Deng Xiaoping of China:

A Man to Put China Back Together

Gregory Linder

Dang Xiaoping is a man in history that is known for saving china. He is a man that is credited with the china that we have today. Not everything was so easy for Deng Xiaoping to put china to where it is today. China had previously experienced problems in the political party with the struggle to obtain power from different parties. Parties like the Nationalist party lead by Chiang Kai-shek, and the communist party lead by Mao. The struggle for china to have a government power was a long bloody struggle that eventually turned out with Moa running the country. Mao did a fine job running china. At this time Deng Xiaoping was at his side helping him run china. Eventually Mao died and Deng Xiaoping took over to run China. This movement into office was a transition that helped china for the better. The movement of Deng Xiaoping to change china put it on the map in terms of economical, political, and social reasons.

Next, we wonder were such a man came from in order to take on such a huge responsibility. Thoughts go through our heads and we ask ourselves, what it takes to be able to fix china's problems from where he picked it up form Mao. Deng Xiaoping was born on August 22, 1904.[1] "He left home at the age of 16 to study in France were he became a revolutionary".[2] This is extremely to his thoughts as a political leader. These times are crucial to Deng Xiaoping's development as a leader and a person. These revolts have played a significant role in his life and fighting for what her believes in and wants. When he was 25 he was the leader of an uprising. This uprising went on for 12 years. This uprising was lead during the time of the war with Japan. Xiaoping was the political commissioner of the Red Army with the war with Japan.[3] This will prove to be important to his later involvement with having to deal with uprisings himself when he is in power which is in a way ironic. However, Xiaoping did more than just lead revolts and uprisings. Deng Xiaoping was the planner of many military expeditions, he built communes in Chain, and he also helped his party in power struggling events.[4] This in turn helped to strengthen china before he was in power. This is critical because what can be seen is that Deng Xiaoping clearly cares about his country, China, and wants to do good by it. His experiences have strengthened socialist Chinese society. His positions have been in the Government, the army and some parts of the communist party.[5] These experiences and jobs that he held gave him the experience and the discipline to eventually lead China and get it out of the danger that it was in. The Country was in such a bad state after Mao's death that China needed someone strong in order to turn it around and put it on the world map. Deng Xiaoping was the man for the job and with his experiences he was ready to accept the responsibilities of the job and make China a powerful country. Though many say he was a man that made many mistakes and did a bad job, they fail to see that there was no one other than him that could have done the job to any degree that Deng Xiaoping did.

Many think about the great job that Deng Xiaoping did when he came to power after Mao. There is evidence can be seen compared to some of Mao's policies that went horribly wrong. Some of Mao's work was trying to make China a great nation fast and in the end it crippled China for a period of time. One of the first things that Mao tried to do was the Great Leap forward of 1958-1960. The main point of this was to try to catch China up to the industrialized west. Mao thought this was possible and wanted this to happen as fast as possible. There were many points and objectives to this movement but overall backyard iron foundries produced millions of iron pots and tools, but most of them were unusable.[6] The key to all of this was that Mao wanted even the farmers to put a hold on food production and focus on making Iron goods. This was greatly overlooked because the food was not processed and harvested from the fields and this made no food for the country. This shortage made many people starve and die. This mistake by Mao eventually claimed the lives of twenty million lives between 1959 and 1962.[7] This was not the only crucial mistake made by Mao. The Proletarian Cultural Revolution was a movement that turned the whole country inside out. Mao put together a red book that had quotations of what he had said and what he wanted for the country. Mao wanted to try to change the country still so he thought having the old traditions moved out and new ones brought in would solve the problem. Everyone would carry the red books and try to become Mao's loyal followers. The youth got very involved and were known as "red guards".[8] The mobilization of the youth came from a wide variety of backgrounds. Their class backgrounds that soon merged were an interesting social scene rarely seen. These backgrounds such as demobilized soldiers, contract, rotation, and piece workers, and other underprivileged, were selecting criticism targets and promoting escalation of criticism.[9] These red guards put the country into a pandemic trying to cleanse society of non loyal followers of Mao. This was a setback for China because it put the country on hold and the red guards took things into their own hands. When Mao died in1976 the red guards were eventually stopped and everything was sad for the loss of Emperor Mao. This was the time for Deng Xiaoping to move in and make changes to China. Xiaoping need to fix China from a lot of damage over the years. He knew how to do it and took it one step at a time.

Deng Xiaoping took power from Mao after he died in 1976. This was the time to change the country and make a difference. Xiaoping would start with the individuals and try to get them to all work and open businesses to earn a living for them. He said "to get rich is glorious". This was said to inspire many of the people of the country. He also set up a Central committee to set goals for basic four modernization goals for the country of China. [10] These goals were 1) we must keep to the socialist road. 2) We must uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat. 3) We must uphold the leadership of the communist party. 4) We must uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong thought.[11] These were all very important to the reforming of the country. Many people loved the fact that there were modernizations that were going to change society. Although some wanted a fifth modernization, the fifth modernization that some were fighting for was democracy. Deng thought this was a step too far and he wanted to silence these people that wanted this change. SO the people that he found that wanted this change he either jailed them or he put some of them to death. He did this because he wanted to show the people of China that he was in charge but also he wanted to keep power and order in his communist China. All were crucial but even more importantly to the development was the fourth guideline. This guideline shaped China and eventually put it ahead. This was applied and developed in China and Mao Zedong agreed with it while he was still alive.[12] This theory of Marxist-Leninism is part of the very economic, political, and social way that Deng tried to revive Chain. Deng Xiaoping tried to take the mistakes that Mao made and still uphold Mao for being a great leader and doing his best. He needed the support of Mao's followers on his side and that was the way to do it. Deng Xiaoping was a man of action. He would not sit and wait for something to happen he would attack the problem before it could take shape. "The treatment of the people was strong not brutal".[13] Deng was starting to become a good leader and many people followed him without a problem. After the death of Mao in 1976 one on Deng Xiaoping's great tests came about. There were people remembering the death of Mao in Tiananmen Square. Soon there were men against Mao's past ideas and Mao had enemies in death known as the "gang of four". Things got out of hand and the march on Tiananmen Square happened and was blamed on Deng Xiaoping.[14] Eventually the Gang of Four was tried and things eventually got back onto track. The point being that thousands were supporting Mao and Deng went about controlling the large assembly of people with force.[15] This force proved deadly to some and outraged the people of China.

