117 Facts About Deng Xiaoping


Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese revolutionary leader, military commander and statesman who served as the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China from December 1978 to November 1989.


Deng Xiaoping contributed to China becoming the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP in 2010.


In early 1926, Deng Xiaoping travelled to Moscow to study Communist doctrines and became a political commissar for the Red Army upon returning to China.


In late 1929, Deng Xiaoping led local Red Army uprisings in Guangxi.


In 1955, when the PLA adopted a Russian-style rank system, Deng Xiaoping was considered for the rank of Marshal of the People's Republic of China, which he declined to accept.


On 1 January 1979, the PRC established diplomatic relations with the United States, and Deng Xiaoping became the first Chinese paramount leader to visit the US.


Deng Xiaoping proposed the One Country, Two Systems principle for the governance of Hong Kong and Macau, as well as the future unification with Taiwan.


Deng Xiaoping was eventually characterized as the "architect" of a new brand of thinking combining socialist ideology with free enterprise, dubbed "socialism with Chinese characteristics".


Deng Xiaoping was named the Time Person of the Year for 1978 and 1985.


Deng Xiaoping was criticized for ordering a military crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, yet was praised for his reaffirmation of the reform program in his Southern Tour of 1992 as well as the reversion of Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997 and the return of Macau in 1999.


Deng Xiaoping was born in Guang'an District, Guang'an on 22 August 1904 in Sichuan province.


Deng Xiaoping's father, Deng Xiaoping Wenming, was a mid-level landowner who had studied at the University of Law and Political Science in Chengdu, Sichuan.


At the age of five, Deng Xiaoping was sent to a traditional Chinese-style private primary school, followed by a more modern primary school at the age of seven.


Deng Xiaoping became a member of the Communist Party in 1938, and married Deng a year later in front of Mao's cave dwelling in Yan'an.


The night before his departure, Deng Xiaoping's father took his son aside and asked him what he hoped to learn in France.


The sixteen-year-old Deng Xiaoping briefly attended middle schools in Bayeux and Chatillon, but he spent most of his time in France working, including at a Renault factory and as a fitter at the Le Creusot Iron and Steel Plant in La Garenne-Colombes, a north-western suburb of Paris where he moved in April 1921.


In La Garenne-Colombes Deng Xiaoping met future CCP leaders Zhou Enlai, Chen Yi, Nie Rongzhen, Li Fuchun, Li Lisan and Li Weihan.


In 1926 Deng Xiaoping traveled to the Soviet Union and studied at Moscow Sun Yat-sen University, where one of his classmates was Chiang Ching-kuo, the son of Chiang Kai-shek.


In late 1927, Deng Xiaoping left Moscow to return to China, where he joined the army of Feng Yuxiang, a military leader in northwest China, who had requested assistance from the Soviet Union in his struggle with other local leaders in the region.


Deng Xiaoping arrived in Xi'an, the stronghold of Feng Yuxiang, in March 1927.


Deng Xiaoping was part of the Fengtian clique's attempt to prevent the break of the alliance between the KMT and the Communists.


At that time, he began using the nickname "Deng Xiaoping" and occupied prominent positions in the party apparatus.


Deng Xiaoping participated in the historic emergency session on 7 August 1927 in which, by Soviet instruction, the Party dismissed its founder Chen Duxiu, and Qu Qiubai became the general secretary.


In Wuhan, Deng Xiaoping first established contact with Mao Zedong, who was then little valued by militant pro-Soviet leaders of the party.


Between 1927 and 1929, Deng Xiaoping lived in Shanghai, where he helped organize protests that would be harshly persecuted by the Kuomintang authorities.


From 1929 to 1931, Deng Xiaoping served as the chief representative of the Central Committee in Guangxi, where he helped lead the Baise and Longzhou Uprisings.


Deng Xiaoping followed the "Li Lisan Line" that called for aggressive attacks on cities.


In one of the most important cities in the Soviet zone, Ruijin, Deng Xiaoping took over as secretary of the Party Committee in the summer of 1931.


