Discussion in 'China' started by Martian, Jul 4, 2010.
"Grand meeting held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping."
The greatest Chinese who has ever lived! The man who built modern China.
The Maoist who reinvented himself, transformed a nation, and changed the world
By Jonathan Spence
Though the name of Mao Zedong still has resonance around the world, the man who has inherited the mantle of Chinese hero is Deng Xiaoping. While Mao is now mainly associated with the idea of revolutionary excess and periods of colossal suffering, Deng has come to be linked to China's astonishing economic development, and to the steering of China away from its Leninist and Maoist organizational straitjacket into a wider world of technological growth and international trade. When we think of Deng, it tends to be within a context where Mao's revolutionary legacy is seen as irrelevant. As Mao shrinks in the historical balance, Deng rises; it is Deng who is hailed as the pragmatist, as the man who introduced a new economic dynamism with his striking phrase that it did not matter whether a cat was black or white as long as it could catch mice.
Deng is now thought of, both within China and in the world at large, as having been in some measure heroic. That is due almost entirely to the stances he adopted, and the policies he helped propel into motion, after he had survived two purges and was called back to power in 1977, at the age of 73. What Deng had the intelligence to see was that China would have to break out of its Maoist mold of state controlâ€”that the nation's long-dormant entrepreneurial spirit had to be encouraged, not inhibited, and that the capitalist nature of some of the needed changes had to be openly accepted, whatever the political fallout.
Yet Deng did not just focus on the economy. He identified other areas where changes had to be made for China to become a world power: there was the need to revamp the educational system, especially universities and research institutes; the military had to be streamlined and professionalized; lawyers had to be trained in the intricacies of commercial and corporate law, and be able to have cases heard in a viable and expanded judicial system; more Chinese had to be permitted to study overseas, and foreign students and tourists to come to China. As a complementary move, Deng ordered far-reaching reviews of the cases of hundreds of thousands of intellectuals, students and professionals who had been sent into internal exile in impoverished rural areas after the Hundred Flowers Movement in 1957, and later during the Cultural Revolution; under Deng, many were allowed to return to their homes and families.
Sep. 26, 1983
Table of Contents
Taking a broad view of the intellectual and creative worlds that had essentially been banned in the radical Maoist years, Deng authorized the loosening of controls over filmmaking, fashion, music and the visual arts. Investigative journalists were encouraged to lay bare local abuses, even if they might implicate members of the Communist Party. In late 1978 a stretch of blank wall not far from the headquarters of the Party was opened for the airing of political and cultural views in the form of written posters and poems; swiftly dubbed Democracy Wall, it became a focal point for tough-minded criticism of local and national government, a critique from which not even Deng or Mao were spared.
When Deng is described in heroic terms, it is largely because of the long-range effects of this remarkable torrent of change that he set in motion. Leading China down the capitalist path, Deng relaxed all manner of economic controls and launched Special Economic Zonesâ€”free-trade enclaves that demonstrated the prosperous potential of a liberalized economy. These initiatives helped transport millions of Chinese out of poverty in the space of just a few decades, a feat unprecedented in history; transformed China into the global manufacturing behemoth that it now is; and heralded the country's arrival on the world stage as a major geopolitical and financial player.
But the reforms Deng activated should not be allowed to expunge the ongoing effects of the changes he abandoned or chose not to make. Democracy Wall, for example, was closed down as a protest site early in 1979, and several of the most strident protestors were convicted of crimes against the state and given lengthy prison sentences. Many of the underground journals were banned, and the poets were silenced. Even as Deng visited the U.S. in 1979, a journey in which he charmed Americans with his apparently folksy ways and made major deals with Boeing and Coca-Cola, Chinese troops invaded Vietnam in an attempt to undercut Russian power in the region. University leaders were removed if their demands for new freedoms were deemed to be too strenuous, and Deng purged his own protÃ©gÃ© Hu Yaobang on the grounds that he was pursuing too much change too fast.
The intolerance reflected by the suppression of the Democracy Wall movement resurfaced during the massive demonstrations that began at Tiananmen Square in April 1989 with Hu's funeral and were so bloodily put down in June that year. In his use of the deadly force of the People's Liberation Army to clear Tiananmen Square, Deng showed how deep was his mingled contempt for and fear of the student and other leaders who, he believed, threatened to spread chaos across the country in the name of democracy. The Party's verdict on the Tiananmen protestsâ€”that they amounted to a counterrevolutionary actâ€”was never reversed by Deng, and is also an indissoluble part of his legacy.
If Deng's actions were often cautious or even negative, it was because he had fought and lived a revolution for over 60 years, and he could not summon up the conviction that those years had been in vain. Deng could never forget that it was a Maoist vision, however flawed and ruthless, that had helped unite China after its decades of fragmentation. Mao might have pulled the nation together, but it was Deng who pushed it toward prosperity and modernity, and a future as one of the world's great powers.
Jonathan Spence teaches the history of modern China at Yale University. His books include The Death of Woman Wang, The Question of Hu and The Search for Modern China"
The Greatest Han, Deng Xiaoping, forced the British to give Hong Kong back to China.
Deng Xiaoping - New World Encyclopedia
"During Deng's leadership, agreements were signed to return both Hong Kong .... Deng agreed that the PRC would not interfere with Hong Kong's capitalist system ...."
The Greatest Han, Deng Xiaoping, was the builder of Shenzhen.
