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Communist Party of China>>The Centennial of the Birth of Deng Xiaoping>>Recollection
09:01, June 27, 2006

Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
A member of the Chinese Communist Party since his youth, Deng Xiaoping has rendered outstanding service to the Chinese people, throughout the revolution, during the development of the People's Republic and especially in recent years when, after the disastrous "cultural revolution", he succeeded in setting the country on the road to socialist modernization. he has proved to be far-sighted and persevering, a man of quick understanding and decisive action. the contribution he has made to the revolution, his courage as an innovator have earned his the trust of the Chinese people.

In his long career as a revolutionary Deng Xiaoping has enjoyed many victories and has also been through severe tests. On more than one occasion he was subjected to unjust attack simply because he refused to abandon correct views. this, however, only increase the respect in which he was h3eld, and ultimately he became the nation's chief policy-maker. the collective leadership which he now head has ushered China into a new historical period.

CHILDHOOD

At he turn of the century the Chinese nation was groaning in misery. Under the leadership of Dr.Sun yat-sen a resolution was brewing, and the country was on the eve of radical changes, It was in this turbulent time that Deng Xiaoping was born.

Deng's birthplace was Paifang Village in Xiexing township, Guang'an County, in the province of Sichuan. His childhood home was a traditional compound with one-storied housed surrounding a courtyard on three sides. It was in these tree-shaded, tile-roofed buildings that his forefathers had lived for three generations and that Deng Xixian - the future Deng Xiaoping - was born on August 22,1904.

his father, Deng Wenming, had studied at the Chengdu School of Law and Political Science during the last Xiaoping's mother, Dan by her family name, died early, leaving behind the eldest son Deng Xiaoping, his three younger brothers, an elder sister and two younger sisters.

At five the boy entered and old-fashioned private pre-school, at seven a modern primary school and in due course a middle school in his native county. It happened that in 1919, on the proposal of Wu Yezhang, a member of the Chongqing to prepare young people to go to France on a work-study program. After passing the entrance examinations, the boy was enrolled in the school.

In his teens Deng Xiaoping already had some simple patriotic ideas. After the may 4th Movement of 1919, he joined his schoolmate in a boycott of Japanese goods. But his understanding did not go beyond the slogan"save the country by industrialization", an idea popular among students at the time. his ardent hope was to go to France to learn industrial skills through work and study for the benefit of the country.

STUDY ABROAD

In the summer of 1920, Deng Xiaoping graduated from the Chongqing Preparatory School, filled with fervent hopes, he and 80 schoolmates boarded a ship for France (traveling steerage) and in October arrived in Marseilles. Deng, the youngest of all the Chinese students, had just turned 16.

Things did not turn our as he had hoped. He found that he had to spend most of his time working, and at the most unskilled jobs. Two months after his arrival he began to do odd jobs at the Le Creusot Iron and Steel plant in central France. Later he worked as a fitter in the Renault factory in the Paris suburb of Billancourt, as a fireman on locomotive and as a kitchen helper in restaurants. He barely earned enough to survive. He attended middle schools briefly in Bayeux and Chatillon.

It was shortly after the end of World War I, and the European countries had not yet recovered from the devastation. In France job-hunting was especially difficult because of the depressed economy. Even those Chinese students who were fortune enough to find jobs in big factories were paid only half the wages of the ordinary French workers. Worse still, at this time Deng Xiaoping's family could no longer afford to send him money, so he had to scrape along on his own. His high hopes of studying abroad were crushed by the grim reality.

But new ideas were taking strong hold of the young man. thanks to the October Revolution in Russia, the workers' movement in France was gaining momentum, and Marxism and other schools of socialist thought were winning more and more adherents. A number of ideologically advanced Chinese students were starting to accept Marxism and take the revolutionary road. Under the influence of his seniors, Zhao Shiyan, Zhou Enlai and others, Deng began to study Marxism and do political propaganda work. In 1922 he joined the Communist Party of Chinese Youth in Europe (later the name was changed to the Chinese Socialist Youth League in Europe). In the second half of 1924 he joined the Chinese Communist Party and became one of the leading members of the General Branch of the Youth League in Europe. When he worked in Lyons the following year, the Party organization appointed him special representative to the Lyons Area Party Branch, where he directed the Party and League work as well as the Chinese workers' movement.

During the five years he spent in France, from age 16 to 21, Deng Xiaoping was transformed from a patriotic youth into a Marxist. It was the beginning of his revolutionary career. The Chinese Socialist Youth League in Europe published a mimeographed magazine, the Red Light, designed to help the Chinese comrades in France, Belgium and Germany to study theory. Deng not only co-edited and wrote articles for the journal but also cut stencils and did the mimeographing.

At about this time groups of Chinese Communist Party and Youth League members in Europe were going to the Soviet Union to study. In early 1926 Deng Xiaoping left France for Moscow. At first he entered the Communist University of the Toilers of the East, but shortly afterwards he transferred to the Sun yat-sen University. Named after the pioneer if the Chinese revolution, this university was intended to train personnel for the revolution. In China, meanwhile, a united front had been formed between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. Inspired by Dr. Sun's policy of alliance with Russia, co-operation with the Communist Party and assistance to peasants and workers, large numbers of Chinese young people with lofty ideals were arriving at the university to study. Today, Deng Xiaoping still remembers the two youngest students in his class - Feng Funeng, the eldest daughter of Feng Yuxiang, and Jiang Jingguo (Chiang Chingkuo), the eldest son of Chiang Kai-shek.

Deng spent a year at the Sun Yat-sen University, reading books and studying the basic theories of Marxism-Leninism. At this time Feng Yuexiang ,commander of the National Army in northwest China, arrived in the Soviet Union. He was preparing to join in the national revolution in China, so he asked the Communist International to send a number of its Chinese comrades to work in his army. Deng was one of the score of people selected. Traversing the deserts of Mongolia, he arrived in his homeland in the spring of 1927.