The confrontation among Mao, the party leaders, and their Soviet advisers was increasingly tense and the struggle for power between the two factions led to the removal of Deng Xiaoping, who favored the ideas of Mao, from his position in the propaganda department.


Deng Xiaoping had become a leading figure in the party.


Deng Xiaoping stayed for most of the conflict with the Japanese in the war front in the area bordering the provinces of Shanxi, Henan and Hebei, then traveled several times to the city of Yan'an, where Mao had established the basis for Communist Party leadership.


Deng Xiaoping took a leading role in the Hundred Regiments Offensive which boosted his standing among his comrades.


Deng Xiaoping played a major part in the Huaihai Campaign against the nationalists.


Deng Xiaoping participated in disseminating the ideas of Mao Zedong, which turned into the ideological foundation of the Communist Party.


On 1 October 1949, Deng Xiaoping attended the proclamation of the People's Republic of China in Beijing.


Deng Xiaoping became responsible for leading the pacification of southwest China, in his capacity as the first secretary of the Department of the Southwest.


Deng Xiaoping would spend three years in Chongqing, the city where he had studied in his teenage years before going to France.


In July 1952, Deng Xiaoping came to Beijing to assume the posts of Vice Premier and Deputy Chair of the Committee on Finance.


At the 8th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 1956, Deng Xiaoping supported removing all references to "Mao Zedong Thought" from the party statutes.


In 1963, Deng Xiaoping traveled to Moscow to lead a meeting of the Chinese delegation with Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev.


Deng Xiaoping was one of the primary drafters of the Third Five Year Plan.


When Mao argued for a massive campaign to develop basic and national security industry in China's interior as a Third Front in case of invasion by the United States or Soviet Union, Deng Xiaoping was among the key leadership that did not support the idea.


Deng Xiaoping Pufang was tortured and jumped out, or was thrown out, of the window of a four-story building in 1968, becoming a paraplegic.


In October 1969 Deng Xiaoping was sent to the Xinjian County Tractor Factory in rural Jiangxi province to work as a regular worker.


Deng Xiaoping was purged nationally, but to a lesser scale than President Liu Shaoqi.


In February 1973, Deng Xiaoping returned to Beijing, after Zhou brought him back from exile in order for Deng Xiaoping to focus on reconstructing the Chinese economy.


Deng Xiaoping remained careful to avoid contradicting Maoist ideology on paper.


Deng Xiaoping was one of five Vice Chairmen, with Zhou being the First Vice Chairman.


Deng Xiaoping led the group himself and managed the project within the State Council, in order to avoid rousing the suspicions of the Gang of Four.


Mao, too, was suspicious that Deng Xiaoping would destroy the positive reputation of the Cultural Revolution, which Mao considered one of his greatest policy initiatives.


Hua Guofeng, not Deng Xiaoping, was selected to become Zhou's successor as Premier on 4 February 1976.


Deng Xiaoping stayed at home for several months, awaiting his fate.


On 22 July 1977, Deng Xiaoping was restored to the posts of vice-chairman of the Central Committee, Vice-chairman of the Military Commission and Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army.


In contrast to previous leadership changes, Deng Xiaoping allowed Hua to retain membership in the Central Committee and quietly retire, helping to set the precedent that losing a high-level leadership struggle would not result in physical harm.


Deng Xiaoping was offered the rank of General First Class in 1988 when the PLA restored military ranks, but as in 1955, he declined.


Deng Xiaoping ruled as "paramount leader" although he never held the top title of the party, and was able to successively remove three party leaders, including Hu Yaobang.


Deng Xiaoping stepped down from the Central Committee and its Politburo Standing Committee.


Deng Xiaoping repudiated the Cultural Revolution and, in 1977, launched the "Beijing Spring", which allowed open criticism of the excesses and suffering that had occurred during the period, and restored the National College Entrance Examination which was cancelled for ten years during the Cultural Revolution.


Deng Xiaoping personally commented that Mao was "seven parts good, three parts bad".


