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 Market Brisk, Prices Stable—Excellent situation on China's commercial front

Market Brisk, Prices Stable

— Excellent situation on China's commercial front

Source:Peking Review, No. 39,September 25, 1970
Transcribed by www.WENGEWANG.ORG

    THE situation In China's economy is excellent. Lee * by the great leader Chairman Mao and guided by Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line, it has become more and more flourishing ever since the founding of the People's Republic of China 21 years ago. The working people have become ever more enthusiastic and battled with high morale especially since the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which shattered the bourgeois headquarters headed by the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi and smashed its criminal scheme of restoring capitalism. Socialist production is developing vigorously. The market is flourishing and supplies of commodities are abundant Prices are stable and the value of the currency is guaranteed. The living standard of the working people is constantly rising. All this fully demonstrates the incomparable superiority of the socialist system. This is a great victory for invincible Mao Tsetung Thought.

Brisk Market

   "Revolution means liberating the productive fore as and promoting their growth." Our ever-deepening socialist revolution since the founding of New China has spurred industrial and agricultural production on swiftly. And the development of China's industrial and agricultural production has provided a rich material basis for expanding the circulation of goods and for a brisk market.
   In both the cities and countryside, the market is stable and commodities are plentiful. Selling and buying are very active and goods in stock are abundant. A prosperous scene can be seen in the market. Retail sales of commodities throughout China have gone up by a big margin. Supply is guaranteed by the large stocks of people's daily necessities such as grain, cotton cloth, edible oil, meat, eggs, etc. Such goods as bicycles, radios and sewing machines which only a few people could afford to buy before liberation have now become articles for daily use by many working people in the urban and rural areas.
   Tempered in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, China's commercial workers work with a completely new outlook. They firmly grasp revolution and vigorously promote production, serving the workers, peasants and soldiers enthusiastically. They exert great efforts in organizing supplies, making rational allocations, expanding sales and increasing reserves, thereby making new contributions to a brisk market and meeting the ever-growing material needs of the working people. Compared with 1965, the year before the Great Cultural Revolution, there was a marked increase in retail sales of commodities throughout China in 1969, with supplies of cotton cloth, sugar, cigarettes, knitting wool, rubber shoes, basins and sewing machines rising from 30 to almost 100 per cent. In particular, supplies of broadcasting equipment, transistor radios, ink, paint and paper, which are needed in propagating Mao Tsetung Thought, have shot up by a wide margin. This reflects the new practice of the Chinese people of various nationalities who urgently need to increase their revolutionary "spiritual grain."
   Since 1970, the markets in the cities and countryside throughout China have become more and more active, with supplies of various kinds of goods constantly going up. During the slack fruit season last spring, the non-staple food stores and fruit shops in Peking, Shanghai and Tientsin were full of apples, pears, sugar-cane, etc. Vegetables are on sale the year round.
   The poor and lower-middle peasants in many areas in China began to take part in managing rural commerce during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Three-in-one revolutionary committees or management groups composed of representatives of poor and lower-middle peasants, revolutionary cadres and revolutionary commercial workers and staff were set up in stores in the rural areas. Having workers and peasants superintend or manage commerce has been tried out in some cities. The primary tasks of the poor and lower-middle peasants who take part in managing rural commerce and for workers and peasants superintending or managing urban commerce are to grasp the living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought, class struggle, the orientation of serving and education in policy. As the poor and lower-middle peasants put it: "Our taking part in managing commerce is for the people not to turn revisionist and the stores not to change political colour." Tempered in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the commercial workers' consciousness in serving the people has been greatly enhanced. They are anxious about what the workers, peasants and soldiers are anxious about and think what they think. They have made active efforts to extend the scope and raise the quality of their service, and improve methods of serving. New ideas and new ways of wholeheartedly serving the workers, peasants and soldiers constantly arise. Together with producers, commercial departments in many localities send people to factories, mines, and rural areas to extensively solicit the workers, poor and lower-middle peasants for opinions about commodities. In this way, they have produced and supplied new products which cater to the needs of and are welcomed by the workers, peasants and soldiers. Many commercial departments have actively made efforts to supply various kinds of goods that are economical, practical, plain and durable and which the latter welcome. Meanwhile, they also pay attention to putting on sale certain goods which meet special needs. Many stores have set themselves the task of delivering goods to production teams and helping in the maintenance and repair of farm machines and implements. While engaging mainly in commercial work, shop assistants of a number of pharmaceutical and medical apparatus stores have taken on the study of medicine so that they can treat minor ailments and give patients advice in case of serious diseases. They also decoct the herbs for patients and deliver medicines to their homes. Changing their service hours, many city stores have instituted early morning, late evening or all-night service. Some of the stores even deliver goods to factories or send them to customers' homes. The worker, peasant and soldier masses greatly appreciate these improvements.
   The fact that China's market is thriving and prosperous and that working people's living standard has been constantly rising affords eloquent proof to Chairman Mao's wise prediction on the eve of the founding of New China, "We are not only good at destroying the old world, wc are also good at building the new." The imperialists and all their running dogs dreamt that we would be unable to solve the problem of food for the people after we had seized political power. And they poured out drivel about economic chaos in China being caused by the Great Proletarian
Cultural Revolution. But all their idiotic day-dreams were dashed to pieces.