After six ears abroad, Deng Xiaoping was no longer the naive young man he had been before he left China. He was now a staunch revolutionary with a basic understanding of Marxism-Leninism and some experience of practical struggle.

THE EARLY YEARS AFTER THE RETURN

Deng returned on the eve of the breakdown of co-operation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, and the political situation was unstable. It was under these circumstances that in March 1927 he accepted the Party's assignment to go to Xi'an and work at the Sun-Yat-sen Military and political Academy. This was the first place where he carried out revolutionary activities in China. The Academy was officially under the general headquarters of Feng Yuxiang's National United Army; actually, however, it had been established by Liu Bojian and several other Communists. Deng Xiaoping served as Chief of the Political Section. political instructor and Secretary of the Communist Party organization in the Academy. The Academy trained a number of political aware junior officers as well as Party and political cadred. It sent some of its graduated to the Political cadres. It sent some of its graduated to the Political Security Corps of the Shaanxi Command of the National United Army, thus gradually building a Communist-led corps of revolutionaries within the army and laying the foundation for the communist-led uprising that took place in Weinan and Huaxian in Shaanxi in April and May 1928. Some future generals of the Northern Shaanxi Red Army were also graduated of the Academy.

In April 1927 an abrupt change occurred in China's political situation. In June Feng Yexiang ordered all the Communists in his army to assemble in Kaifeng in neighboring Henan Province to receive "training". Actually, this was only a pretext to get rid of them. Acting on Party instructions. Deng Xiaoping left Xi'an for Hankou in Hubei Province, where the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist party was located.

In Hankou he worked as a secretary for the central Committee. In the meantime, the political situation continued to deteriorate. Before long the Kuomintang government in Wuhan was openly attacking the Communist party. A grim reign of White terror descended on the country, forcing the Communist Party underground. It was at this time that Deng Xixian changed his name to Deng Xiaoping. On August 7 the Central Committee held an emergency meeting as a non-voting delegate. After the Central Committee secretly moved to Shanghai, the 23-year-old Deng was appointed chief secretary of the Central Committee, in charge of the general headquarters' documents, confidential work, communications and financial affairs. In June 1928, when the Party held its Sixth Congress in Moscow, he stayed behind to help Li Weihan and Ren Bishi, who had been left in charge of day-to-day affairs at headquarters.

BUILDING THE SEVENTH AND EIGHTH ARMIES OF THE RED ARMY

After Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Jingwei staged successive counter-revolutionary soups, the once-dynamic Great Revolution ended in failure. To save the revolution, the Communist Party launched a series of armed uprisings against the reactionary Kuomintang regime. In the summer of 1929 Li Mingrui and Yu Zuobo, who had just taken control of military and political power in Guangxi to direct the work of the local Party organizations and prepare for an armed uprising. This was the first time that Deng was independently undertaking the important responsibility of leading a region.

In Nanning Deng Xiaoping made contact with Yu Zuobo and Li Minrui under the alias of Deng Bin and began building revolutionary forces. In October Yu and Li's campaign against Chiang was defeated. Deng and Zhang Yunyi pulled the three Communist-controlled detachments out Nanning and led them to the Zuojiang and Youjiang areas. By the end of the month Deng was appointed Secretary of the Guangxi Front-line Committee of the Chinese Community Party.In December, together with Zhang Yunyi and Wei Baqun, he launched the Bose Uprising, founding the Youjiang Soviet Government and the Seventh Army of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and Secretary of its Front-line Committee. In February of the following year, along with Li Mingrui and Yu Zuoyu, he launched the Longzhou Uprising , creating the Zuojiang Soviet Government and the Eighth Army and serving as its Political Commissar. In the same month Deng returned secretly to Shanghai to report to the Central Committee. The Committee officially appointed Li Mingrui General Commander of both the Seventh and Eighth Armies and Deng Xiaoping their Political Commissar. In the Youjiang area they mobilized the masses to expropriate local tyrants, distribute land, carry out agrarian revolution and establish revolutionary governments at various levels. As a result, the local Red Army forces were expended to cover some 29 countries with a population totaling more than one million. thus the Youjiang area became one of the largest revolutionary bases.

At this time, however, the leaders of the Central Committee made some "Left" errors. In October 1930 a representative of the Committee came to Guangxi to push the Li Lisan line, asserting that a nationwide revolutionary high tide had set in. He accordingly ordered the Seventh Army (with which the Eighth Army had already been merged, after suffering military setbacks) to leave the base area immediately and to fight its way to Liuzhou, Guiling and Guangzhou. Deng Xiaoping doubted the possibility of taking these cities and expressed his disagreement. nevertheless, most of his comrades maintained that they should obey the representative's instructions, and Deng was therefore obliged to act accordingly. Eventually, owing to repeated defeats and heavy losses, the Army had to give up the plan of attacking the big cities.

After the representative of the Central Committee left, the Army, now reduced to less than ,000 men, was reorganized. The Front-line Committee decided to move the troops to Jiangxi Province to join the Red Army forces in the Central Revolutionary Base Area there. After the Seventh Army took the seat of Chongyi County in Jiangxi in February 1931, the Front-line Committee sent Deng to Shanghai to report to the Central Committee. In Shanghai he wrote a report in which he described in detail how things stood in the Seventh Army and analyzed the lessons they had learned from their uprisings.

BEFORE AND AFTER THE LONG MARCH

In the summer of 1931, with the approval of the Central Committee, Deng Xiaoping went to the Central revolutionary Base Area in southern Jiangxi and western Fujian, Fierce fighting was still going on there, as the Red Army was trying on smash Chiang Kai-shek's third "encirclement and suppression" campaign.

