some history, though it was Marshal Nic's need to face down opposition that led to the most sophisticated effort in this direction. As early as 1950, Mao began to urge colleagues to think more comprehensively about the relationship between defence and civilian industrial construction, recommending an unwavering emphasis upon the latter. Two years later, the government's Central Ordnance Commission urged military enterprises to begin producing civilian output even as they strove to meet their targets in weapons production. But the real break-point was unquestionably the decision to pursue nuclear weapons delivery systems indigenously. Stated simply, this manifoldly increased the pressure on Central government budgeters to respond to the demands of competing constituencies whose needs would be slighted by the sheer expense of the programmes. Mao made his 1950 remarks at the Third Plenum of the Seventh Central Committee, 6–9 June 1950. The 1952 report is discussed in Guang Xic (ed.), Dangdai Zhongguo de guofang keji shiye (Contemporary China's National Defence Science and Technology Cause) (Beijing: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Press, Contemporary China Series, 1992, Vol. 1), p. 174. On military-civilian integration efforts during the 1950s, see Guoliang Liao (ed.), Mao Zedong junshi sixiang fazhan shi (A History of the Development of Mao Zedong's Military Thought) (Beijing: Liberation Army Press, 1991), pp. 507511, Li Wang (ed.), Dangdai Zhongguo de bingqi gongye (Contemporary China's Ordnance industry) (Beijing: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Press, 1993), pp. 5455, and Zhenhuan Sun (ed.), Zhongguo guofang jingji jianshe (China's National Defence Economic Construction) (Beijing: Academy of Military Sciences Press, 1991), pp. 175–76.

12. As John Wilson Lewis and Xue Litai have noted with respect to the nuclear submarine and its missile (SLBM), “building an [SSBN] and an SLBM demands far greater technological-industrial knowledge and capacity than building nuclear weapons. From metallurgy to reactors, from solid rocket propellants to advanced guidance technology” the R&D dilemmas for taking designs from drawing board to deployment are enormous, and this is also the case with land-based strategic missile systems, which similarly depend on complex inertial guidance technologies, including gyroscopes and accelcrometers. For the quote, see Lewis and Xue , China's Strategic Seapower, p. xviii.

13. Yibo Bo, Ruogan zhongda juece yu shijian de huigu (Recollections of Certain Important Decisions and Events) (Beijing: Central Party School Press, 1991, Vol. 1), pp. 477–78.

14. Yan Wang (ed.), Peng Dehuai zhuan (A Biography of Peng Dehuai) (Beijing: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Press, Contemporary China Series, 1993), pp. 492570. See especially pp. 540–44 on the debate about how – and how much – to learn from the Soviet experience. See also Joffe , Party and Army.

15. Wenhan Zheng, “Peng zong zai 50 niandai dui wo jun jianshe de zhongda gongxian” (“Chief Peng's important contributions to our army's construction during the Fifties”), Junshi lishi (Military History), No. 6 (1988), p. 4.

16. As John Wilson Lewis and Xue Litai have noted, “Beijing's foreign policy specialists and military planners understood that technological attainments – for example, the making of high-yield warheads or the mastery of missile engineering – could send important political messages to worst-case planners in Washington and Moscow. In the aggregate, such messages might serve in the place of declared new strategic doctrines; they could supersede people's war and paper tigers.” Lewis and Xue , China Builds the Bomb, p. 197.

17. For more on this point, see Lewis and Xue , China's Strategic Seapower.

18. Rongzhen Nie, Nie Rongzhen huiyilu (Memoirs of Nie Rongzhen), Vol. 3 (Beijing: Liberation Army Press, 1986), pp. 818–19. A contemporary version of this argument, not one made retrospectively in a memoir account, may be found in a speech Nie made to colleagues in April 1963. Rongzhen Nie, “Zai jungong lingdao ganbu huiy i shang de jianghua” (“Speech at a meeting of leading cadres from military industry”), in Nie Rongzhen junshi wenxuan (Selected Military Works of Nie Rongzhen) (Beijing: Liberation Army Press, 1992), pp. 496518.

19. This quotation from a 1955 speech by Marshal Liu Bocheng was a plea for greater attention to defence expenditure. Cited in MacFarquhar Roderick, The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Vol. 1: Contradictions Among the People, 1956–1957 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974), p. 71.

