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 Shanghai's Industrial Development: Taking the Road of Self-Reliance

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Shanghai's Industrial Development

Taking the Road of Self-Reliance

* Shanghai's gross industrial output value last year was 17 times that of 1949 and twice that of 1965.

Source: Peking Review, No. 42, October 18, 1974
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

    UNDER the guidance of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line and the leadership of the Communist Party, the working class of China's largest industrial city of Shanghai has since the start of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1966 broken with all fetishes and superstitions, emancipated their thinking and brought about a big upsurge in industry. The city's industrial development has created a rich fund of experience, the main one being that of firmly implementing the Party's principle of maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts. This is, in the words of Shanghai's workers, taking the road of self-reliance and always aiming high.

The Course of Development

 When imperialist domination of Shanghai's industry and commerce was swept away by the storm of the Chinese people's revolution a quarter of a century ago, imperialist spokesmen asserted that China's cities would falter and grind to a halt without their "aid." "When the Communist Party meets with the harsh reality of Shanghai, they will change their line and come begging us for help," they gloated later, the social-imperialist tore up all their contracts with us and withdrew their specialists in the vain hope that China's socialist construction would collapse overnight
   But reality dealt both the imperialists and social-imperialists telling blows. Shanghai's gross industrial output value today is twice that of 1965 the year before the start of the Cultural Revolution, and 17 tunes that of 1949, the year the country was liberated
 Rolled steel that the social- imperialist refused to supply as with, the workers of Shanghai made themselves The many new types of metal materials they never sold as also are being made by this city's workers. For more than half a century the Ching Dynasty and the Kuomingtang reactionaries relied on foreign “aid" to build a steel industry, but right up to the country's liberation even strip steel for lamp bulbs had to be obtained from abroad. Today, Shanghai produces 1,200 different varieties of steel m some 20,000 specifications. Now, as much steel is made in half a day here as was made in 1948
 Sale of technology in making big electronic computers to China was banned by the imperialists who considered them something of a miracle and a rarity. But Shanghai is now producing these computers for construction and national defence industries and scientific research On Shanghai's production list are such items as integrated circuit electronic computers that do a million calculations per second and electron microscopes with a magnification of 400,000 as well as the several dozen kinds of electronic medical apparatuses being made that are near or up to advanced levels.
 Those hostile to the Chinese people had claimed that New China could not build up its industry without their equipment. But Shanghai now makes complete sets of equipment which annually turn out 11 million tons of iron, 1 2 million tons of steel, 700.000 tons of sheet steel and medium plates, and whole sets of equipment which handle 2 5 million tons of crude oil a year. Shanghai is producing various machines for export to Third World countries, including machinery for making steel and paper and for processing foodstuffs. Before liberation, even the screws on generating equipment were imported. One large turbo-generating set with an inner water-cooled stator and rotor made in Shanghai today has a capacity greater than that of the whole power industry the imperialists had built up in Shanghai over a period of 70 years to plunder the Chinese people.
 The basic reason for the heroic industrious working class of Shanghai attaining such results was that it firmly implemented the Party's basic line for the historical period of socialism and the general line of going all out, aiming high and achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results in building socialism, and firmly carried out the Party's principle of independence and self-reliance. In the Great Cultural Revolution and m the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius, they have deepened then: criticism of the revisionist line of Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao and have further strengthened their determination.
 Shanghai is a microcosm of China's socialist construction A host of magnificent facts show how absolutely correct is Chairman Mao's principle of maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts. And it is precisely because we have firmly implemented this principle that the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Party, overthrew the Chiang Kai-shek regime and won revolutionary victory in the years of war. After the founding of New China, we shattered the imperialist embargo and firmly stood up to pressure from the social-imperialists so that socialist construction in China developed vigorously from day to day. All this affirms very clearly that taking the road of maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts is indeed something that fills the imperialists and social-imperialists with fear. For a developing country like China, however, this is certainly the road leading from victory to victory.

