Chan (2018) writes:
Implementing such a strategy, the state siphoned off resources in the rural sector for capital accumulation in industry through the well-known process of "scissors prices".
What was the well-known process of "scissors prices"?
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Under Mao the Chinese government was a planned economy, prices were set by the party, not by the free market. Procurement prices of agricultural produce, what the government payed to farmers, were lower than consumer prices of the same produce, what the government got from selling the produce to the consumers. The difference in prices becomes state revenue. The widening of the gap between the two prices is likened to the opening of a pair of scissors, hence the name.