Before long Deng assumed the post of Party Committee Secretary of Ruijin County, which was adjacent to the Central Revolutionary Base Area. The first thing he did was to rehabilitate the cadres and ordinary people who had previously been wronged and called a Soviet congress to discuss the work of the county, thus arousing the people's enthusiasm and vastly improving the situation. In the winter of 1932 he was appointed Secretary of the Party Committee of Huichang, a key county, and began directing the work in the three countries of Huichang, Xunwu and Anyuan. Six months later he was transferred to the Jiangxi Provincial Party Committee as Director of its Propaganda Department.

Just at this point, the provisional central leadership, which had been following the line of "Left" adventuresome, moved its headquarters from Shanghai to the Central Revolutionary Base Area. Deng Xiaoping, Mao Zetan, Xie Weijun and Gu Bo, following the correct line represented by Ma Zedong, had all along been acting in accordance with the actual circumstances. They opposed the theory of "making cities the centre of the Chinese revolution" and advocated building strength in the vast rural areas, where the enemy's forces were relatively weak. They rejected military adventuresome in favor of luring the enemy in deep. They were against expanding the Red Army's main forces at the expense of local armed forces and urged that both be expanded simultaneously. They opposed the "Left" land-distribution policy which would have left former middle and rich peasants destitute. In view of these disagreements, the provisional central leadership waged a struggle against them. Deng was removed from the post of Director of the Propaganda Department of the Jiangxi Provincial Party Committee and given the most serious warning. Soon he was sent to the nancun District Party Committee in outlying Le'an County to work as an ordinary inspector.

However, Wang Jiaxiang, Director of the General Political Department of the Red Army, and Luo Ronghuan, Director of the Organization Division, knew Deng Xiaoping well. They sent him to the General Political Department to serve as its secretary-general. Soon afterwards he was assigned to work in the Propaganda Division of the Department, where he was made editor-in-chief of the official organ Red Star. This journal, which offered both news and articles on a variety of subjects, never ceased publication throughout the war years. It was hailed as the "Red Army's instructor on Party work".

In October 1934, because of the failure of the fifth campaign against "encirclement and suppression", the Central Red Army was forced to begin the Long March. Deng Xiaoping took the post of chief secretary of the Central Committee for the second tine and attended the Zunyi Meeting, and event that marked a turning point in the history of the Party. After the First and the Fourth Front Armies of the Red Army joined forces, he became Chief of the Propaganda Division of the First Army Group's Political department. After arriving in northern Shaanxi, he took part in the Red Army's Eastern Expedition to neighbouring Shanxi Province. After the conclusion of the expedition he became Deputy and then Director of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

ON THE BATTLEFIELD DURING THE WAR OF RESISTANCE AGAINST JAPANESE AGGRESSION

In 1937 the Japanese imperialists launched a full-scale war of aggression against China. In the interest of the whole nation, the Chinese Communist Party worked hard to bring about a second period of co-operation with the Kuomingtang, thus achieving nationwide unity in resistance. In accordance with the agreement between the two sides, the Chinese Workers' and Peasant' Red Army was reorganized as the Eighth Route Army of the national Revolutionary Army and marched to the front. Deng Xiaoping was appointed Deputy Director of the Political Department of the eighth Route Army and, shortly afterwards, Political Commissar of its 129th Division, of which Liu Bocheng was commander.

The 129th Division drove deep into the rear of the Japanese-occupied areas, established itself in the Tailing Mountains and spread out towards the plains. Bordering on the three provinces of Shanxi, Hefei and Henan, this mountain range, known in ancient times as " the ridge of the earth", had long been a strategic region contested by rival armies in north China. high and perilous, it was easy to defend but difficult to attack.After consolidating their positions in the Tailing Mountains, Deng Xiaoping and Liu Bocheng divided their troops into small detachments to mobilize the masses, organize anti-Japanese armed forces and set up local democratic governments. Having established an anti-Japanese base in the Shanxi-Hebei-Henan border area, they led their troops east across the Beiping-hankou Railway into the southern Hebei plains, where they established the Southern Hebei Anti-Japanese Base Area. At the same time they set up the Taiyue and Hebei-Shangdong-Henan base areas.

When the war entered a stalemate, changes took place within the anti-Japanese camp. Some diehard reactionaries in the Kuomintang began to create friction behind enemy lines, attacking Eighth Route Army encampments and killing officers and men. The Eighth Route Army was this placed in the dangerous position of being caught between two fires. In December 1939 the Kuomintang diehards launched the first anti-Communist onslaught: the troops under Zhu Huaibing, commander of the Kuomintang's 97th Army, mounted large-scale offensive against the Taihang Mountain region where the General headquarters of the Eighth Route Army and the 129th division were located. In March 1940, driven beyond the limits of forbearance, liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping ordered their troops to rise in counter-attack, and in four days of fighting and with co-ordinated efforts of the troops from the Shanxi-Qahar-Hebei Military Command, they wiped out Zhu huaibing's whole army and a number of miscellaneous troops. or a total of 10,000 men. the defeat of this Kuomintang onslaught enabled the Eighth Route Army to concentrate on fighting the Japanese aggressors and building up its base areas in the enemy's rear. Beginning in August 1940, liu and Deng, with 38 regiments under their command ( not including local forces), participated in the" Hundred- Regiment Campaign". fighting 529 operations, big and small, they dealt heavy blows to the Japanese and puppet troops and greatly strengthened the whole nation's confidence in victory.

In 1941 the war of resistance behind enemy lines in north China entered the most difficult stage, when the Japanese troops concentrated their attacks on the rear. They launched a campaign to "tighten public security" there, adopted a "burn all, kill all, loot all" policy and built a network of blockhouses to encircle the army and people of the base areas. For several years on end the enemy's incessant "mopping-up" operations, together with natural calamities, placed the base areas in an extremely difficult position. In September 1942, in addition to his post of Political Commissar of the 129th Division, Deng was appointed Secretary of the Taihang sub-Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. In October 1943, when Peng dehuai, Acting Secretary of the Northern Bureau of the Central Committee, and liu Bocheng returned to Yan'an to tale part in the Party's rectification movements, Deng replaced Peng as Acting Secretary. In that capacity he was in charge of the work of the General Headquarters of the Eighth Route Army and bore responsibility for leading the struggle of the army and people in the base areas behind enemy lines. employing the tactic of advancing when the enemy advanced, he launched guerrilla operations against the enemy-occupied areas and especially against communication lines. Under his command the army smashed a series of ruthless "mopping-up" operations by the Japanese and puppet troops. He led the army and the people of the whole region in successful efforts to build up Party organizations, armed units and local governments, to conduct a Party rectification movement, to secure fewer and better troops and simpler administration, to reduce rents and interest rates and to launch a large-scale production campaign.

