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CHINA AFTER MAO: The Deng Xiaoping Revolution

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1 CHINA AFTER MAO: The Deng Xiaoping Revolution 1979-97
The Abandonment of Maoism

2 Significance of Deng Xiaoping
KEY DATES DURING DENG’S REIGN: 1976 Gang of 4 Arrested Deng Returns to Prominence 1978 3rd Plenum Convenes 1979 Pro-Democracy Movement Begins…Wei Jingsheng Arrested 1981 Sentencing of the Gang of 4 1986 Protests in China’s Leading Universities 1989 Death of Hu Yaobang Mikhail Gorbachev visits China Pro-democracy demonstration crushed in Beijing 1997 Death of Deng Xiaoping Soon after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, Deng Xiaoping emerged as the leading figure in Chinese politics. Without ever openly denouncing his predecessor, Deng set about changing Mao’s policies and setting China on a new path. So important were the changes he introduced that they merit being called a revolution.

3 Deng’s Aims in Post-Mao China
Deng Comes Back to Prominence by 1978 Legacy is one of greatness in terms of leadership China Transformed Under Deng Within 2 years of Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping, having survived denunciation and exile during the Cultural Revolution, had returned to become the dominant force in China. By the time of his death in 1997, Deng would prove to have been as remarkable a leader as Mao. Believing that Mao’s economic policies had been fundamentally mistaken, Deng restructured Chinese agriculture and industry in such a way that he laid the basis for China’s development as a modern nation, capable of competing commercially with the advanced nations of the world

4 Deng’s Victory After Mao’s Death
Deng Victim of Cultural Revolution Deng’s Strengths: Long experience at the heart of Chinese politics Exceptional political skills Popularity within the CCP Support amongst leading party officials in the center and in the provinces Contacts with key military leaders Success in ending the famine in the 1960s Impressive economic planning record, worked with Zhou Enlai in drafting a program for national economic recovery International Experience, served as Enlai’s principal assistant from Between 1976 and 1978 Deng was able to outmanoeuvre the other contenders for power, principally the Gang of Four, who were arrested and imprisoned. It had largely been due to the influence of the Gang of Four during the Cultural Revolution that Deng Xiaoping had been humiliated, stripped of power, and sent for “corrective education”. In 1966, he had been branded by the Gang of Four and Mao as being guilty of adopting a bourgeois reactionary line and for being a revisionist. It’s important to remember that Deng Xiaoping, along with Liu Shaoqi had played a prominent role in correcting the economic disaster created by the Great Leap Forward program. IN Mao’s attempt to recapture his hold on the party, those who went against his vision - Deng and Liu - became clear targets. During the Cultural Revolution, Liu Shaoqi and Deng were publicly humiliated and Liu died under dificult prison conditions. Deng lost his position in the government, was denounced and in 1969 sent to Jiangxi Province for “corrective labor”. By July 1977, he had resumed his role as CCP General Secretary. A year later at a full party meeting, Deng was acknowledged as China’s outstanding spokesman. Deng’s return to prominence rested on a number of strengths and weaknesses that his opponents could not match.

5 The Third Plenum 1978: The PRC’s Turning Point
Third Party Plenum: 1st Major Meeting Since Mao’s Death Plenum Passing Historic Resolutions: CCP Reconciles with Past and Looks to Future Accepts Deng’s Four Modernizations Plan Cultural Revolution Dead Deng Becomes Paramount Leader The first major meeting of the CCP to gather after the death of Mao occurred in 1978 and is known as the Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the CCP, held in December This meeting proved to be a landmark in China’s Post-Mao reformation. The decisions reached at the plenum meant a new departure for the PRC and included: 1) a resolution to “restore party democracy” and rehabilitate those that had been wrongly condemned during the Maoist purges of the 1960s and 1970s; 2) confirmation of Deng’s leadership of China by appointing him as chairman of the People’s Political Consultative Conference (PPCC), and organization that was given principal responsibility for economic reform in China; 3) acceptance of Deng’s ‘Four Modernizations as the basis for China’s development (the 4 Modernizations were plans for the reform of agriculture, industry, defense and education that Deng had been working on since the 1960s but could not introduce until Mao had gone. The resolutions of the Third Plenum clearly meant that the Cultural Revolution had been abandoned. Deng’s personal success at the plenum,in obtaining full support of the CCP for his proposals, also showed that he was now the outstanding figure in Chinese politics. This soon was recognized by the CCP by its conferring on him the honorary titel of ‘Paramount Leader’ a title of no specific function attached to it but all the more powerful maybe because of that. Deng declined to accept formal positions knowing that he had the influence and connections to remain in control of developments. He was now in a position to begin what would become know as the Deng Revolution.

