History Of China

Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese communist leader, who was the most powerful figure in the People’s Republic of China from the late 1970s until his death in 1997. From the mid-1950s Deng was a major policy maker in both foreign and domestic affairs. He became closely allied with pragmatist leaders such as Lui Shaqui, who stressed the use of material incentives and the formation of skilled technical and managerial elites in China’s quest for economic development. Deng came into increasing conflict with Mao who stressed egalitarian policies and revolutionary enthusiasm as the key to economic growth, in opposition to Deng’s emphasis on individual self-interest. Deng was attacked during the cultural revolution by radical supporters of Mao. He was stripped of his high party and government posts sometime in the years 1967–69, after which he disappeared from public view. In 1973, Deng was reinstated under the sponsorship of Premier Zhou Enlai and made deputy premier. In 1975 he also became vice-chairman of the party’s Central Committee, a member of its Political Bureau, and chief of the general staff.

The Tiananmen Square Massacre

The Tiananmen Square massacre took place in Peking's (Beijing) Tiananmen Square on June 3rd, 1989. Several hundred civilians were shot dead by the Chinese Army during a military protest. Tanks drove through the streets and fired randomly on unarmed protesters. Local residents helped get the injured to nearby hospitals. The residents were shocked by the army's extreme response to a peaceful protest. the demonstrators that were mainly students, had occupied the square for seven weeks and had refused to move until the government agreed to a democratic reform. The protests began with a march by students in memory of former party leader Hu Yaobang, who had died a week before. But as the days passed, millions of people from all walks of life joined in, upset by widespread corruption and calling for democracy. The military tried to persuade the protesters to leave, but when they didn't leave the army got violent. Over the course of the day, the government warned that it would do whatever it thought necessary to bring down the "social chaos". Even though the violence was expected, the actions of the military shocked people around the world. The army shot blindly into the crowd, killing at random, protesters and civilians.

The 4 Modernizations

The four modernizations were goals first set by Zhou Enlai in 1963, and enacted by Deng Xiaoping, starting in 1978, to strengthen the fields of agriculture, industry, national defense, science and technology in China. The Four Modernizations were adopted as a means of reconstructing China's economy in 1978 following the death of Mao Zedong, and were among the defining features of Deng Xiaoping's tenure as head of the party. They were introduced as early as January 1963, at the Conference on Scientific and Technological Work held in Shanghai that month. After Zhou's death and Mao’s soon thereafter, Deng Xiaoping assumed control of the party in late 1978. The science and technology modernization although understood by Chinese leaders as being key to the transformation of industry and the economy, proved to be more of a theoretical goal versus an achievable objective. The four modernizations were designed to make China a great economic power by the early 21st century. These reforms stressed economic self-reliance. The People's Republic of China decided to accelerate the modernizations process by increasing trade with foreign countries by opening up its markets.