Long-Term Stable Prices

   The market in socialist China enforces planned prices which are drawn up in accordance with socialist economic laws and a series of Party principles and policies. Our Party and state have always kept to the principle of stabilizing prices. During the reign of the Kuomintang reactionaries before liberation, prices soared appallingly. In the 12-year period from July 1937, the beginning of the anti-Japanese war, to May 1949, prices spiralled by over 8,500,000 million fold. Working people had no guarantee for their livelihood and they lived in dire misery. In the early period of the founding of the People's Republic of China, soaring prices and the miserable life left behind by old China was swiftly changed fundamentally. The state adopted a series of policies and measures to keep China's market prices stable for a long time. This guarantees a secure life for the people and provides favourable conditions for socialist revolution and socialist construction. To minimize the irrational ratio between prices of industrial and farm products left over by old China, the state raised purchasing prices of certain farm products in a planned and systematic way on the one hand, and, on the other, it stabilized or reduced retail prices of industrial goods. Thus the peasants can get more industrial goods from producing the same amount of farm products. Take wheat and cotton for example. Compared with the initial stage of the founding of New China, over 70 per cent more salt can now be obtained by a peasant for the same amount of wheat at that time and 140 per cent more kerosene for the same amount of cotton. The minimizing of the ratio between the prices of industrial and farm products further consolidates the worker-peasant alliance and promotes the development of production. Prices of certain items like books and periodicals, drugs, matches, etc. are the same all over China. We have not only eliminated price differences for grain during different seasons, but have also mainly kept selling price of grain stable even though the purchasing price was raised. Prices of certain commodities which have a close relationship to the daily life of the working people are the same as or even lower than their production costs. All this shows the deep concern of the Party and the state for the working people.
   Retail prices of some industrial products have been reduced by wide margins since the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was launched. Medicine is a case in point. In accordance with Chairman Mao's great teachings "Vigorous action should be taken to prevent and cure endemic and other diseases among the people and (o expand the people's medical and health services" and "In medical and health work, put the stress on the rural areas," there has been three successive price cuts in the past year. A 37 per cent reduction was made in August last year. This lowered the general level of prices of medicines to only 20 per cent of that of 1950. Still bigger price cuts were made in the case of medicines commonly used by the people in the rural areas. The price of penicillin, for instance, is now only 8.8 per cent of what it was in 1950. At the same time, there have been cuts in varying degrees in the prices of medical appliances, chemical reagents and biotic preparations. Prices were also trimmed for Chinese medicinal herbs and traditional Chinese drugs in December 1969 and last July, the average cut being 10 per cent The price cuts for medicines constitute a  [one word missed here] criticism of the renegade, hidden traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist  [one word missed here] medical and health work, and are great works fur Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line. Warmly praised by the masses of poor and lower-middle peasants, they are of great political significance in bringing about a change in China's rural medical and health work, consolidating and developing the co-operative medical system in the countryside and improving the working people's health.
   In the past 21 years, our Party has consistently adhered to the principle of maintaining price stability. On the other hand, Liu Shao-chi consistently opposed this principle of Chairman Mao's. In 1962, Liu Shao-chi advocated "raising prices by 50 per cent” In December 1963, he again put forward the reactionary proposal of an all-round raise in prices and a currency devaluation in a vain attempt to restore capitalism and plunge the working people once again into the abyss of misery of sky-rocketing prices from which they had suffered in old China. Under the wise leadership of the great leader Chairman Mao, we smashed Liu Shao-chi's criminal scheme and commodity prices in China continued to remain stable.
   The fact that commodity prices have been stable throughout the years is the inevitable result of the vigorous growth of the socialist economy in the country, and is due to the socialist system. When New China was born in the midst of the raging flames of revolutionary war, the imperialists and their spokesmen said categorically: "Price fluctuations will bring about the collapse of the People's Government"' But the facts of history have been a hard slap in the face for them. New China stands majestically in the East. It is not socialist China, which is armed with Mao Tsetung Thought, but the entire capitalist world that is hit by fluctuating prices.

