Shoulder poles and bombs: grain market controls in Greater Chongqing (1949-1953)

Wankun Li, Adam Cathcart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Downloads (Pure)


In the early years of the People’s Republic, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had difficulty in establishing control over grain markets. The implementation of the Unified Purchase and Sale of Grain Policy was a significant step toward this end, and part of the broader move toward collectivization that would lead to the Great Leap Forward, making it a sensitive topic for research. By focusing on the grain market and grain policies in rural Chongqing, this research shows the role of state prices management and state-owned grain companies before the grain monopoly in 1953. This paper uses material from county archives with a focus on Jiangjin County, a rural area of southern Chongqing, to show that in the early 1950s, CCP state-building policy featured not only violent mass campaigns but also utilized gradualist strategies to compete with the merchants, achieve influence, and finally control the market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalThe Chinese Historical Review
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • Chongqing
  • grain policy
  • price differences
  • peddlers
  • Five-Anti campaign
  • state-owned grain trade enterprise
  • unified purchase and sale of grain policy
  • liangshi tonggou tongxiao


Dive into the research topics of 'Shoulder poles and bombs: grain market controls in Greater Chongqing (1949-1953)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this