Sep 9, 2011

To understand China one needs to understand Deng Xiaoping

Deng led a long, complicated life that included time in France and the Soviet Union as a young man, years as a military leader and Communist Party official, and a long, fraught relationship with Mao Zedong, who twice purged Deng but never destroyed him. Vogel describes Deng as a pragmatic politician who led China’s embrace of technological innovation and worked to overcome the damage of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, but who also approved the crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. He wasn’t usually the source of the ideas that were transforming China, but he was the only person equipped to implement them. 

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