6 Dealing with Mao’s Legacy
Deng’s Great Success in the 1960s Realization that Mao’s Policies Were Bad for Country Aware of the Legacy of Mao. How to Move Forward? So, how did Deng plan to undermine Mao’s policies and reputation? Since the early 1960s, when he tackled the famine in China (Deng along with Liu Shaoqi concluded that the only workable solution to the food crisis caused by the Great Leap Forward was to allow private farming to operate again, providing peasant farmers with an incentive to produce surplus stocks…an unspoken admission that the commune system had failed…this undermined Mao’s collectivist principle on which he had set store as a Communust revolutionary). Deng had regarded the policies of the Great Leap Forward as basically wrong: he believed they had produced not growth, but stagnation and decline. Now that he was in power he was resolved to remove the remnants of Maoism that stood in the path of China’s economic progress. However, Deng was very conscious that Mao’s impact had been so powerful that if he were to suddenly be denounced it would bewilder and disrupt China. Deng judged that the Chinese people would not be able to understand an attack on the Great Helmsman, the leader who had come to be regarded as a god. Stalin’s record and reputation had become reviled within 3 years of his death in Bu there would be no equivalent to de-Stalinization in China. Any criticism of Mao would have to be muted and subtle.

7 The Central Committee Resolution of 1981: 70% Right, 30% Wrong?
Deng Careful Not to Implicate Himself or Current Leaders Mao’s Reputation Subject to Drip Effect Party Resolution Comes to Terms with Mao’s Legacy Justification for new path Deng was also well aware that any attack on Mao would by implication be an attack on those that had served him. This would include all current leaders of the government and the party. Far safer, therefore, was to subject Mao’s reputation to a so-called drip effect” or gradual erosion of reputation rather than formally attacking it. A CCP Central Committee resolution of 1981, drafted by Deng Xiaoping himself, revealed the compromise the party was obliged to seek. It observed that Mao Zedong had indeed been a great leader in his day, but one who had made errors which China was now entitled to correct. “It is true that he made gross mistakes during the Cultural Revolution, but, if we judge his activities as a whole, his contribution to the Chinese Revolution far outweighs his mistakes’. The party then declared that Mao in his policies had been 70% correct and 30% wrong. This subtle mathematical formula left Deng and the government free to abandon Mao’s policies while appearing to be loyal to his memory.

8 The Trial of the Gang of Four: 1980-81
Trial Begins in 1980 Way for Deng to Condemn Mao and Honor Him Gang of Four Charged for Deaths and Persecution Although they had been arrested in 1976, the trial for the Gang of Four did not begin until 1980 with sentencing in This key resolution came after another event that provided Deng and the reformers with a very convenient opportunity to condemn the old Maoist ways while still appearing to honor Mao himself. In November 1980, over four years after their arrest, the Gang of Four was at last put on trial. The aim was to use them as scapegoats to explain why China had gone wrong. The general accusation was that they had betrayed Mao and the Chinese revolution. Among the specific charges against them was that during the course of the Cultural Revolution they had been individually and collectively responsible for the deaths of 35,000 people and that they had framed and persecuted a further three-quarters of a million people.

9 Gang of Four Trial I was Mao’s bitch. Whoever he told me to bite, I bit. Jiang-Qing, the principal defendant and wife of Mao, remained totally defiant, refusing to accept the charges against her and shouting abuse at the accusers. She asserted that she had had Mao Zedong’s support in everything she had done and that the Cultural Revolution had been carried out in accordance with his wishes. At one point she cried out: Her spirited resistance throughout her 3-month triak embarrased the court, but it didn’t save her. The trials ended in January 1981 with guilty verdicts for all charged. Jiang was sentenced to death. Subsequently her sentence was reduced to life imprisonment in order to give her time to repent. But she was not the repenting kind, athe the time of her death death 10 years in 1991 she was still angrily proclaiming her innocence. Whatever the weakness as a public relation’s exercise, the trials marked a fitting final closure of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. The sentencing of the Gang of Four was the new regime’s way of admitting that Mao’s extraordinary political and social experiment had been a ghastly and deadly failure.

Failure and arrest of the Gang of Four Deng Xiaoping outmanouvers opponents and comes to power The Third Plenum 1978 begins the destruction of Mao’s Legacy Trial of the Gang of Four in 1981 marks the end of Maoism The Central Committee resolution of 1981

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