20. Historical records make clear that Mao was a reflexive nationalist on issues that touched China's destiny as a great power. Secondary case studies that elaborate on this point include important works by John Lewis and Xue Litai, Michael Hunt, Chen Jian, David Shambaugh, Thomas Christensen, Iain Johnston, and Robert Ross. In the area of high tech weaponry, for example, Mao had justified a thoroughgoing programme of modernization for the armed forces in 1954 on grounds of China's status as a “great power” in the world. “Our industry, agriculture, culture, and military [strength] are insufficient,” Mao had remarked. “Imperialists assess you in terms of these things and therefore bully us. They say, ‘do you have the atomic bomb?’ But they miscalculate in their assessment. China's latent capacity to develop its strength will astonish [them].” Zedong Mao, “Zai guofang weiyuanhui diyi ci huiyi shang de jianghua,” p. 359. Lewis and Xue have vividly described the Chairman's viscerally nationalistic reaction to perceived Soviet slights, a picture reinforced by meeting transcripts kept by Mao's secretaries during talks with Soviet representatives. See China's Strategic Seapower, pp. 1018. See also Mao's nationalistic tongue-lashing of the Soviet ambassador in 1958 over Soviet proposals for a long-wave radio transmission station on Chinese territory to enable communication with the Soviet Pacific Fleet. “Tong Sulian zhu Hua dashi Long Jin de tanhua” (“A discussion with the Soviet ambassador to China, Yudin”) (22 July 1958), based on a meeting transcript, in Selected Diplomatic Works of Mao Zedong, pp. 322333.

21. For background on this report, see Rongzhen Nie, Memoirs, Vol. 3, pp. 814–15, and the editor's footnote 2 in Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao (Selected Manuscripts of Mao Zedong Since the Founding of the Republic), restricted circulation edition, Vol. 9 (Beijing: Central Documents Press 1996), pp. 530–31. It is not entirely clear whether Mao saw a copy of the actual Japanese report or whether it was summarized for him by Marshal Nie and his staff. The source of the report was a Japanese financial affairs research conference held in February 1960. The wording of the editor's comments on the Chinese source strongly suggests that this conference was sponsored by a defence office of the Japanese government. Apparently, the conference produced a report with a title along the lines of “Analysing military production from the standpoint of economic policy.” This Japanese report was then provided to Mao by Nie's staff either in full or via a summary report that provided important highlights.

22. Zedong Mao, “Zai guanyu Riben jingji zhengce he guofang gongye fazhan wenti de yifeng cailiao shang de piyu” (“Written comments on materials concerning Japan's economic policies and military industrial development”) (16 July 1961 ), in Selected Manuscripts of Mao Zedong, Vol. 9, pp. 530–31.

23. Rongzhen Nie, Memoirs, Vol. 3, pp. 814–15.

24. On this U-2 shootdown, see Zhenguo Fu, “Zhongguo 543 budui miwen” (“The secret story of China's Unit 543”), Junshi shijie, 02 1990, pp. 2532, and Shaoqiu Liu, “U-2 gaokong zhenchaji fumie ji” (“A record of the downing of the U-2 high-altitude reconaissance aircraft”), Junshi shijie. Part I, 08 1988, pp. 4344, Part II, September/October 1989, pp. 5658. The change in air defence policy is covered in Rongzhen Nie, Memoirs, Vol. 3, p. 817. It is worth noting that all newly produced J-6 fighter planes (China's first supersonic fighter aircraft, a copy of the Soviet MiG-19) were grounded between 1959 and 1964 on account of technical bottlenecks. See Guang Xie, National Defence Science and Technology, Vol. 2, pp. 181–82. As David Bachman has noted (in personal communication) this may well have made strategic weapons more compelling in light of the threats of 1962.

25. McDougall Walter A., The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age (New York: Basic Books, 1985), p. 5.

26. Samuels Richard J., Rich Nation, Strong Army: National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994), p. 33. See also Ostry Sylvia and Nelson Richard R., Techno-nationalism and Techno-globalism: Conflict and Cooperation (Washington: Brookings Institution, 1995), and McDougall , The Heavens and the Earth.

27. On this point, see chs. 6–9 of Feigenbaum Evan A., “The military transforms China: the politics of strategic technology from the nuclear to the information age” (Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, Department of Political Science, 1997).

