Exploring the remarkable story of China’s rise to global prominence, China since 1949 provides a concise yet comprehensive overview of the events that have shaped the country since the middle of the twentieth century.

Covering the Maoist era through the Reform period to the present day, this book addresses subjects such as China’s position as a world economic power, the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of ethnic minorities, women’s experiences under the Communist regime, and China’s human rights record. Fully updated throughout, the third edition includes:

  • a new chapter focusing on China since 2010
  • discussion of current issues such as China’s territorial disputes, computer hacking and cyber-espionage, corruption, leadership changes, and the slowing of China’s economic growth
  • extensively revised chapters on China and the World and on Government, Politics and the Economy
  • An updated selection of primary source documents.

Also containing a chronology of events from 1949 to 2015, a Who’s Who of key figures, a glossary and a guide to further reading, China Since 1949 is an accessible and engaging introduction to China’s recent past and essential reading for students of modern Chinese history.

part |2 pages

PART I China’s past

chapter 1|8 pages

General introduction

chapter 2|6 pages

Geographical and historical background

part |2 pages

PART II China under the Communist Party

chapter 4|14 pages

The radical Maoist phase, 1958–76

chapter 5|13 pages

Building reform-era China, 1977–89

chapter 6|7 pages

Deepening reform: China in the 1990s

chapter 7|11 pages

Challenges in the 1990s

chapter 8|18 pages

Social change after 2000

chapter 9|9 pages

China under President Hu

chapter 10|14 pages

President Xi Jinping and the Chinese dream

chapter 11|16 pages

China and the world

part |2 pages

PART III Assessing China’s rise

chapter 12|6 pages


part |2 pages

PART IV Documents

chapter 1|1 pages

The 1950 Marriage Law

chapter 4|1 pages

‘Speak Bitterness’ meetings

chapter 5|2 pages

China’s regional autonomy system

chapter 6|1 pages

Political campaigns of 1957–8

chapter 7|1 pages

Recollections of the Great Leap Forward

chapter 8|1 pages

A letter to Mao on the Great Leap Forward

chapter 11|1 pages

Accounts of the Cultural Revolution

chapter 14|2 pages

CCP statement on the events of 4 June 1989

chapter 15|1 pages

Privatization of state-owned enterprises

chapter 16|1 pages

Underground Christian churches

chapter 17|2 pages

Atheism in China

chapter 19|1 pages

China’s new consumer culture

chapter 20|1 pages

Revisions to the 1980 Marriage Law

chapter 21|2 pages

Chinese history text

chapter 22|1 pages

China and climate change

chapter 23|1 pages

Nationalism and the internet

chapter 24|2 pages

China’s economic future

chapter 25|1 pages

China’s ‘harmonious world’

chapter 26|1 pages

United States–China relations

chapter 27|1 pages

An assessment of President Hu

chapter 28|2 pages

China and Taiwan

chapter 29|1 pages

The Chinese dream

chapter 30|2 pages

China and the South China Sea