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The objective of this book is to describe the development of agriculture in China over the 30-plus years of Reform and Opening. To give the reader a general understanding of the entire history of agricultural development in China, in this first chapter I give an overview of Chinese agriculture in the 30, 300, and 3000 years prior to Reform and Opening.
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Translator’s note: essentially identical to “hunter-gatherers,” a concept that also comprises fishing.
Translator’s note: known as “yellow earth” in Chinese, this is a yellow-tinted deposit of wind-blown sediment that is highly fertile. The word “loess” comes from the German löss, meaning “loose.”
Translator’s note: chi is a traditional unit of length in China, comprised of 10 cun. Like the foot in the English system, the length this unit denoted changed over the centuries, from 23.09 cm in the Han Dynasty to 29.4 or 24.6 cm in the Sui and Tang Dynasties (either the a “big chi” or the “small chi”). In modern China, this unit denotes one third of a meter.
The mu is China’s traditional unit for measuring area. At present, one mu is equivalent to 0.067 ha or 0.165 acres.
Xia Mingfang, “Grain Production in Contemporary China and Climatic Fluctuations,” Shehui Kexue Zhanxian (1998) 4.
Ji Chaoding, Basic Economic Regions and the Development of Irrigation Works in Chinese History, (Zhongguo Shehui Kexue Chubanshe, 1992), 20–21.
It has been estimated that the population carrying capacity in the era of gathering-fishing-hunting was 0.02–0.03 people/km 2, up to 0.5–2.7 people/km 2 in the era of primitive agriculture, an increase of between 25 and 90 times. This figure implies the assumption that about one percent of total land was devoted to primitive agriculture. From: Reader on Strategies of Sustainable Development, ed. Chen Yaobang, (Beijing: Zhongguo Tongji Chubanshe, 1996).
Paul Bairoch, “The main trends in national economic disparities since the Industrial Revolution,” Disparities in Economic Development since the Industrial Revolution, edit by Paul Bairochand Maurice Lévy-Leboyer, Londres, The Macmillan Press 1981.
Angus Maddison, The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, trans. Wu Xiaoying et al., (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2003); Angus Maddison, Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run: 960- 2030, trans. Wu Xiaoying and Ma Debin, (Shanghai: Shanghai Renmin Chubanshe, 2008).
Li Genpan, “On the Development of and Limitations on the Agricultural Economy in the Ming and Qing Periods,” Hebei Xuekan (2003) 2.
Wu Chengming, “Observations of Agricultural Productivity in China in the Recent Era,” Zhongguojingjishiyanjiu (1989) 2.
Li Bozhong, “Increases to the Intensiveness of Rice Agriculture in Jiangnan In the Ming and Qing Dynasties,” Zhongguonongshi (1984) 1.
Joseph Needham and Dorothy Needham, Science and Agriculture in China and the West Science Outpost, London: The Pibt Press LTD 253–258.
Xu Daofu, Agricultural and Trade Statistics for China in the Recent Era, (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1983).
Fang Xing, introduction to General History of Chinese Economy, Qing Dynasty Edition, (Beijing: Jingji Ribao Chubanshe, 2000).
John Barrow, My View of the Flourishing Age of Qianlong, (Beijing: Beijing Tushuguan Chubanshe, 2007), 260.
- History of Chinese Agriculture Before Reform and Opening
- Springer Singapore
- Chapter 1
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