28. Samuels , Rich Nation, Strong Army, p. 34.

29. This is obviously quite different from classic “market failure” arguments for public technology investment; China, after all, did not have a true market in place during the Mao years. But this formulation resembles the terms of market failure arguments and will no doubt raise the suspicions of some readers that I am attempting to impose market-type arguments on non-market contexts. What is important, I believe, is the common recognition in both formulations of long lead-times and the incentive problems that can ensue. But – significantly – this derives from a completely different problem in each version. In market settings it can be traced to firms' need to earn money on investments, thus introducing market pressure to cam a quick return on R&D disbursements. In the socialist setting, I am suggesting here, it reflects a different set of problems: namely, agents' tendency to maximize gross output above all alternative behavioural motives. In this formulation, only the Centre (and technology programmers at the very apex of the planning system) are comparatively unburdened by the output problem – they seek output, of course, but many other things as well. This comprehensive approach is much more difficult for economic agents down the ladder, since they must maximize behaviours that can be easily observed (and hence rewarded by superiors). This makes short-term output, not long-range R&D, the most likely focus of resource allocation at the firm level. For a good description of the kinds of market failures associated with technology sectors even in highly developed capitalist economies, see Stoneman Paul, The Economic Analysis of Technology Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). Also, Ostry and Nelson , Techno-nationalism and Techno-globalism, pp. 2833, and Levin Richard et al. , “Appropriating the returns from industrial R&D,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Vol. 3 (1987), pp. 783831.

30. Indeed, China worked to acquire advanced technologies and manufacturing techniques from overseas, particularly under the umbrella of the Soviet alliance, and then moved to build local industrial sectors via licence, loans, or out-and-out purchase and reverse-engineering.

31. Even when these contradicted the anti-clitist strains of Maoist ideology, strategic weapons leaders allowed scientists and technicians considerable free rein to pursue innovative techniques and ideas.

32. It is worth noting, in this vein, that small-scale, private and mixed-ownership R&D, particularly in the consumer electronics industry, has grown up during the past decade as an alternative source of innovation to state technology programming. Like the strategic weapons model that I describe here, this, too, offers a flexible and open-ended model to manage innovation. But unlike the strategic weapons-style system, it discards the “command R&D” component in favour of a bottom-up approach to innovation that is much more resonant of the recent history of technology, including the start-up experience typical of the U.S. software industry.

33. Frieman Wendy, “China's military R&D system: reform and reorientation,” in Simon Denis Fred and Goldman Merle (eds), Science and Technology in Post-Mao China (Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1989), p. 267.

34. Guangya Zhu, “Wo guo baozha diyi ke yuanzidan qianhou” (“Around the time of our country's first detonation of an atomic bomb”), in Bujin de sinian (Boundless Memories) (Beijing: Central Documents Press, 1987), pp. 305313, Shuqing Liu and Jifu Zhang, “Jinglei: wo guo diyi ke yuanzidan baozha ji” (“A clap of thunder: recalling our country's first detonation of an atomic bomb”), in Division Magic Sword (Shenjian ju) (ed.), Mimilicheng (A Secret Course) (Beijing: Atomic Energy Press, 1985), pp. 157, and Lewis and Xue , China Builds the Bomb, p. 145.

35. On management features of large projects, see the fascinating comparative history of four important U.S. projects (SAGE, Atlas, ARPANET and Boston's Central Artery Tunnel) by Hughes Thomas P., Rescuing Prometheus (New York: Pantheon, 1998).

36. A good discussion in English can be found in the survey of jurisdictional changes for the submarine programme covered in Lewis and Xue , China's Strategic Seapower.

37. A prototypical example was a submarine reactor seminar convened on 25 June 1971 by Premier Zhou Enlai with the reactor's chief designers Peng Shilu and Zhao Renkai. The seminar covered a comprehensive range of technical issues. Shilu Peng, “Yanjin er cixiang de weiren: huiyi Zhou zongli dui yanzhi he qianting de guanhuai” (“A rigorous but kindly great man: recollections of Premier Zhou's concern for research and development on the nuclear submarine”), Shenjian (Magic Sword), No. 1 (01 1988), pp. 1213. See also Shilu Peng and Rcnkai Zhao, “Canjia wo guo he qianting yanzhi gongzuo de tihui” (“A few words about our participation in research and development work for our country's nuclear submarine”), in Li Nie and Cuomo Huai (eds.), Huigu yu zhanwang: xin Zhongguo de guofang keji gongye (Retrospect and Prospect: New China's Defence Science, Technology and Industry) (Beijing: Defence Industry Press, 1989), p. 207.

