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China's Communist Revolution - A Glossary
Deng Xaioping
Deng Xaioping
A veteran of the Long March, Deng Xiaoping joined the Party Central Committee in 1945. A rapidly-rising pragmatist, in the Cultural Revolution he was attacked as the "Number two Capitalist Roader" after Liu Shaoqi. He was reinstated by Zhou Enlai as deputy premier in 1973, but was purged again in 1976 after Zhou's death. When the Gang of Four were purged, Deng slowly led Mao Zedong's surviving opponents to power, pushing aside the chosen successor, Hua Guofeng, and erasing the cult surrounding Mao. He dominated both the party and government throughout the 1980s, instituting a variety of economic reforms aimed at decentralising China's economy and opening the country to international trade. He resigned from his last party post in 1989, after supporting the use of suppressive military force in the upheaval of Tiananmen Square. Deng Xiaoping died in 1997 after nine years in office.