With intimate knowledge of the actual conditions, Deng Xiaoping wrote many articles and speeches full of original ideas, demonstrating his ability as a strategist to grasp the overall situation and tackle complex problems. He put forward a series of specific policies and tactics for struggle against the enemy and enunciated the far-sighted principle of accumulating strength by all possible means to prepare for a strategic counter-offensive and for reconstruction after the war. A a meeting held by the Party School of the Northern Bureau of the Central Committee to mobilize party members for the rectification movement, he delivered a speech in which he gave a high evaluation to the Party's leader Mao Zedong, systematically explained Mao Zedong Thought - Marxism-Leninism as applied to conditions in China-and declared that the Party should take it as a guide.

During the anti-Japanese war Deng returned to Yan'an briefly on three occasions: in September 1938 to attend the Enlarged Sixth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee; in July 1939 to attend the enlarged meeting of the Political ?Bureau of the Central Committee and to marry Zhuo Lin (a revolutionary comrade working there) in August; and in June 1945 to attend the First Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, to which he had just been elected.

For 13 long years of war Deng Xiaoping and Liu Bocheng worked in close co-operation, and the two became fast friends. Later, Deng Xiaoping said:"People used to say that Liu and Deng were inseparable, and we did feel inseparable in our hearts. It was always a great pleasure for me to work and fight alongside Bocheng."

THE DECISIVE YEARS

After the surrender of Japan in August 1945, the Kuomintang reactionaries, in defiance of the strong desire of the entire nation for peace and reconstruction, launched a large-scale civil war with the intention of eliminating the Communist Party and the revolutionary forces under its leadership. Under the command of Mao Zedong, the army and the people in the liberated areas rose in resistance. This was the War of Liberation, a war of decisive importance in the history of China's democratic revolution.

Before launching all-out civil war, Chiang Kai-shek engaged in peace negotiations with the Communist Party, While at the same time stepping up war preparations and provoking incessant local fighting. At that time Deng Xiaoping was Secretary of the Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Bureau of the Central Committee and concurrently Political Commissar of the Shanxi-Hebei-shandong-Henan Military Command, of which Liu Bocheng was commander. Located in the central plains and crossed by the Beiping-Hankou, Tianjin-Pukou and Datong-Puzhou railways, the Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Liberated Area was of great strategic importance, as it blocked the Kuomintang troops' advance towards the liberated areas of north and northeast China. Accordingly, this area became the Kuomintang's first target.

In September 1945 Liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping directed the famous Battle of Shangdang, in the changzhi area in southeastern Shanxi. In this battle their troops defeated all the 13 divisions of Yan Xishan's army, numbering more than 35,000, which had intruded into the Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Liberated Area. Having thus consolidated their rear, they immediately marched east to intercept the Kuomintang troops that were advancing north along the Beiping-Hankou railway. At the Battle of Handan they routed two enemy armies and won over another, putting out of action a total of more than 40,000 Kuomintang army's attack on the liberated areas, greatly strengthened the position of the Communist Party in the negotiations in Chongqing and played an important part in hastening a cease-fire agreement. In June 1946 the Kuomintang tore up the cease-fire agreement and launched all-out civil war. The main force of the Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Field Army commanded by Liu and Deng engaged in mobile warfare on both sides of the Longhai Railway. Advancing and withdrawing over great distances, they fought nine big engagements in quick succession, at Longhai, Dingtao, Juye and other places, annihilating large numbers of Kuomintang effective.

The situation was still grave when the War of Liberation entered its second year. The Kuomintang army, though greatly weakened, was still nearly twice as large as the People's Liberation Army and vastly superior in arms and equipment. In an attempt to take the war deep into the liberated areas, it was making heavy attacks on key points in Shandong and northern Shaanxi. In light of the new overall situation, the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong decided to pass immediately from strategic defense to strategic offense, without waiting to have smashed the enemy attack and gained superiority over the Kuomintang. Focusing its attack on the Central Plains, where the enemy was weak, and shifting to exterior-line operations, the PAL would thrust directly to the enemy's rear, hoping to bring about a strategic change in the war situation.

According to the Central Committee's plan, it was the main force of the Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Field Army under the command of Liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping that was to carry out this crucial mission. At the end of June 1947, in a surprise move, Liu and Deng, with an army of 120,000, crossed the dangerous Huanghe (Yellow River) and entered southwestern Shandong. In 28 days of continuous fighting they routed 56,000 enemy troops, thus clearing the way for their march south. They decided that instead of leaving contingents behind to secure each city they took, they would press forward by forced marches. In 20-odd days, despite blocking and pursuit by hundreds of thousands of enemy troops, they crossed the Longhai railway and covered a distance of 500 kilometers, traversing the marshy 15-kilometer floodplain of the Huanghe, wading the Shahe, Ruhe and Huaihe rivers and finally reaching the Dabie Mountains on the borders of Hubei, Henan and Anhui provinces.

