Theoretical discussions on economic structural reform in the Dengist period can probably be dated from Hu Qiaomu's important speech to the State Council, "Act in Accordance with Economic Laws," in July 1978. Following that speech, it became legitimate to explore the "economic laws," and the concurrently unfolding discussion of practice as the sole criterion of truth emboldened China's economists to probe areas that were formerly considered forbidden. The Economics Institute of the Chinese Acadamy of Social Sciences revived the institution of biweekly seminars that it had held prior to the Cultural Revolution, and discussions in these seminars was apparently unprecedently wide-ranging and bold. In April 1979, a major theoretical conference was held in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, to discuss the relationship between the plan and market and the law of value. The major thrust of these discussions was that enterprises should be given greater decisionmaking authority, that the market should play a greater regulatory role, and that the law of value should be respected. Although these general conclusions apparently received the support of senior economic policymaker Chen Yun, the logic behind many of the proposals put forward was sharply at odds with Chen's approach to economics.
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Volume (Year): 26 (1993)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
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