38. Rongzhen Nie, Memoirs, Vol. 3, pp. 767–68.

39. Holloway David, Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939–1956 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994, ch. 1).

40. Bethe Hans, “The Happy Thirties,” in Steuwer Roger H. (ed.), Nuclear Physics in Retrospect: Proceedings of a Symposium on the 1930s (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1979), pp. 1131.

41. Chinese physics has been a male-dominated field. The two most prominent women during the period of the PRC are He Zehui and Xie Xide. He Zehui is the wife of China's most famous nuclear physicist, Qian Sanqiang. She worked in Paris on the tripartite fission of uranium before returning to China with Qian; Xie Xide is a surface physicist (biaomian wuli) who, together with her husband, played a major role in building physics at Shanghai's Fudan University.

42. The 1995 figure of 214 total CAS Academicians is from “CAS launches ‘321’ program to foster 21st century S&T leaders,” translation of an article from Guizhou ribao (Guizhou Daily), 25 05 1995, p. 3, reprinted in Foreign Broadcast Information Service Report, China, Science and Technology Series, 18 08 1995, p. 13.

43. Yu Gu, “‘Sanjia’ ningcheng yigu sheng xietong gongguan: yi wo guo guofang keyan de chuqi fazhan” (“‘Three families’ pulling together the strands of a rope in a co-operative attack: recalling the early years of our country's military research and development”) in Li Nie and Guomo Huai, Retrospect and Prospect, p. 469. Gu Yu is highly placed in the Chinese political leadership as the wife of the late Hu Qiaomu, formerly a leading ideologue, secretary to Mao Zedong, and, during the Deng era, one of China's 10–15 top CCP elders.

44. Rongzhen Nie, Memoirs, Vol. 3, p. 823.

45. Jingfu Zhang, “Zhongguo kexueyuan yu guofang kexuc jishu” (“The Chinese Academy of Sciences and defence science and technology”), in Li Nie and Guomo Huai, Retrospect and Prospect, p. 79.

46. Cheng Jing, “Shou'ao cangqiong: wo guo diyi ke renzao weixing ‘dongfanghong-1 hao’ shang tian ji” (“A first trip to the sky: the story of the ascent to the heavens of our country's first man-made satellite, the ‘East is Red-1’”), in Political Department of the Ministry of the Space Industry and Space Section of the Magic Sword Literature and Art Society (eds.), Hangtian shiye sanshi nian (Thirty Years of the Space Cause) (Beijing: Space Navigation Press, 1986), pp. 2260.

47. On this seminar, see Lewis and Xue , China Builds the Bomb, pp. 3739.

48. On these personnel issues in the CAST, see Shuntong Wang (ed.), Zhongguo kexue jishu xiehui (The China Association/or Science and Technology) (Beijing: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Press, 1994).

49. On the August 1955 transfers, see Guang Xie, National Defence Science and Technology, Vol. 1, p. 14. On the June 1956 transfers, see Rongzhen Nie, Memoirs, Vol. 3, p. 796.

50. Lewis and Xue , China Builds the Bomb, p. 42; Lindbeck John M. H., “Organization and development of science,” in Gould Sidney H. (ed.), Sciences in Communist China (Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1961), pp. 358.

51. On testing pools, see Xuhua Huang, “Shuixia jujing: he qianting zongti yanjiu sheji” (“The great underwater whale: the comprehensive design plan for the nuclear submarine”) and Shitang Dong, “Taihu zhi yan de yixiang mingzhu” (“A jewel on the bank of Lake Tai”), both in Li Nie and Cuomo Huai, Retrospect and Prospect (pp. 396–98 and 407409 respectively). On shock wave tubes, see Keming Tan and Zi'an Zhang, “Longmenshan xia you yitiao ‘long’: huo guojia keji jinbu yi deng Jiang dc ‘1485’ kangbao jibo guan ciji” (“A ‘dragon’ at the foot of Longmen Mountain: the story of the ‘1485’ anti-detonation shock-wave tube”), Junshi shijie, Vol. 2, No. 3 (05 1989), pp. 7375.

52. See, for instance, Heng Wu and Jun Yang (eds.), Dangdai Zhongguo de kexue jishu shiye (Contemporary China's Science and Technology Cause) (Beijing: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Press, Contemporary China Series, 1991), p. 254.

