China’s Capitalist Revolution (Part 9 of 9)

Because of what happened in Tiananmen Square, foreign investors pulled out of China. Western businessmen fled. Foreign leaders and Deng’s Western friends criticized him.

The Maoists were back in power. Jiang Zemin said private companies had benefited from the reforms but in the turmoil, they supported the students against the government. We need to destroy them.

Deng Xiaoping was forced into retirement and his policies were reversed. Peasants were encouraged to reform collectives and private business was banned from competing with state enterprises.   The Maoists decided to clean house and close China’s doors to the West.

Desperate to save his reforms, at 87, Deng set out to save his reforms.  He went to Shanghai to encouraged supporters there to speak out.  When they did, the Maoists wanted to know who was criticizing them in the newspapers. Deng said he was responsible—don’t attack anyone but me.  Then Deng met with his old comrades in the People’s Liberation Army and the army announced they would protect Deng’s reforms and anyone who resisted would be dealt with.

Deng said, “Without reform and the Open Door policy, economic growth and improved living standards —any path for our country will be a dead end.” Deng’s call to arms worked.  In 1994, Jiang Zemin switched sides to support Deng. It was okay to get rich again.

Deng Xiaoping died in 1997. The country he inherited from Mao was the one of the world’s poorest. Today, it is one of the wealthiest.

Return to China’s Capitalist Revolution Part 8 or start with Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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3 Responses to China’s Capitalist Revolution (Part 9 of 9)

  1. Terry K Chen says:

    I’m not really sure why some western sources like to say that Deng was forced from power. Simply put, no one had the credentials or the authority to force deng into retirement. Deng had the same amount of power that Mao had(meaning that he had ALL the power) and it would take a lot more than a few angry maoists to overthrow him. It is widely known about Chinese that Deng Xiaoping gave up his position twice. The first batch of leaders were not to his liking, so he decided to reclaim his position and hand-pick a second batch of leaders. Deng did so because he believed that power corrupts and it would not be good if any person had all the power for too long. However, during all this time Deng had full control over the army. Deng visited Shanghai because he wanted to see for himself how prosperous the city is. He criticized the CCP because he was not satisfied with how they were running the country and had they not followed his advice Deng would have stripped them of their power.

    • “Deng did so because he believed that power corrupts and it would not be good if any person had all the power for too long. ”

      Wise man. Deng’s behavior and his words support the fact that he believed that power corrupts. If anyone was the “real” George Washington of China, it was Deng Xiaoping.

  2. Terry Chen says:

    Deng was not forced from power, he just gave up his position. There was a bit of unrest within the party but his power remained intact. His godlike status ensured that he was still the leader in everyone’s hearts. Jiang zemin was pretty much hand-picked by him and deng could have sidelined any leader within the party that he wanted to. In the aftermath of the tiananmen incident, deng sidelined all the leaders in favor of the students(including zhao ziyang). Apart from that, the China’s UN representatives reported to him, not anyone else.

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