Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping and Jimmy Carter at the arrival ceremony for the Vice Premier of China. - NARA - 183157-restored(cropped).jpg

In office
13 September 1982 – 2 November 1987
Deputy Bo Yibo
General Secretary Hu Yaobang
Zhao Ziyang (Acting)
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Chen Yun

In office
Party Commission:
28 June 1981 – 9 November 1989
State Commission:
18 June 1983 – 19 March 1990
Deputy Ye Jianying
Zhao Ziyang
Yang Shangkun
Preceded by Hua Guofeng
Succeeded by Jiang Zemin

In office
8 March 1978 – 17 June 1983
Preceded by Zhou Enlai
Succeeded by Deng Yingchao

Born 22 August 1904(1904-08-22)
Guang'an, Sichuan
Died 19 February 1997 (aged 92)
Nationality Chinese
Political party Communist Party of China (1933–1997)
All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) (until 1933)
Spouse Zhang Xiyuan (zh) (1928–1929)
Jin Weiying (zh) (1931–1939)
Zhuo Lin (1939–1997; his death)
Children Deng Lin
Deng Pufang
Deng Nan
Deng Rong
Deng Zhifang

Deng Xiaoping (UK /ˈdʌŋ ˈsjpɪŋ/[1]; US /ˈʃpɪŋ/[2]; 22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997),[3] courtesy name Xixian,[4] was a Chinese politician. He was the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China from 1978 until his retirement in 1989. After Chairman Mao Zedong's death, Deng led his country through far-reaching market-economy reforms. While Deng never held office as the head of state, head of government or General Secretary (that is, the leader of the Communist Party), he nonetheless was responsible for economic reforms and an opening to the global economy. During his paramount leadership, his official state positions were Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1978–1983 and Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China from 1983–1990, while his official party positions were Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1977–1982 and Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China from 1981–1989.

Born into a peasant background in Guang'an, Sichuan province, Deng studied and worked in France in the 1920s, where he became a follower of Marxism–Leninism. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1923. Upon his return to China he joined the party organization in Shanghai, then was a political commissar for the Red Army in rural regions and by the late 1930s was considered a "revolutionary veteran" because he participated in the Long March.[5] Following the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, Deng worked in Tibet and the southwest region to consolidate Communist control.

As the party's Secretary General in the 1950s, Deng presided over anti-rightist campaigns and became instrumental in China's economic reconstruction following the Great Leap Forward of 1957–1960. However, his economic policies caused him to fall out of favor with Mao, and he was purged twice during the Cultural Revolution. Following Mao's death in 1976, Deng outmanoeuvred the late chairman's chosen successor Hua Guofeng in December 1978. Inheriting a country beset with social conflict, disenchantment with the Communist Party and institutional disorder resulting from the leftist policies of the Mao era, Deng became the paramount figure of the "second generation" of party leadership. Some called him "the architect"[6] of a new brand of thinking that combined socialist ideology with pragmatic market economy whose slogan was "socialism with Chinese characteristics". Deng opened China to foreign investment and the global market, policies that are credited with developing China into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world for several generations and raising the standard of living of hundreds of millions.[7] Deng was also criticized for ordering the crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, but praised for his reaffirmation of the reform program in his Southern Tour of 1992 and the reversion of Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997. He was the Time Person of the Year in 1978 and 1985, the second Chinese leader (after Chiang Kai-shek) and the sixth communist leader (after Joseph Stalin, picked twice, and Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh) to be selected. He died in February 1997, aged 92.


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