10 Must Sees in Shenzhen China - Lonely Planet
"Apr 9, 2009 ... The late Chairman Deng, who conceived of Shenzhen and its special economic zone ... She asked him to build a temple near the famous cave. ..."
"Mr Hu (left) was Deng Xiaoping's protÃ©gÃ©, not Jiang's." (BBC News)
"Line of Succession
Hu (left) is considered part of the "fourth generation" of Chinese leaders. He was preceded in the job of Communist Party General Secretary by Deng Xiaoping (second from right) and Jiang Zemin (between them). In this photo, the three men meet with Party delegates in 1992." (TIME magazine)
The Greatest Han, Deng Xiaoping, gave China political stability for generations. Deng Xiaoping started the tradition of peaceful transfer of political power in China. He appointed two consecutive successors, China's former president Jiang Zemin and current president Hu Jintao.
Chinese President Hu Jintao | Finance Blog
"Feb 28, 2010 ... When Mao died, his appointed successor, Hua Guofeng (who was ... his vision and legacy, Deng also chose Jiang's successor, Hu Jintao. ..."
"Deng Xiaoping, was one of the 20th century's greatest men. He ended Marxist dogma, releasing the energy of his long-suffering ..."
People's Daily Online -- Deng's legacy still influences China, rest of world: President Hu
"Deng's legacy still influences China, rest of world: President Hu
Grand meeting held to commemorates the 100th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping
China's month-long celebration of the birth centenary of its late leader Deng Xiaoping, chief architect of the country's reform and opening up drive, reached its climax Sunday with a 6,000-people grand gathering at the Great Hall of the People.
"Comrade Deng Xiaoping is a great man of the world," said Chinese President Hu Jintao at the meeting, "whose remarkable achievements and scientific theories will, as they already did, continue to change and influence China and the world at large."
Such commemorations "will further inspire the whole Party and nation to push forward the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics," said Hu, also general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, at the meeting attended by top leaders Jiang Zemin, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao and Jia Qinglin.
Deng, born to a rural family in Guang'an County in southwest China's Sichuan Province on August 22 of 1904 and passed away in February 1997, had led a distinguished life as "a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, statesman, military strategist and diplomat, and a long-tested Communist fighter, the chief architect of China's socialist reform, opening-up and modernization drive, and founder of Deng Xiaoping Theory," the Chinese President said.
After reviewing Deng's legendary career with "three downs and three ups" during which he never lost hope when wrongly criticized and had no hesitation to stand by what was right for the Party and the nation, Hu said Deng was a man the whole Party should be proud of.
"Whenever the Party and people need him the most and at critical moments in the development of the country, Deng always dare to shoulder heavy burdens, no matter it was during the revolution to build New China, the chaotic period of the 'Cultural Revolution' or in the country's reform, opening-up and modernization drive," Hu said.
The president especially cited the important role of Deng in handling the political upheavals at home and abroad in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
"Deng, together with other Party veterans, firmly supported the Party and Government to rely on the people to uphold the Four Cardinal Principles, maintain national independence, dignity, security and stability, and unswervingly stick to the central task of economic construction and reform and opening up, thus helping the Party and nation to stand the severe tests and uphold the correct course of socialism with Chinese characteristics," Hu said.
Deng even made great contributions to the nation when he was 88 year old, Hu said, noting that the late leader made a series of important remarks during his inspection tour of south China in 1992, giving an impetus to China's reform, opening up and modernization drive when the nation is bothered by the question where to go after the 1989 disturbances.
Hu also elaborated on many other creative ideas of Deng that shaped China in the past two and half decades:
-- With his deep understanding of Marxism and great political foresight, Deng for the first time gave a systematic answer on how to build, consolidate and further develop socialism in a developing country like China and gave a complete definition of socialism in the preliminary stage.
-- Deng called on the nation to concentrate on development, allow some regions and people to get rich first so they can help others for common prosperity, saying that planning and the market are only means of economic development rather than the symbols of socialism and capitalism.
-- Deng advocated the household responsibility system in agricultural production, which initiated China's reform and lifted millions of Chinese out of poverty.
-- Based on the international situation in the 1980s, Deng reached a major conclusion that peace and development were the two important issues of the contemporary world, which laid a foundation for the Party and government to shift the focus of work to socialist modernization.
-- Deng had long favored the abolishment of cadres' life-long tenure system and he took the lead in practice, playing a decisive role in the smooth transition of the second generation of central collective leadership to the third.
"Great progress has been made in the reunification of the motherland, over which Deng had showed great concern, as Hong Kong and Macao have returned to the motherland and maintained prosperity and stability, and we are working for the final settlement of the Taiwan issue," Hu said.
A bronze statue of Deng was unveiled in Deng's hometown. A photo, dossier and relics exhibition of him was held in Beijing, drawing numerous visitors. TV series, documentaries and publications on the late leader have found a ready market across the country.
Crowned as the "chief architect of China's reform and opening up," Deng is considered a "widely recognized outstanding leader in China", says the editorial.
Not only one of the founding fathers of the People's Republic of China, he also led the country on a fast track toward economic boom.
"The best way to commemorate Deng is to carry out his idea and adhere to building socialism with Chinese characteristics," the editorial stresses.
In the end, the editorial calls on all the Chinese people to unite and gather around the current Chinese leader Hu Jintao to contribute to China's modernization drive."
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