China

4 modernizations and Tiananmen Square Massacre

4 Modernizations

  • The Four Modernizations were goals first set forth by Zhou Enlai in 1963, and enacted by Deng Xiaoping, starting in 1978, to strengthen the fields of agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology in China. The Four Modernizations were adopted as a means of rejuvenating 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. The Four Modernizations were designed to make China a great economic power by the early 21st century. These reforms essentially stressed economic self-reliance. The People's Republic of China decided to accelerate the modernization process by stepping up the volume of foreign trade by opening up its markets, especially the purchase of machinery from Japan and the West. By participating in such export-led growth, China was able to speed up its economic development through foreign investment, a more open market, access to advanced technologies, and management experience.

Deng Xiaoping

He was the paramount leader of China from 1978 until his retirement in 1992. After Mao Zedong's death, Deng led his country through far-reaching market-economy reforms. While Deng never held office as the head of state, head of government or General Secretary (that is, the leader of the Communist Party), he nonetheless was considered the "paramount leader" of the People's Republic of China from December 1978 to 1992. Born into a peasant background in Guang'an, Sichuan province, Deng studied and worked in France in the 1920s, where he was influenced by Marxism-Leninism. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1923. Upon his return to China he worked as a political commissar for the military in rural regions and was considered a "revolutionary veteran" of the Long March.[1] Following the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Deng worked in Tibet and other southwestern regions to consolidate Communist control. Deng was a major supporter of Mao Zedong in the early 1950s. As the party's Secretary-General, Deng became instrumental in China's economic reconstruction following the Great Leap Forward in the early 1960s. His economic policies, however, were at odds with Mao's political ideologies. As a result, he was purged twice during the Cultural Revolution, but regained prominence in 1978 by outmaneuvering Mao's chosen successor, Hua Guofeng.
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Tiananmen Square Massacre

The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 were student-led popular demonstrations in Beijing which took place in the spring of 1989 and received broad support from city residents, exposing deep splits within China's political leadership. The protests were forcibly suppressed by hardline leaders who ordered the military to enforce martial law in the country's capital. The crackdown that initiated on June 3–4 became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre or the June 4 Massacre as troops with assault rifles and tanks inflicted casualties on unarmed civilians trying to block the military's advance towards Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing, which students and other demonstrators had occupied for seven weeks. The number of civilian deaths has been estimated at anywhere between hundreds and thousands. The Chinese government condemned the protests as a counter-revolutionary riot, and has largely prohibited discussion and remembrance of the events. Their goals were "A Communist Party Without Corruption", freedom of the press, and freedom of speech. It lasted from April 15, 1989 - June 4, 1989, which was 1 month, 2 weeks and 6 days. This event caused political corruption and resulted in many deaths and people being promoted and purged. The government initially took a conciliatory stance toward the protesters. The student-led hunger strike galvanized support for the demonstrators around the country and the protests spread to 400 cities by mid-May. Ultimately, China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and other party elders resolved to use force. Party authorities declared martial law on May 20, and mobilized as many as 300,000 troops to Beijing. In the aftermath of the crackdown, the government conducted widespread arrests of protesters and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, expelled foreign journalists and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the domestic press. The police and internal security forces were strengthened. Officials deemed sympathetic to the protests were demoted or purged. Zhao Ziyang was ousted in a party leadership reshuffle and replaced with Jiang Zemin. Political reforms were largely halted and economic reforms did not resume until Deng Xiaoping's 1992 southern tour. The Chinese government was widely condemned internationally for the use of force against the protesters. Western governments imposed economic sanctions and arms embargoes. People around the world were aware of the protests and their suppression because of unprecedented media coverage of them. That coverage is examined in the USC U.S.-China Institute documentary Assignment: China "Tiananmen Square".