When China thought America might invade
- Economic logic was not enough to stop a ruinous Mao-era drive for self-reliance
When foreign foes threaten, an impregnable fortress is worth more than a comfortable home. Time and again, that doctrine guided China’s Communist Party in its first decades of rule. Under Chairman Mao Zedong, talk of invasion was a constant. In those dark times, the usual priorities of peacetime government—feeding and clothing the masses, striving to raise living standards—were all too often neglected. In their stead came campaigns to ready China for war.