From their position in the Dabie Mountains north of the Changjiang (Yangtze River), the enemy under Liu and Deng posed a direct threat to the vast Kuomintang areas south of the river, including Nanjing in the east and Wuhan in the west. The Kuomintang was obliged to assemble its main forces to defend the area and encircled the Dabie Mountain region with 30 bridges numbering 200,000 men. The troops under Liu and Deng were exhausted from continuous marching and fighting and were unfamiliar with the terrain. Furthermore, since they had only just arrived in the new area, they had no time to set up local governments and mobilize the people, so they were short of food, clothing and ammunition. Liu Bocheng took command of part of the force and broke through the encirclement to build new base areas along the western reaches of the Huaihe River, while Deng Xiaoping and Li Xiannian, Deputy Commander of the Central Plains Military Command, were left to command a crack force whose task was to continue stubborn resistance in the mountains. Calling on the soldiers to be selfless, Deng said that there were two loads to be selfless, Deng said that there were two loads to be carried, and one was heavier than the other. If they in the Dabie Mountains carried the heavier load, other armies another regions would be able to destroy large numbers of enemy troops and carry out intensive work among the masses, which would be greatly to the general advantage. They should therefore hold on firmly, no matter how weak they became and what hardships they had to endure. Sharing the hardest conditions with their men, Deng and Li maneuvered in the mountain gullies day and night, often on empty stomachs. They divided their forces into smaller units, some to deal with the enemy's local "peace preservation corps" and others to engage in grassroots political work. If a large enemy force was approaching, they would concentrate part of their troops to attack it.Meantime, they mobilized the people to struggle against despotic feudal landlords and organized local armed forces and militia, thus establishing a solid base in the Dabie Mountains.

In the end, the repeated "suppression" operations conducted by massive Kuomintang forces were defeated. Deployed in a triangle in the middle of the Changjiang, Huaihe, Huanghe and Hanshui rivers three armies-the one led by Liu and Deng and two field armies newly arrived in the south, one led by Chen Yi and Su Yu, the other by Chen Geng and Xie Fuzhi-pinned down some 90 of the more than 160 brigades of enemy troops stationed on the southern front. They pushed the battle line south from the Huanghe to the north bank of the Changjiang and made the Central Plains, which had served as the rear of the Kuomintang troops in their offensives on the liberated areas, the base from which the PLA would advance to nationwide victory. This was a success of great strategic importance. In May 1984 the Central Committee appointed Deng Xiaoping First Secretary of its Central Plains Bureau and Political Commissar of the Central Plains Military Command.

With the launching of the successive Liaoxi-Shenyang, Huai-Hai and Beiping-Tianjin campaigns, the War of Liberation finally entered decisive stage.

In November 1948 the Huai-Hai Campaigns began. It was to last 65 days.

The battlefield of the Huai-Hai Campaign, centered on Xuzhou, covered a wide area, from the shores of the Yellow Sea in the east to the borders of Henan and Anhui provinces in the west, and from the areas along the Longhai Railway in the north to the Huaihe River in the south. For the Communist-led forces, this enemy-occupied area constituted a barrier to the Changjiang and to Nanjing, the capital of the Kuomintang government. After the fall of Jinan, the Kuomintang government drew back its forces and assembled in the Xuzhou area all the best troops on the southern front that were operating under its direct control-five armies and the troops from three pacification zones, totaling 800,000 men.

On the PLA side, seven columns of the Central Plains Field Army (later named the Second Field Army), 16 columns of the East China Field Army (later named the Third Field Army) and some local armed forces, or a total of 600,000 men, participated in this decisive campaign. They were supported by 5.4 million volunteer laborers, who-using carts, wheelbarrows, shoulder-poles, boats, and any other means at hand -transported 200,000 tons of grain and 7,000 tons of ammunition and other military materiel. At this point, it was truly a people's war. Deng Xiaoping was appointed Secretary of the General Front-line Committee, which was to command both the Central Plains Field Army and the East China Field Army and to take charge of everything at the front. The other members of the Committee were Liu Bocheng, Chen Yi, Su Yu and Tan Zhenlin. Deng and his fellow commanders made prudent dispositions in accordance with the strategy outlined by the Central Committee and with the policy decisions of Mao Zedong. Once operational plans were decided upon, Deng was to help organize their execution and to share command at the front.

In the Huai-Hai Campaign the Kuomintang had more troops than the PLA and enjoyed an even greater superiority in arms and equipment. For this reason, the PLA adopted the basic tactic of repeatedly isolating segments of the enemy's main force and annihilating them one by one by concentrating a superior force. At the outset of the campaign the two armies led by He Jifeng and Zhang Kexia, deputy commanders of the Third Pacification Zone of the Kuomintang army, who were actually underground Communist Party members, who were actually underground Communist Party members, suddenly revolted on the battlefront. The main force of the East China Field Army poured through this opening in the enemy defenses to block the retreat of the army commanded by Huang Botao, which was moving towards Xuzhou from east of the Grand Canal, and tightly encircle it the Nianzhuang area,. After this, the General Front-line Committee, again on its own proposal with the approval of the Military Commission, moved the Central Plains Field Army to the rear of the enemy and took by surprise Suxian County along the Tianjin-Pukou Railway, a place of strategic significance. By so doing they severed communications between Xuzhou and its rear, isolating the large number of Kuomintang troops massed around the city and cutting off their retreat. After wiping out Huang Botao's army, the General Front-line Committee made another suggestion: next they should eliminate Huang Wei's army of reinforcements, which had come a long way from southern Henan, was cut off from support and was suffering from fatigue and shortage of food. The Military Commission promptly agreed to this plan and gave Liu, Chen and Deng authority of make decisions in emergency situations without seeking approval from the Commission. Accordingly, supported by a part of the East China Field Army, the main force of the Central Plains Field Army besieged Huang Wei's crack units in the Shuangduiji area between the Huihe and Guohe rivers, and in some 20 days of fierce fighting annihilated them. Then the East China Field Army pressed on to defeat the three armies led by Qiu Qingquan, Li Mi and Sun Yuanliang, which had managed to break out of the siege of Xuzhou and to flee west. Thus the Huai-Hai Campaign ended in complete victory.