Relying on the Masses

 Some people regard self-reliance simply as a matter of "importing or not importing." Actually, this is merely seeing only the superficial aspect of the matter. Back in the war years, Chairman Mao already pointed out that the essence of self-reliance is reliance "on the creative power of the whole army and the entire people." Those who worship and are awed by foreign things and rely on importing and those who pessimistically drone that we can't do this and can't do that show then complete lack of faith in the masses having boundless creative power. The fundamental expedience of Shanghai's achievements through implementing the principle of self-reliance is to rely on the masses and have faith that the working people armed with Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought are able to create miracles
 Look at how Shanghai's workers built a 10,000-ton-class ship!
 The crucial problem in building a 10.000-tonnor is making the diesel motor Some inner components of this piece of machinery standing as high as a three-storeyed building must have a grade nine surface finish. To get such a smooth finish, foreign countries use large-size precision equipment to process the motor Since the Kiangnan Shipyard had no such equipment, the workers  made tools the size of a flashlight, fitted them on to ordinary machine tools and produced a better than grade ten surface finish. The processed parts are so smooth that anyone standing before them can see every hair on his head very clearly. In assembling this diesel motor, a tail building with a relatively constant room temperature is normally required and the floor must be able to withstand pressures of 12 tons per square metre. Kiang-nan had no such building and so the workers put up a roofless reed building and assembled the motor inside it Because the foundation floor sank constantly, the workers fitted measuring instruments to the machinery and drove iron wedges underneath to compensate for submergence and enable the machinery to maintain a constant plane The diesel motor was finally completed after countless difficulties had been overcome.
   It was precisely by relying on the workers’ unlimited creativeness that a Shanghai shipyard which previously could only do repairs was able to build a 13,000-ton freighter on a dock intended for 3000-ton ships. Before the Cultural Revolution only one Shanghai shipyard could build ships of the 10,000-ton class now there are four that are building at a faster speed bigger ships of higher quality
   The process of making sophisticated high-precision machinery clearly demonstrates that the road of maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own bands and relying on our own efforts is basically the road of relying on the masses. By fully mobilizing and bringing into play the wisdom and creativeness of millions of people we will certainly catch up and surpass advanced world standards m the not too distant future.

Supporting New-Bon Things

 The development of Shanghai's industry shows that implementing the principle of maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in our own hands and relying on our own efforts is a process full of acute and tierce struggles between two ideologies and two lines The crux of these struggles is the question of attitude towards new-born things To develop our industry by relying on our own efforts and Lo catch up with and surpass advanced world standards inevitably involves the problem of starting from scratch and advancing from a low to a higher level Consequently, the road of self-reliance is one of constant innovation. Creating something new will run up against obstructions from those who want to go on doing things the old conventional way and those who worship foreign things and have other erroneous ideas Shanghai's experience demonstrates that a resolute struggle must be carried out against these erroneous ideas and the initiative of the masses must be respected and revolutionary new-born things must be supported
 As early as 1960, the workers at the Hutung Shipyard made China's first diesel engine for a 10 000-ton vessel Chemically and mechanically, the 70-ton crankshaft for this motor was up to specifications, but as there were a few small pits on the surface it was rejected outright by "authorities" who were divorced from reality and who went only by what they had read in foreign books Because of this, the hull built by another shipyard was left floating five years on the Whangpoo River In the course of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution the workers criticized the revisionist line, repudiated the slavish comprador philosophy and began plugging away for the crankshaft to be used. Communist Party member and worker-promoted-engineer Yang Ching-fu said: "I've seen plenty of foreign crankshafts on diesel motors in my more than forty years repairing foreign ships. And I've seen some of the 'best' crankshafts are pitted, some worse than ours. Why must we put so much stock in foreign things and not use what we ourselves have made?" Today, that shaft has done its work of propelling a 15,000-ton tanker for more than six years and is still going strong This "crankshaft Incident” which once caused such a stir in shipbuilding circles has led people to realize how inimical the revisionist line and ideas which make a fetish of foreign things are to developing the forces of socialist production. It has also made people aware of the necessity to criticize making a fetish of foreign things so as to give full rein to the creative spirit and to do a good job of the revolution in the sphere of the superstructure in order to unshackle the forces of production.
 The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has sparked even greater creativity Last year two young workers at the Shanghai No 9 Cashmere Wear Mill produced a simple programme control device As soon as it appeared, the leadership swiftly began popularizing it so that within a year all the old knitting machines of the ’30s had been made fully or semi-automatic in all 14 mills making cashmere wear. It also led to a mass movement in many branches of the city's industry to embark on programme-control technology.
 Because of the big support given to the creativeness of the masses, Shanghai has increased its 13 pre-Cultural Revolution dacron textile and printing and dyeing nulls to 41 mills with relatively small investment. Output has now gone up 23 times.
 Every year this old industrial base of Shanghai sees about ten thousand special machine tools and other new technical equipment all made by the workers themselves going into production thanks to the massive support given to the creativeness of the workers.
 In practice and in continually creating new things, Shanghai's working class has come to see clearly that to enable new things to grow, dialectics must be promoted in a big way. The workers recall these words of Lenin's: "We must carefully study the feeble new shoots, we must devote the greatest attention to them, do everything to promote their growth and must 'nurse’ them."
 Communist Party member Shao Pu-ken is a witness to the birth of the automobile industry in Shanghai He has seen with his own eyes how the motor car industry here grew up from the struggle in which materialist dialectics triumphed over idealism and metaphysics. Shanghai turned out its first chassis for a four-ton truck m the year of the big leap forward Stripped to the waist, Shao and other workers hammered it out with 24-pound hammers. The chassis of the first motor tricycle was made of wood and used bamboo for springs. The idealists and metaphysics refused to concede that it was a motor vehicle, but the workers started it up, climbed aboard and toured the streets beating gongs and drums to announce its birth. These revolutionary new-born things grew up in the midst of struggle between the two lines and two philosophical concepts. Shanghai today manufactures in lots more than ten types of motor vehicles including heavy-duty tip trucks, sedans, buses and cross-country cars.
 Hsu Yu-mu, a Communist Party member, is one of the founders of the city's wristwatch industry He and his colleagues made Shanghai's first watch by shaping the parts with hand ides and boring holes with sewing needles. The watch ran when it was put on a table but stopped when strapped on a wrist. Some smart chaps scolfed that it was a "table watch," not a wristwatch. But the workers were proud of this watch They said that although it wasn't very good as far as quality went, it was better than any imported watch because they themselves had made it. "The nest one and the watches to come will be better and better," they said. And that was what happened. The "Shanghai" wristwatch is now a big seller in China Shanghai's workers today turn out automatic calendar watches, diver's automatic calendar watches and other advanced types of watches.

