Analyse: This thesis is an attempt to explore the post-Mao ideological currents and their impact on China's economic reform.

Since 1978, competing ideologies have generally operated either as a stimulus to reforms or as a constraint on them and thus affected the pace, scope, content and nature of the reform.

While Chinese political leaders are engaged in their efforts for doctrinal renovation or continuity, Chinese intellectuals have endeavoured to interpret or even transcend the official discourse in order to reflect their own beliefs and influence policy options.

Tremendous efforts have been made by the Chinese reformers to gradually transform the orthodox doctrine into a more elastic and pro-business ideology which, despite its lack of an elaborate intellectual framework, has produced immense implications on China's economic reform.

Deng Xiaoping's "socialism with Chinese characteristics" is a symbol of this conscious effort for doctrinal renovation.