Great Victory for Mao Tsetung Thought On the Commercial Front

   China's market is thriving and prices are stable. This is a great victory for Mao Tsetung Thought and is a splendid fruit of the implementation of the whole series of theories, line, principles and policies formulated by the great leader Chairman Mao.
   Chairman Mao's great strategic concept "Be prepared against war, be prepared against natural disasters, and do everything for the people," the general line of "going all out, aiming high and achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results in building socialism." and the series of great principles such as "Take agriculture as the foundation and industry as the leading factor," "Develop the economy and ensure supplies" and "Maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts'' reflect the objective laws of the socialist revolution And socialist construction, and are important developments of a creative nature of the Marxist-Leninist [one word missed here]of socialist construction. Adherence to  [one word missed here] has enabled China's industrial and  [one word missed here] construction to develop at high speed, thereby providing the material basis and reliable guarantee for a prospering socialist market and stable prices.
   Chairman Mao's great principle of "maintaining Independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts" is the fundamental road for bringing about a change in China's poverty and backwardness and building our great motherland into a prosperous and powerful socialist state. Before liberation, the Kuomintang reactionaries sold out the national interests and depended on imperialism and feudalism politically and economically. The result was that production was disrupted, the people were bled white, the nation's finances were on the rocks, the market was chaotic and prices zoomed. Foreign goods swamped the Chinese market: large quantities of foreign flour, foreign cloth, foreign vehicles, foreign matches, foreign oil and what not were dumped on the market.
   Guided by Chairman Mao's teachings after the founding of the People's Republic of China, we persisted in the principle of "maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts." smashed the U.S. imperialist blockade and embargo and overcame enormous difficulties in the course of rehabilitating the economy. Embarking on large-scale economic construction, we have rapidly changed the poor and backward state of old China. "In agriculture, learn from Tachai." By relying on their own efforts and working hard, China's peasants have followed the Tachai Production Brigade's example and greatly promoted farming. Industry, science and technology have also develops at high speed. Designed and built by ourselves, the Nanking Yangtze River Bridge was opened to traffic ahead of schedule. China's first man-made earth satellite was put into orbit. In commerce, the accent is also on self-reliance, as Chairman Mao has pointed out: "On what basis should our policy rest? It should rest on our own strength, and that means regeneration through one's own efforts." Facts have eloquently borne out this truth. The era when foreign goods flooded the Chinese market is gone for ever.
   Guided by Chairman Mao's brilliant thinking "Take agriculture as the foundation and industry as the leading factor,” and attaching importance to the development of light industry and agriculture while giving priority to the development of heavy industry, we have not one-sidedly laid stress on developing heavy industry and neglected agriculture and light industry. Rather, we have used the method of developing more light industry' and agriculture to promote the growth of heavy industry. As a result, there has been rapid development in agriculture, light industry and heavy industry. This has provided a reliable guarantee for supplying commodities needed on the market and created favourable conditions for stabilizing prices. Since the beginning of this year, further efforts have been made to bring into full play the initiative of the various localities. A lively and flourishing situation has now emerged in China in which local industries are developed with local resources and the goods thus produced are supplied to meet local needs. By energetically developing local industries, many provinces and autonomous regions have built large numbers of factories within a short period. With the swift growth of industrial production, new and more extensive sources have been opened up for the supply of commodities, ensuring a still more prosperous and brighter prospect for the home market.
   Acting according to the great leader Chairman Mao's teaching "Develop the economy and ensure supplies" —- the general principle governing economic and financial work — trade departments have vigorously promoted and aided industrial and agricultural production and ensured the supply of consumer goods to the working people in the cities and countryside. During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the commercial workers have criticized in a sustained and deep-going way Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist trash, such as "the theory of serving the whole people" without making any distinction between classes, "putting profits in command" and "giving first place to vocational work." They have come to a deeper understanding of the absolute correctness of Chairman Mao's principle "Develop the economy and ensure supplies/' and greatly raised their consciousness of firmly carrying out this principle. Firmly adhering to this principle of Chairman Mao's, the personnel of the Shihpanyen Supply and Marketing Cooperative of Linhsion County in Honan Province have over the past 24 years upheld and carried forward the spirit of "making revolution with a carrying-pole" and worked hard in a mountainous area. To support socialist construction and the world revolution, they carry loads of commodities to the mountain villages and bring back brooms, wicker baskets and other products made by the villagers In the mountains. They have thus put an end to the situation In the old society in which the working people in these areas had great difficulty buying or selling things and, setting out before dawn and returning late at night, had to cross mountains to buy salt or edible oil. They have helped promote farming and guaranteed the supply of consumer goods for the working people. The local inhabitants warmly praise the co-op as "the supply and marketing co-op endeared to the people in the mountain areas."
   Facts over the past 21 years fully prove that we will be able to advance from victory to victory by acting according to Chairman Mao's instructions. The commercial workers are determined to make further efforts to study and apply Mao Tsetung Thought in a living way, serve proletarian politics, socialist construction and the masses of workers, peasants and soldiers in a still belter way, and turn the socialist commercial front into a great, red school of Mao Tsetung Thought.
   Tempered in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, guided by invincible Mao Tsetung Thought and led by the Party Central Committee with Chairman Mao as its leader and Vice-Chairman Lin as its deputy leader, the Chinese people are filled with the revolutionary enthusiasm to win honour for the great leader Chairman Mao and the great socialist motherland. They are determined to "grasp revolution, promote production and other work and preparedness against war" and build China into a still more powerful socialist state.

Source:Peking Review, No. 39,September 25, 1970
Transcribed by www.WENGEWANG.ORG

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