Through 65 days of fighting the PLA had finally triumphed, wiping out 555,000 enemy troops. (Speaking about the campaign later, Mao Zedong once said facetiously to commanders of the campaign, "The Huai-Hai Campaign was well fought-it was like a pot of half-cooked rice, but bit by bit you managed to choke it down.") By this time the Kuomintang's crack troops on the southern front had been wiped out, the road to Nanjing was open and the collapse of the reactionary regime was imminent.

In April 1949 the General Front-line Committee, still with Deng serving as its Secretary and commanding the Second and Third Field Armies, directed the crossing of the Changjiang. Breaking through the line of defense painstakingly constructed by the Kuomintang over 500 kilometres from Jiujiang (Jiangxi Province) in the west to Jiangyin (Jiangsu Province) in the east, the mighty force, one million strong, fought its way across the Changjiang and went on to liberate Nanjing and Shanghai and the vast areas of Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces. The liberation of Nanjing signaled the collapse of the Kuomintang government. On the eve of this vast operation, Deng Xiaoping had received another appointment: he had been made First Secretary of the East China Bureau and placed in charge of taking over the east China region,the power base of the Kuomintang.

When the People's Republic of China was proclaimed on October 1, 1949, Deng attended the grand inauguration ceremony in Beijing. Soon afterwards he joined his comrades-in-arms and set out to liberate the Great Southwest of China.

LIBERATING THE GREAT SOUTHWEST

The Great Southwest included Yunnan and Guizhou provinces and present-day Sichuan and Tibet, with a total area of 2.3 million square kilometres. It was the last territory held by the Kuomintang before they fled from the mainland. To liberate the Southwest, the PLA adopted the tactics of outflanking and encircling the enemy. The Second Field Army, commanded by Liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping, and a corps of the First Field Army, led by He Long, advanced from the south and the north respectively and swiftly liberated the entire Southwest except for Tibet, ultimately driving the reactionary Kuomintang forces from the mainland.

Vast in area and poor in communications, the Southwest had a long border line and a large population of many nationalities, so that the liberating armies had to deal with complicated relations among many different peoples. There were hordes of stragglers and disbanded soldiers in the area, because the Kuomintang had deployed over 900,000 troops there. Furthermore, the region swarmed with local bandits and secret agents, and the feudal forces were deep-rooted. The havoc wreaked by the reactionary forces over the long years had resulted in a dilapidated society, a ruined economy and a wretched life for the people. Given the existing conditions, it was a monumental task to build a new life on this vast, complex, newly liberated land.

Deng Xiaoping served as First Secretary of the Southwest Bureau, Vice-Chairman of the Southwest Military and Administrative Commission and Political Commissar of the Southwest Military Command. While leading a campaign to wipe out fleeing bandits and Kuomintang diehards, Deng, along with Liu Bocheng, He Long and others, did everything possible to unite with everyone who could be united with and to win over everyone in the enemy camp who could be won over. With great care and discretion, they tried to break down traditional animosities among different peoples and to bring about national unity. Lastly, by mobilizing the masses, they accomplished agrarian reform and other social reforms and built democratic governments at different levels. Thus they brought about stability in the Southwest.

Under their leadership industrial and agricultural production was quickly restored. One major project they decided to undertake, despite the fact that there were many other tasks clamoring for attention, was the building of the Chengdu-Chongqing Railway. On July 1, 1952, when the railway was officially opened, a dream cherished for decades by the people of Sichuan came true at last.

At this same time Deng Xiaoping and his comrades were also working hard to prepare for the liberation of Tibet. In 1951, when Tibet was peacefully liberated, it was one of their units that planted the five-star red flag on "the roof of the world".

In less than three years since Deng Xiaoping and the others had come to work in the Southwest, fundamental changes had taken place. The entire region had begun to thrive as if spring had returned to the land.

GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE PARTY

In July 1952 the Central Committee of the Party transferred Deng Xiaoping to the central organs. This transfer marked the beginning of another important period in his revolutionary career. He served first as both executive Vice-Premier of the Government Administration Council (which was to become the State Council in 1954) and Vice-Chairman of the Financial and Economic Commission, and was soon appointed Director of the Office of Communications and Minister of Finance as well. In 1954, retaining only the position of Vice-Premier, he became in addition Secretary-General of the Party Central Committee, Director of the Organization Department and Vice-Chairman of the National Defense Commission. In 1955, at the Fifth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, he was elected to the Committee's Political Bureau. In 1956, at the Party's Eighth National Congress, it was Deng who made the report on the revision of the Party Constitution, and at the First Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee he was elected member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and General Secretary of the Central Committee. Thus, at the age of 52 he became one of the chief leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, together with Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De and Chen Yun. For the next ten years Deng Xiaoping was General Secretary, directing the routine work of the Secretariat. Referring to this time, he said later, "It was the busiest period in my life."

The decade from September 1956 to May 1966 was a period in which China began to build socialism in an all-round way. Under the leadership of the Communist Party, the whole nation worked for socialist economic and cultural development and scored great achievements. During this time the Party accumulated important experience and also made some serious mistakes. As General Secretary assisting the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of the Party in managing the day-to-day work of the Central Committee, Deng Xiaoping participated in the policy decisions of the Party and the state. He put forward valuable proposals on many subjects- strengthening Party building, consolidating industrial enterprises, improving their management, introducing the system of workers' conferences and so on.

In his report to the Party's Eighth National Congress in1956, Deng offered a penetrating discussion on how to strengthen the Party now that it was in power, explaining that it was confronted by new tests and must constantly guard against the danger of divorcing itself from reality and from the mass line and practice democratic centralism and that Party organizations at all levels improve collective leadership, so as to prevent individuals from acting arbitrarily and making decisions on important issues alone.

