Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping or Teng Hsiao-p'ing (both: dŭng´ shou´pĬng´), 1904–97, Chinese revolutionary and government leader, b. Sichuan prov. Deng became a member of the Chinese Communist party while studying in France (1920–25) and later (1926) attended Sun Yatsen Univ., Moscow. A veteran of the long march, he joined the party's Central Committee in 1945 and organized the land-reform program (1949–51). Called to Beijing as deputy premier (1952), he rose rapidly, joining the Politburo Standing Committee in 1956. A pragmatist, he worked with Liu Shaoqi after the Great Leap Forward to restore the economy. In the Cultural Revolution he was attacked as the "Number Two Capitalist Roader" after Liu. Purged, he was sent to work in a tractor factory (1966). Reinstated by Zhou Enlai as deputy premier (1973), he took over the administration when Zhou fell ill, eagerly implementing Zhou's "Four Modernizations." After Zhou's death in 1976, Deng was again purged.

In 1977 he again became deputy premier, as well as vice chairman of the party, and later (1979) visited the United States to seek closer ties. For most of the 1980s he served as head of the party and government military commissions and the newly created party Central Advisory Commission. Although not holding any of the highest ranking official posts, Deng became the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. In 1981 Deng strengthened his position in China by replacing Hua Guofeng as Communist party chairman with his own protégé, Hu Yaobang. When Hu was forced from power, Zhao Ziyang, another Deng protégé, became party leader, and later when Zhao was ousted, a third Deng associate, Jiang Zemin, replaced Zhao. Deng oversaw the loosening of government control of the economy in order to promote development while insisting on tight party control of the government and politics. He resigned from his last party post in 1989, designating Jiang Zemin his successor, after supporting the use of military force to suppress the Tiananmen Square demonstrations.

See E. F. Vogel, Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China (2011).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Deng: A Political Biography
Benjamin Yang.
M. E. Sharpe, 1997
Deng Xiaoping and the Chinese Revolution: A Political Biography
David S. G. Goodman.
Routledge, 1994
Politics of Disillusionment: The Chinese Communist Party under Deng Xiaoping, 1978-1989
Hsi-Sheng Chi.
M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 1991
The Chinese Economy under Deng Xiaoping
Robert F. Ash; Y. Y. Kueh.
Oxford University, 1996
The Tiananmen Papers
Zhang Liang; Andrew J. Nathan; Perry Link.
PublicAffairs, 2001
China's Legal Awakening: Legal Theory and Criminal Justice in Deng's Era
Carlos Wing-Hung Lo.
Hong Kong University Press, 1995
Decision-Making in Deng's China: Perspectives from Insiders
Carol Lee Hamrin; Suisheng Zhao; A. Barnett Doak.
M. E. Sharpe, 1995
Chinese Politics from Mao to Deng
Victor C. Falkenheim.
Paragon House, 1989
Probing China's Soul: Religion, Politics, and Protest in the People's Republic
Julia Ching.
Harper & Row, 1990
China in the Post-Utopian Age
Christopher J. Smith.
Westview Press, 2000
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