Deng Xiaoping prioritized China's modernization and opening up to the outside world, stating that China's "strategy in foreign affairs is to seek a peaceful environment" for the Four Modernizations.


Deng Xiaoping developed the principle that in foreign affairs, China should keep a low-profile and bide its time.


Deng Xiaoping continued to seek an independent position between the United States and the Soviet Union.


In contrast to the Mao-era, Deng Xiaoping involved more parties in foreign policy decision-making, decentralizing the foreign policy bureaucracy.


In November 1978, after the country had stabilized following political turmoil, Deng Xiaoping visited Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and met with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.


Deng Xiaoping was very impressed with Singapore's economic development, greenery and housing, and later sent tens of thousands of Chinese to Singapore and countries around the world to learn from their experiences and bring back their knowledge.


Lee Kuan Yew, on the other hand, advised Deng Xiaoping to stop exporting Communist ideologies to Southeast Asia, advice that according to Lee, Deng Xiaoping later followed.


In early 1979, Deng Xiaoping undertook an official visit to the United States, meeting President Jimmy Carter in Washington as well as several Congressmen.


Deng Xiaoping took personal charge of the final negotiations with the United States on normalizing foreign relations between the two countries.


Deng Xiaoping used Japan as an example of a rapidly progressing power that set a good example for China economically.


Deng Xiaoping responded to the Western sanctions following the Tiananmen Square protests by adopting the "twenty-four character guidelines" for China's international affairs: observe carefully, secure China's positions, calmly cope with the challenges, hide China's capacities and bide its time, be good at maintaining a low profile, and never claim leadership.


Deng Xiaoping's hand-picked successors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, faithfully followed his course.


At the outset of China's reform and opening up, Deng Xiaoping set out the Four Cardinal Principles that had to be maintained in the process: the leadership of the Communist Party, the socialist road, Marxism, and the dictatorship of the proletariat.


Deng Xiaoping worked with his team, especially as Zhao Ziyang, who in 1980 replaced Hua Guofeng as premier, and Hu Yaobang, who in 1981 did the same with the post of party chairman.


Deng Xiaoping thus took the reins of power and began to emphasize the goals of "four modernizations".


Deng Xiaoping announced an ambitious plan of opening and liberalizing the economy.


The war puzzled outside observers, but Xiaoming Zhang argues that Deng Xiaoping had multiple goals: stopping Soviet expansion in the region, obtain American support for his four modernizations, and mobilizing China for reform and integration into the world economy.


Deng Xiaoping sought to strengthen his control of the PLA, and demonstrate to the world that China was capable of fighting a real war.


In March 1981, Deng Xiaoping deemed a military exercise necessary for the PLA, and in September, the North China Military Exercise took place, becoming the largest exercise conducted by the PLA since the founding of the People's Republic.


Deng Xiaoping emphasized the recruitment of much better educated young men who would be able to handle the advanced technology when it finally arrived.


In 1986, Deng Xiaoping explained to Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes that some people and regions could become prosperous first in order to bring about common prosperity faster.


In October 1987, at the Plenary Session of the National People's Congress, Deng Xiaoping was re-elected as Chairman of the Central Military Commission, but he resigned as Chairman of the Central Advisory Commission and was succeeded by Chen Yun.


The goals of Deng Xiaoping's reforms were summed up by the Four Modernizations, those of agriculture, industry, science and technology, and the military.


Deng Xiaoping argued that China was in the primary stage of socialism and that the duty of the party was to perfect so-called "socialism with Chinese characteristics", and "seek truth from facts".


Unlike Hua Guofeng, Deng Xiaoping believed that no policy should be rejected outright simply because it was not associated with Mao.


Unlike more conservative leaders such as Chen Yun, Deng Xiaoping did not object to policies on the grounds that they were similar to ones that were found in capitalist nations.


Deng Xiaoping openly supported it and it was later adopted nationally.


Deng Xiaoping sustained Mao's legacy to the extent that he stressed the primacy of agricultural output and encouraged a significant decentralization of decision making in the rural economy teams and individual peasant households.


