Summary of How Should We Remember Deng Xiaoping’s Legacy?

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How Should We Remember Deng Xiaoping’s Legacy? summary
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Many experts call Deng Xiaoping (1904–1997) “the architect” and argue that his idea of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” built modern China. A controversial figure in the West – he was one of the leaders who presided over the butchery that occurred in Tiananmen Square in 1989 – there’s no question that he opened up China to a new era of economic prosperity after quelling the chaos of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Readers who want to understand how Deng’s policies continue to bear relevance in today’s China will find this article intriguing and informative.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Deng Xiaoping’s policies helped China open up,
  • Why Deng warned against the rhetoric of the Chinese far left and
  • How current Chinese leadership can continue to honor Deng’s legacy.

About the Author

Editors of Caixin – which offers independent investigative financial journalism from China – published this opinion piece.



Deng Xiaoping was born in 1904 and died in 1997. He first emerged as a leader in the late 1970s, when the effects of Mao’s Cultural Revolution still plagued China. He remained influential in Chinese politics until the early 1990s. He exhorted the Chinese people to “emancipate the mind, seek truth from facts,” thereby guiding a shift away from class struggle and toward economic reform. Deng developed goals for China’s growth, creating a “Three-Step Development Strategy” that led to economic growth.

In the early 1990s, five years...

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