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Chongqing: China’s New Experiment –Dialogues among Western and Chinese Scholars, IV (November, 2011)


Chongqing—China’s New Experiment: Editor’s Foreword
Philip C. C. Huang

This special issue—“Chongqing: China’s New Experiment”—is the fourth of our “Dialogues among Western and Chinese Scholars” series. The first two articles, my own and Gao Yuan’s 高原, intend to summarize the main empirical information and present our separate preliminary understandings and analyses of “Chongqing’s experience.” Mine is mainly about using what has been tentatively conceptualized as the “third hand” and “third finance” to drive simultaneous social and economic development (or what I term equitable development). This “third hand” comprises mainly the local government and its state-owned firms dedicated to public benefit. In the globalized economic environment of the present, it at once challenges and utilizes foreign and domestic private corporations, and competes at once with other localities within China and other nations outside China. The emphasis of Gao Yuan’s article, on the other hand, is on rural development in Chongqing, in particular its project launched in 2010 to raise every peasant household’s income by 10,000 yuan 户户万元增收 within three years. This government + individual farm household approach is different from the prevailing Chinese“industry-ization” 产业化 approach to rural development. The third article, by Cui Zhiyuan 崔之元, who has already published numerous articles on Chongqing, develops further his thoughts on the three crucial dimensions of land, market profits and appreciation of state assets, and cultural hegemony, employing some “alternative” Western theories—especially those of Henry George, James Meade, and Antonio Gramsci—for explication.

The first comment is from communications scholar Lu (Lü) Xinyu 吕新雨, who, drawing on worldwide experiences, argues that Chongqing’s decision (on March 1, 2011) for its satellite TV station 重庆卫视 to forego commercial advertisements and develop a “public-interest TV station” 公益电视台 represents an important first step toward challenging the prevailing media
system that operates under the dictates of profit-seeking capital. But concrete methods for representing the people’s interests and engendering their participation, she observes, are yet to be developed. The second comment is from Ivan Szelenyi, doyen of the sociology of (post-communist) transitions, who reviews his own experiences in 30 some years of active engagement with the search for different kinds of “third ways”beyond the dichotomous choice of either capitalism or socialism. Because of the failure of third ways in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Szelenyi questions the sustainability of Chongqing’s experience, and argues that its attempt at a third way will likely fail as well. The final piece is my very brief comment on the two main objections that Szelenyi raises.


Chongqing: Equitable Development Driven by a “Third Hand”?
Philip C. C. Huang

Rural Development in Chongqing: The “Every Peasant Household’s Income to Grow by 10,000 Yuan” Project
Gao Yuan

Partial Intimations of the Coming Whole: The Chongqing Experiment in Light of the Theories of Henry George, James Meade, and Antonio Gramsci
Zhiyuan Cui


Government Subsidies, Market Socialism, and the “Public” Character of Chinese Television: The Transformation of Chongqing Satellite TV
Lu Xinyu

Third Ways
Ivan Szelenyi

A Brief Comment on Ivan Szelenyi’s Comment
Philip C. C. Huang