A New Ideological Discourse: Deng Xiaoping Theory
Three important events occurred in 1997: the death of Deng Xiaoping, the convening of the CCP's Fifteenth National Congress, and the return of Hong Kong. The establishment of Deng Xiaoping Theory as a new ideological discourse of the CCP links two of the three events in 1997, Deng's death and the CCP's congress.
Deng's death marked the end of another era in the history of the CCP and PRC, while the Fifteenth National Congress was the first Party congress since the death of Deng Xiaoping and the last one of this century. In his report to the Fifteenth Party Congress, Jiang Zemin stated that " Deng Xiaoping is a great Marxist, and his greatest contribution to the Party, to the Chinese people, and to Marxism, and the precious legacy he left us is ' Deng Xiaoping Theory.'"1 The theme of the Congress, as the title of Jiang's report indicates, is to "hold high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory for an all-round advancement of the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics into the 21st century." For the first time, Jiang Zemin put forward the term " Deng Xiaoping Theory" in his report, listing it with Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. And for the first time, Deng Xiaoping Theory was written into the CCP constitution.
Twenty years after the 1978 Third Plenum, the CCP was trying to establish a new ideology of development. With the death of Deng Xiaoping, had the time come for a new ideology in China? Why was it important for the CCP to establish Deng Xiaoping Theory as a new