One of the first items of the Deng Xiaoping reforms was to prevent reallocation of profits except through taxation or through the banking system; hence, the reallocation in state-owned industries was somewhat indirect, thus making them more or less independent from government interference.


In short, Deng Xiaoping's reforms sparked an industrial revolution in China.


From 1980, Deng Xiaoping attracted foreign companies to a series of Special Economic Zones, where foreign investment and market liberalization were encouraged.


From 1980 onwards, Deng Xiaoping led the expansion of the economy, and in political terms took over negotiations with the United Kingdom to return the territory of Hong Kong, meeting personally with then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.


The return of these two territories was based on a political principle formulated by Deng Xiaoping himself called "one country, two systems", which refers to the co-existence under one political authority of areas with different economic systems of communism and capitalism.


Deng Xiaoping continued the plans initiated by Hua Guofeng to restrict birth to only one child, limiting women to one child under pain of administrative penalty.


The protests were sparked by the death of Hu Yaobang, a reformist official backed by Deng Xiaoping but ousted by the Eight Elders and the conservative wing of the politburo.


Many ordinary people in Beijing believed that Deng Xiaoping had ordered the intervention, but political analysts do not know who was actually behind the order.


However, Deng Xiaoping's daughter defends the actions that occurred as a collective decision by the party leadership.


Old-timers like Deng Xiaoping Fei aimed to deal "strictly with those inside the party with serious tendencies toward bourgeois liberalization", and more than 30,000 communist officers were deployed to the task.


Zhao was placed under house arrest by hardliners and Deng Xiaoping himself was forced to make concessions to them.


Deng Xiaoping soon declared that "the entire imperialist Western world plans to make all socialist countries discard the socialist road and then bring them under the monopoly of international capital and onto the capitalist road".


Deng Xiaoping privately told former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau that factions of the Communist Party could have grabbed army units and the country had risked a civil war.


Deng Xiaoping continued to be widely regarded as the de facto leader of the country, believed to have backroom control despite no official position apart from being chairman of the Chinese Contract Bridge Association, and appointed Hu Jintao as Jiang's successor at the 14th Party Congress in 1992.


Deng Xiaoping was recognized officially as "the chief architect of China's economic reforms and China's socialist modernization".


Deng Xiaoping broke earlier conventions of holding offices for life.


Deng Xiaoping was often referred to as simply Comrade Xiaoping, with no title attached.


The nationally televised funeral, which was a simple and relatively private affair attended by the country's leaders and Deng Xiaoping's family, was broadcast on all cable channels.


UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Deng Xiaoping was to be remembered "in the international community at large as a primary architect of China's modernization and dramatic economic development".


The Dalai Lama voiced regret that Deng Xiaoping died without resolving questions over Tibet.


Memorials to Deng Xiaoping have been low profile compared to other leaders, in keeping with Deng Xiaoping's image of pragmatism.


The statue is 6 metres high, with an additional 3.68-meter base, and shows Deng Xiaoping striding forward confidently.


Deng Xiaoping is dressed casually, sitting on a chair and smiling.


The documentary, Deng Xiaoping, released by CCTV in January 1997, presents his life from his days as a student in France to his "Southern Tour" of 1993.


Deng Xiaoping has been called the "architect of contemporary China" and is widely considered to have been one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.


Deng Xiaoping was the Time Person of the Year in 1978 and 1985, the third Chinese leader and the fourth time for a communist leader to be selected.


Deng Xiaoping is remembered primarily for the economic reforms he initiated while paramount leader of the People's Republic of China, which pivoted China towards a market economy, led to high economic growth, increased standards of living of hundreds of millions, expanded personal and cultural freedoms, and substantially integrated the country into the world economy.


Deng Xiaoping is credited with reducing the cult of Mao Zedong and with bringing an end to the chaotic era of the Cultural Revolution.


However, Deng Xiaoping is remembered for human rights and for numerous instances of political violence.


Deng Xiaoping helped establish China's nine-year compulsory education, and revived China's political reforms.