Socialist Co-operation

 Taking the road of self-reliance does not mean that every enterprise must be self-sufficient and produce everything it needs. On the contrary, a major experience gained by Shanghai in implementing the principle of self-reliance is, under the Party's unified leadership, to bring the superiority of the socialist system into full play by organizing big socialist cooperation on a city-wide scale.
 Since the start of the Great Cultural Revolution, the working class In Shanghai has organized many large-scale co-operative activities which rapidly solved difficulties through concerted efforts The state was in urgent need of a new type of alloy in 1970 If the task had been assigned to one plant, it would have to build a workshop which would take three years and require an investment of 60 million yuan. But by pooling the efforts of six medium-sized and small plants, a sample was produced in 20 days and batch production started in two months. The total cost was less than one million yuan.
 To build up and develop the modern electronics industry, Shanghai's workers decided to produce in 15 days a single crystal-growing furnace needed for making mono-crystal silicon. The city had imported one which could hold only 200 grammes of material, and it would have taken years to develop the elections industry by relying on imported equipment So the workers made up their minds to manufacture it themselves But those blind to the immense strength of socialist co-operation said with folded arms "Fifteen days'! Even a fairy couldn't do it'" However, the equipment was produced in 13 days, instead of 15, through the co-operation of a dozen units which later produced 50 such furnaces in three short months The productive capacity of this type of furnace 13 far larger than that of the imported one. Today Shanghai has built up its modem electronics industry through its own efforts and has produced large numbers of electronic computers, television sets and electronic medical apparatuses.
 All the victories won by the Shanghai working class as a result of big co-operation come from its efforts to make full use of the superiority of the socialist system Marx pointed out: "Not only have we here an increase in the productive power of the individuals by means of co-operation, but the creation of a new power.” Our socialist system has opened up an unlimited future for tapping potential productive power through co-operation. According to the city's experience, making full use of the socialist system's superiority and pooling the efforts of several, dozens or even 100 plants will bring about enormous new productive power and accomplish tasks, which one plant or one department cannot undertake, with greater, faster, better and more economical results.
 Industrial development in Shanghai has received tremendous support from other parts of the country. In the massive socialist co-operation, Shanghai's working class has also shown praiseworthy consideration for needs in other places. Workers at the Shanghai Irregular Steel Tubing Mill has asked their leadership to lay down the following rule: No matter how difficult the demands raised by the consuming units are, nobody has the right to refuse them without consulting the workers Since the Great Cultural Revolution began, the mill has turned out a thousand specifications of irregular tubes for Shanghai and other places. A car can pass through the biggest tubes made by the mill; the smallest tube weighs only one gramme and a sneeze will blow it away This tiny corrugated tuba of stainless steel was needed in scaling a technical height, but the consuming unit only wanted 0,1 kg. The mill's workers trial-produced the tube more than 400 times over a period of two years before fulfilling the task
   Why has the Shanghai working class displayed such an admirable style in co-operation? Why does it have such immense drive in relying on its own efforts and aiming high? In the final analysis, the answer is what Chairman Mao has pointed out: The correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything. The mighty torrent of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has swept away the dirt of the revisionist line of Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line has been deeply embedded in people's thinking and the masses* revolutionary enthusiasm has rushed forward like a tide. Shanghai's workers put it correctly when they say: It is the common task of our nearly 800 million people to build up our socialist motherland; it is the task of the whole Party to implement the Party's principle of independence and self-reliance and the general line for building socialism.
  

Source: Peking Review, No. 42, October 18, 1974
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org




  
  
  

 
 
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