In 1957, after the Party's Eighth Congress had called for concentrated efforts to develop the productive forces, gratifying results were achieved in economic work. From this point of view, it was one of the best years since the founding of the People's Republic. But in 1958, during the Great Leap Forward and movement to establish people's communes, "Left: errors began to spread. There followed three years of great hardship. In order to analyze experience and correct mistakes, Deng Xiaoping and many other leading members of the Central Committee went on inspection tours and formulated regulations for different fields of work. Deng also directed investigations in the rural areas and suggested ways to rectify such mistakes as the institution of compulsory communal canteens and the system under which the commune was supposed to distribute necessities to all. He emphasized that in correcting past mistakes it was essential to abide by the principle of seeking truth from facts. He pointed out in1962 that the relations of production to be introduced should be of the type that would be most readily accepted by the masses and most conductive to the quick restitution and development of production. He also presided over the drafting of two important documents: the Draft Regulations on the management of State Industrial Enterprises and the Draft Provisional Regulations for Work in Institutions of Higher Learning Directly Under the Ministry of Education.

In 1962 the Central Committee convened a central working conference attended by 7,000 persons, addressing this conference, Deng Xiaoping, in light of the lessons learned from the previous years, stressed the need to adhere to democratic centralism and to carry on the Party's fine traditions. He proposed that all the cases of cadres who might have been wrongly treated in past political movements should be re-examined and the cadres rehabilitated as appropriate. On behalf of the Secretariat of the Central Committee, Deng made an earnest self-criticism in this connection at the conference.

In his tenure of office as the Party's General Secretary, Deng Xiaoping had extensive contacts with leaders of other Parties in the international communist movement. On several occasions he headed delegations to Moscow to have talks with N.Khtyshchov and other Soviet leaders and always took a principled, independent stand.

THE YEARS OF HARDSHIP AND DANGER

The "cultural revolution", initiated and led by Mao Zedong, took China down the wrong path. Taking advantage if the situation, a group of careerists and conspirators headed by Lin Biao and another by Jiang Qing attempted to usurp the Party and state leadership, bringing unprecedented disaster upon the Party and the people. During the ten years of turmoil Deng Xiaoping was twice discredited and removed from office and went through the most painful ordeal in his revolutionary career.

No sooner had the "cultural revolution" been launched than Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping became its chief targets. In August 1966, at the Eleventh Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee, when Mao Zedong issued his famous call to "bombard the headquarters", Liu and eng were wrongly criticized and repudiated. Deng was labeled the "No.2 Capitalist Roader in China" and his family members were implicated. His eldest son Deng Pufang, then a student of physics at Beijing University, was persecuted with such violence that he received permanent injuries which left him confined to a wheelchair.

In October 1969, when Lin Biao, in and attempt to seize party and state leadership, issued his "No.1 order" to prepare against war, Deng Xiaoping was sent under escort to Xinjian County, Jiangxi Province. Having already been dismissed from all his posts, he was taken to do manual labor at the county's tractor repairing plant every morning. He worked as a fitter, as he had learned to do in France in his youth, and found himself as proficient at the job as before. Living with him were his wife Zhuo Lin, who was often ill, and his aged stepmother Xia Bogen, the three of them having only one another to depend on. It was Deng Xiaoping who, at the age of 65, took care of cleaning the room, chopping the wood and breaking up the coal. When Deng Pufang became paralyzed and needed help, after repeated requests by his parents and grandmother he was sent to live with them; then his father took on the additional responsibility of nursing him. During this period Deng Xiaoping made the best use of his spare time, often reading late into the night. He read a great number of Marxist-Leninist works and many other books both Chinese and foreign, ancient and modern. The ordeal in Xinjian lasted for three years.

In September 1971 the collapse of Lin Biao's plot for a counter-revolutionary coup and his death in an air crash eventually led to the rehabilitation of Deng Xiaoping. In 1972 Mao Zedong began to consider letting Deng resume his work, and the following year, with the support of Zhou Enlai, he was restored to his post as Vice-Premier of the State Council. In 1974 he delivered a speech at the Sixth Special Session of the United nations General Assembly on behalf of the Chinese government, in which he systematically set forth Mao Zedong's thesis of the three worlds. In January 1975, when Premier Zhou Enlai became seriously ill and was hospitalized, Deng Xiaoping was reappointed Vice-Premier and appointed Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission and Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, thus replacing Zhou as the person in charge of all the routine work of the Party and the state.

Jiang Qing had tried to prevent Deng's reinstatement from the outset, but it was in 1975 that the struggle between Deng and the Gang of Four became acute. With all his energy Deng set about restoring order to the chaotic situation caused by the "cultural revolution". "At present," he said. " There are a great many problems which we cannot solve without indomitable will. We must be determined and daring." He called for efforts to bring about stability and unity and to develop the national economy. His conviction that this was that the country needed reflected the interests and aspirations of the whole nation, and to the people's great satisfaction, noticeable results were achieved within a short period of time. Nevertheless, while Mao Zedong supported Deng Xiaoping in his administration of the day-to-day work of the central organs, he could not tolerate Deng's systematic correction of the mistakes arising from the "cultural revolution". He therefore launched a movement to criticized Deng and to counter the "Right deviation of reversing correct verdicts", which plunged the country into turmoil again. Taking advantage of this situation, the Gang of Four stepped in and framed Deng Xiaoping. They accused him of having been the behind-the -scenes instigator of the Tiananmen Incident of April 5, 1976, in which the people had poured out their love for the late Premier Zhou Enlai and their hatred for the Gang of Four, Deng was thus once again dismissed from all his posts inside and outside the Party, and once again dark clouds hung over the entire nation.

USHERING IN A NEW STAGE

Nineteen seventy-six is a year the Chinese people will never forget. Zhou Enlai, Zhu De and Mao Zedong died one after another, plunging the nation into mourning. Then in October, to general rejoicing, the Central Committee smashed the counter-revolutionary clique of the Gang of Four. The ten-year "cultural revolution" that had wreaked such have was finally brought to an end, and the country entered a new period of its history.

The situation, however, was dismaying. Hundreds of problems were crying for solution, the "Left' thinking which had completely dominated the country for so many years was now deeply rooted and the economy was on the brink of collapse. What road should China take from now? This was the question troubling millions upon millions of people.

