A Five Year Promise

The Four Pests Campaign

"Map of the important industrial projects in our nation under the First Five Year Plan", 1956, February, unknown (佚名)

A Five Year Promise

"We will build up an entirely new, strong, and prosperous People's Democratic Republic of China" -Mao Zedong, 1949

At the end of the first Five Year Plan, China successfully increased steel production and stimulated the economy, but failed to increase grain production. In 1958, Mao launched "The Great Leap Forward,” a new five year plan focused on invigorating the Chinese economy by creating agricultural, industrial, and technological self sufficiency. Mao limited the importation of foreign goods, allowing more money to be invested in domestic agriculture. Farmland was taken over by the government and organized in collectives to reach this goal.

"This gigantic Sanmenshia Dam is being built on the Yellow River by 7000 permanent workers plus innumerable volunteers", 1958, Henri Cartier-Bresson

"A unit going to work in the fields. Commune of Shiu Shin", 1958, Henri Cartier-Bresson

 "Commune of Shiu Shin", 1958, Henri Cartier-Bresson