PLANNING AND THE MARKET ARE BOTH MEANS
OF DEVELOPING THE PRODUCTIVE FORCES
February 6, 1987
Why do some people always insist that the market is capitalist and only planning is socialist? Actually they are both means of developing the productive forces. So long as they serve that purpose, we should make use of them. If they serve socialism they are socialist; if they serve capitalism they are capitalist. It is not correct to say that planning is only socialist, because there is a planning department in Japan and there is also planning in the United States. At one time we copied the Soviet model of economic development and had a planned economy. Later we said that in a socialist economy planning was primary. We should not say that any longer.
Recently we have made some mistakes in our work, but that’s nothing to be alarmed at. Don’t be afraid; if we’re afraid of making mistakes, we can’t go on with the reform. I, for my part, feel we’ve been much too cautious. Of course, it is better not to move too fast just now because of the recent student unrest. But in the long run, the pace of reform should not be too slow.
The report to be delivered at the Thirteenth National Party Congress should elaborate the theory of socialism and make it clear that our reform is socialist. At the same time, it should clearly explain from a theoretical point of view the need to adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles, to combat bourgeois liberalization, to carry out reform and to open China to the outside world. It should be a good document.
(Excerpt from a talk with leading members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.)