53. On this design competition, see Lewis and Xue , China's Strategic Seapower, pp. 3032.

54. Rongzhen Nie, Memoirs, Vol. 3, p. 823. The institution of competition was a staple feature of Chinese strategic weapons development. In some sense, this came from the Soviet experience. See, for example, Holloway David, “Innovation in the defence sector,” in Amman Ronald and Cooper Julian (eds.), Industrial innovation in the Soviet Union (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), p. 317. For another example of very explicit competition in Chinese strategic weapons development, see the discussion of competing plutonium concepts in Churning Zhang, “Zhongguo heneng zhuanjia Jiang Shengjie” (“The Chinese nuclear expert, Jiang Shengjie”), Liaowang (Outlook), overseas ed., 20 07 1987, pp. 56.

55. On the impact of strategic weapons on metallurgy, see Jun Lian, “There is a secret arsenal beneath Helan Shan,” Ningxia ribao (Ningxia Daily), 12 09 1992, p. 3, translated and reprinted in Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report, China, 8 12 1992, p. 12. For the chemical industry, sec Youdi Zhu, “Guofang huaxue gongye xingcheng xin tixi” (“The formation of a new national defence chemical industrial system”) Jiefangjun bao (Liberation Army Daily), 7 12 1990, and Tao Tao, “Huagong xin cailiao zai wei guofang keji gongzuo fuwu zhong chcng chang” (“New chemical materials will grow to maturity through service to national defence, science, technology and industry”), in Li Nie and Guomo Huai, Retrospect and Prospect, pp. 478–80. Nie's role in establishing the metals and chemical industry bureaucracies is detailed in Memoirs, Vol. 3, p. 820. On the role of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in joint work with the PLA on satellite telemetry, tracking and control, see Guang Xic, National Defence Science and Technology, Vol. 1, pp. 468471.

56. On the Harbin college, see Laiyong Luo, Ha-jun-gong hum Zhongguo guofang keji rencai peiyang jishi (The Soul of the Harbin College of Military Engineering: A True Record of Personnel Training for China's Military Science and Technology) (Beijing: Central Party School Press, 1995), Rongzhen Nie, Memoirs, Vol. 3, p. 800, and Jiamin Yin, “Chen Geng dajiang chuangjian Ha-jun-gong” (“General Chen Gcng created the Harbin College of Military Engineering”), Yanhuang zisun (The Chinese), No. 4 (1988), pp. 2831. On naval technical schools, see Lewis John Wilson and Litai Xue, Military Readiness and the Training of China's Sailors (Stanford: Center for International Security and Arms Control, 1989).

57. On the Moscow Aviation Institute agreement, see Nic's report to Premier Zhou Enlai: Rongzhen Nie, “Jiaqiang wo guo yanzhi daodan wenti dc baogao” (“Report on how to strengthen our country's missile research and development”), 25 10 1956, especially p. 396, reprinted in Nie Rongzhen junshi wenxuan (Selected Military Works of Nie Rongzhen) (Beijing: Liberation Army Press, 1992), pp. 395–97. On Nie's push in electrical engineering, see Rongzhen Nie, Memoirs, Vol. 3, pp. 805806.

58. These themes are covered in Feigenbaum Evan A., “Who's behind China's high technology ‘revolution’? How bomb makers remade Beijing's priorities, policies, and institutions,” International Security, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Summer 1999, forthcoming).

59. See, for instance, Mu Shang, “Progress in China's high technology research and development plan,” Keji ribao (Science Daily), 17 11 1989, p. 4, translated and reprinted in Joint Publications Research Service, China Science and Technology Series, 8 02 1990, pp. 24.

* For comments on earlier versions of this material, I am grateful to John Wilson Lewis, Michel Oksenberg, Xue Litai, Ezra Vogel, Robert Ross, Barry Naughton, Nicholas Lardy, David Bachman, Condoleczza Rice, David Holloway, Michael May and Bernard Munk. I am also grateful to participants in talks that I gave at the Brookings Institution; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, both at Harvard University (particularly Benjamin Schwartz and Merle Goldman); Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University; Center for Chinese Studies, University of California, Berkeley; and Lauder Institute of International Studies, Wharton School of Management, and Department of History, all at the University of Pennsylvania.

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