When analyzing Deng Xiaoping there is a need to look at what he thought and how he went about solving things. He solved things socially, economically, and politically. The modernization of the Socialism opened the country to the outside world and invigorated the domestic economy. Also socialism was designed to develop the socialist economy.[16] "This aloud the development of individual economy, of joint ventures with both Chinese and foreign investment and of enterprises wholly owned by foreign businessmen, but socialist public ownership will always remain predominant."[17] This was just the start of what Deng Xiaoping was trying to accomplish. This set up the economy and saved it from what it had previously had been. The idea of "public ownership" and "common prosperity" were the basic that Deng tried to get China to follow.[18] Another key point that Deng tried to establish were economic zones and open policy. The government of China permitted "own spending decisions up to a limit of U.S. five million dollars. The slogan is "time is money, efficiency is life".[19] This helped to boost China and it proved to work over time. Today China is on the world view and is jobs are being outsourced to China because their economy can process the jobs for cheaper and can do them in mass quantities. This can all be credited to by Deng because he took that step to make it happen and clearly it is still working and being done today. The political future also was another pillar that rested on Deng's shoulders. The fact that Deng made the decision at Tiananmen Square has lead to major disputes during the 80's. He eventually went through three disempowerments and came back to power all three times. He is the only one in history to do that successfully in simultaneous promotions. Many people started to support anti Deng campaigns. Shortly before the February plenary, Deng handed in his resignation as Chief of staff of the PLA.[20] Eventually Deng Xiaoping died on 19 February 1997, at age 92 from a lung infection and Parkinson's disease, but his influence continued.[21] He changed the role of China in the world and he saved it from disaster.

Deng Xiaoping Clearly was a man who changed the life of the Chinese people for times to come. Even though he did make mistakes and was one that got kicked out of office three times, he was still there to put China back together and get the job done. Without Deng Xiaoping, China would not be where it is today. Deng Xiaoping once said "It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice".[22] This is such a true quote from Deng and no matter what he did he always got the job done. It might not have been always the right choice but in the end things turned out ok. Deng Xiaoping taking over forever changed china. Deng Xiaoping clearly improved china economical but also, politically, and socially. If it were not for Deng China would not be where it is today and it is owed all to Deng Xiaoping.


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Dittmer, Lowell. Liu Shao-ch'i and the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Politics of Mass Criticism. Berkely, Los Angeles, London: University of California, 1974.

Evans, Richard. Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China. New York: Penguin Group, 1993.

Franz, Uli. Deng Xiaoping. Translated by Tom Artin. Boston, San Diaego, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988.

Lee, Ching Hua. Deng Xiaoping: The Marxist Road to the Forbidden City. Princeton, NJ: The Kingston Press, 1985.

Leng, Shao Chuan, ed. Changes in China Party, State and Society. 1989: University Press of America, Inc, n.d.

Meisner, Maurice. The Deng Xiaoping Era. Canada: n.p., 1996.

Moise, Edwin E. Modern China: A History. London, New York: Longman, 1986.

Overfield, James H. "Utopian Dreams in Mao's China." In Sources of Twentieth-Century Global History, 328-335. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, n.d.

[1] Ching Hua Lee, Deng Xiaoping: The Marxist Road to the Forbidden City
(Princeton, NJ: The Kingston Press, 1985),11.

[2] Ibid., 1.

[3] Ibid., 1.

[4] Ibid., 8.

[5] Ibid., 8.

[6] James H Overfield, "Utopian Dreams in Mao's China," in Sources of
Twentieth-Century Global History (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publishing Company, n.d.),329.

[7] Ibid., 330.

[8] Lowell Dittmer, Liu Shao-ch'i and the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The
Politics of Mass Criticism (Berkely, Los Angeles, London: University of
California, 1974),121.

[9] Ibid., 121

[10] Richard Evans, Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China (New York:
Penguin Group, 1993),233.T

[11] Ibid.,233.

[12] Richard Evans, Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China (New York:
Penguin Group, 1993),242.

[13] Ibid.,245.

[14] Edwin E Moise, Modern China: A History (London, New York: Longman,

[15] Ibid.,214.

[16] James H Overfield, "Utopian Dreams in Mao's China," in Sources of
Twentieth-Century Global History (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publishing Company, n.d.),414-415.

[17] Ibid., 414.

[18] James H Overfield, "Utopian Dreams in Mao's China," in Sources of
Twentieth-Century Global History (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publishing Company, n.d.),415.

[19] Ibid.,415

[20] Uli Franz, Deng Xiaoping, trans. Tom Artin (Boston, San Diaego, New
York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988),274.

[21] Ibid., 301.

[22] Lowell Dittmer, Liu Shao-ch'i and the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The
Politics of Mass Criticism (Berkely, Los Angeles, London: University of
California, 1974), 321.