This was drafted under the direction of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) presided over by late Premier Zhou Enlai and Chen Yun.
The key tasks highlighted in the Plan were: to concentrate efforts on the construction of 694 large and medium-sized industrial projects, including 156 with the aid of the Soviet Union, so as to lay that the primary foundations for China’s socialist industrialization; to develop agricultural producers’ cooperatives to help in the socialist transformation of the agriculture and handicraft industries; to put capitalist industry and commerce on the track of state capitalism so as to facilitate the socialist transformation of private industry and commerce.
These tasks were successfully carried out during this time.
The combined output of the state-run, cooperative and joint state-private ownership economies boosted national income from 21.3 percent in 1952 to 92.9 percent in 1957.
Accumulated investment in capital construction was 55 billion yuan and fixed asset increments reached 46.05 billion yuan, 1.9 times higher than at the end of 1952. About 595 large and medium-sized projects were completed and put into production, laying the framework of China’s industrialization. The gross value of industrial products in 1957 increased 128.6 percent from 1952.
The overall steel production during the period reached 16.56 million tons, 2.18 times the combined production from 1900 to 1948, which was 7.6 million tones. Coal production in 1957 reached 131 million tons, increasing 98 percent from 1952.
Gross output value from industry and agriculture rose from 30 percent in 1949 to 56.5 percent in 1957, while that of heavy industry increased from 26.4 percent to 48.4 percent. In 1957, grain production reached 195 billion kilograms and cotton output 32.8 million dan (1 dan = 50 kilograms), both surpassing the targets set in the Plan.
The major problems that arose during this period were: agricultural production couldn’t keep pace with industrial production. The Plan regarded gross industrial output value accounting for 70 percent of the gross output value of industry and agriculture and means of production accounting for 60 percent of the gross industrial output value as indicators of industrial modernization, which ignored the development of agricultures in some sense.
Investments in capital construction in 1956 totaled 14.735 billion yuan, increasing 70 percent over the previous year. Fiscal expenditure in the form of infrastructure loans rose to 48 percent from 30.2 percent from 1955, putting a strain on the national budget.
Socialist transformation was pushed forward too quickly, which left long-lasting after-effects.