Deng Xiaoping was a straightforward man; that is how he wanted to be remembered by the Chinese people. There were no exquisite monuments or statues created for his triumphs or conquests; which was the exact opposite of the Maoist era. Mao was the exact contrast of Deng Xiaoping. Although Mao gained control by establishing himself as a “god-like” figure, Deng humbly rose in the ranks and gained a whopping control over the important levels of power within the government. Deng Xiaoping instituted and developed reform in China, which launched the country into a more strong and economically stable nation, allowing him to leave behind a legacy of change. After the passing of Mao Zedong in 1976, the struggle for power began within the government. One group that led up to this was lead by the Gang of Four, wanted to continue the work of Mao through mass mobilization. Being a big fan of Marxism, (Mao Zedong) he became an early member of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), soon rising to a senior position. An opposing group wanted to restore China by returning back to the Soviet Model. Deng Xiaoping lead the third party, known as the reformers, wanted to create a market-based economy and minimize the role of Maoist Ideology in policy planning. China was in a state of turmoil and uncertainty. Deng rose to power, gained control of the government and became the face of the nation, walking a precarious path between the party and his reformist ideology. His dedication to the Communist Party, while instituting change for the good in China, would prove to be the collapse of Deng. Deng Xiaoping soon declared himself as more of a commanding general, and soon began reform in China in the 1980’s. Deng maintained a strong perspective against the Culture Revolution slogan that said, “It was better to be poor under socialism than rich under capitalism”. He encouraged the creation of a market economy and capitalist-like enterprises. The backlash and failure of the Cultural Revolution had propelled him to the top of China’s ruling elite. While Deng believed that science and technology were important, as have many Chinese reformers since the late 19th century, he feared that the humanities and social sciences could be the start of rebellions; he never hesitated in punishing intellectuals, whose divergent views could “lead to demonstrations that disrupt public order” (p650). Deng focused his efforts on where they would make the biggest difference for China. He focused on long-term policies, evaluation of policies to determine success of the strategies, winning support of fellow officials and the public, and publicizing models that illustrated policies he wanted to pursue. He believed that all of these efforts would make the poor come out of poverty and strategically put China on the world stage. While in power, Deng initiated numerous reforms. One of his first reforms was to terminate Mao’s rural agricultural collectivism and allow peasants to cultivate family plots. This allowed grain harvests to increase, and the success of this “experiment” lead to many other reforms. The government allowed city-dwellers to open their own stores, which also permitted Chinese people to buy consumer goods. Through this program, families were able to be more financially solvent and sustainable. Perhaps Deng’s most impactful reform was population control, which included forced abortions to limit families to one or two children. Deng also sought to improve education in China; he allowed students to go abroad for college and therefore, the desire to learn English was increased. The height of the reforms came in 1984, where food supply was so high that the nation became self-sufficient in food. That same year, Deng successfully negotiated an agreement with the British government to return Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997. Throughout this time of reforms, Deng knew that rules alone would not make people follow him. He held the belief that economic...
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