The new period and the new tasks called for the emergence of a new leader. Since Deng had made valuable contributions during the long revolutionary years, had waged a resolute struggle against the Gang of Four and had already achieved notable success in his efforts to restore order, he had earned enormous prestige in the Party and among the people. With the strong backing of Ye Jianying and other veterans and in accordance with the People's wishes, in July 1977, at the Third Plenary Session of the Tenth Central Committee, Deng was reinstated as Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee, Vice-Premier of the State Council, Vice-Chairman of the Military Commission and Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army. In march 1978 he was elected Chairman of the Fifth national Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The ten years of turmoil had made more and more people realize that it was high time to repudiate "Left" thinking and to set things to rights. Deng lived up to the people's expectations and displayed his far-sightedness as a strategist. Faced with a multitude of problems in every area, he soon came to understand that the key to them all was correct ideology. He explicitly understood as an integral whole. he emphasized that its essence was seeking truth from facts, and accordingly he strongly opposed the "two whatevers" (the view that whatever policy decisions Chairman Mao had made and whatever instructions he had given must be followed unswervingly). He encouraged discussion on the criterion of truth, with the result that the rigid bonds that had constricted people's thinking for so long were broken. People both inside and outside the Party began to seriously examine the current situation and to tackle the problems they discovered. This great movement to emancipate people's minds led to the convocation of the Third Plenary Session of the Party's Eleventh Central Committee.

This Session, convened in December 1978, marked a fundamental turning point in the history of the Chinese Communist Party. At a working conference of the Central Committee held before the Session, Deng delivered a speech which turned out to be the keynote of the Third Plenary. In this speech he explained in detail that people should emancipate their minds and seek truth from facts. Just as the Chinese people had followed this principle in the past in making revolution, so now, he said, they must rely on it in construction. In accordance with this principle, the Plenary Session discarded the notion that in a socialist society class struggle remained the "key link" and made the strategic decision to shift the focus of the Party's work to socialist modernization, so as to concentrate on development of the productive forces. Deng stressed that the Chinese people should be dedicated and steadfast in pursuit of socialist modernization and not let themselves be hindered by interference from any quarter. This was a fundamental rectification of the political line, and it ushered in a new era of reform and opening to the outside world. In March 1979 Deng made it clear that to maintain the correct orientation in the modernization drive it was essential to adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles: keeping to the socialist road and upholding the dictatorship of the proletariat (the people's democratic dictatorship), leadership by the Communist Party and Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought.

Deng insisted that to ensure the implementation of the ideological and political lines, a correct organizational line must be established. He was particularly concerned about ensuring the selection of successors to ageing cadres. At his urging, a series of measures were adopted to build yp a contingent of their generation. These cadres would replace some of their older comrades and work in cooperation with those who would remain. In this way the system of life tenure for leading cadres would gradually be abolished, and the age structure within the ranks o fleading cadres would become more and more appropriate.

These efforts to rationalize the ideological, political and organizational lines set China back on the path of normal development. This was the prerequisite for carrying out socialist modernization and the policies of reform and opening to the outside would.

In order to set things to rights and overcome "Left" mistakes it was necessary to clear up the confusion in people's minds about how to evaluate the historical role of Mao Zedong. For this reason the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee adopted a resolution on the subject, entitled "Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the People's Republic of China". It was Deng who presided over the drafting of this landmark document. While completely condemning the "cultural revolution" and the wrong guidelines on which it was based, the resolution made a comprehensive evaluation of Mao's historical role, affirming that his contributions were primary and his mistakes secondary. It distinguished between Mao Zedong Thought--the crystallization of collective wisdom and the product of scientific theory confirmed by practice-and the mistakes Mao made in his later years, emphasizing the need to uphold and develop the former. This resolution helped greatly to unify the thinking of the whole Party and to ensure political unity and stability throughout the country.

In September 1982, following the initial successes in socialist modernization and in implementation of reform and the open policy, the Party held its Twelfth National Congress. At that Congress Deng summed up China's recent historical experience and drew a basic conclusion: the universal truth of Marxism must be integrated with the concrete realities of China, and China must blaze a trail of its own, building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

To do that it is essential to correctly understand China's historical stage. On this question the Communist Party has recently made a systematic, theoretical statement: China is now at the primary stage of socialism. Throughout this stage the basic line of the Party in building socialism with Chinese characteristics is as follows: to lead the people of all our nationalities in a united, self-reliant, intensive and pioneering effort to turn China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and modern socialist country by making economic development the central task while adhering to the Four Cardinal Principles and persevering in reform and the open policy.

Deng said later, "Premier Zhao Ziyang has recently made a correct summation of our guidelines and policies. Socialist modernization is our basic line. To carry it out and make China prosperous we must, first, carry out the policies of reform and opening to the outside world, and we must, second, adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles, the most important of which are to uphold leadership by the party and to keep to the socialist road, opposing bourgeois liberalization and a turn to capitalism. These two points are interrelated."

Just as Deng Xiaoping was the first to articulate the Four Cardinal Principles, he was the first to propose and insist that China undertake reform, adopt an open policy and invigorate the economy. Ever since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, he has been actively promoting the reform. Because 80 per cent of China's population lives in the countryside, it was there that the reform was to begin. It was tried first in the provinces of Sichuan and Anhui, and on the basis of the successful experience in those two places, it was soon introduced throughout the country. The result was that when the initiative of 800 million peasants was aroused, the productive forces expanded greatly, a large number of enterprises run by villages and townships emerged and the peasants' standard of living rose. Three years later, these notable results having been achieved in the countryside, reform was begun in the cities. Because urban reform was more complicated than rural reform, Deng urged that possibility should be explored boldly but with great care and prudence. On his proposal, four special economic zones were established and 14 coastal cities were opened to the outside world. After making inspection tours of the zones, he affirmed the correctness of the policy. On the basis of equality and mutual benefit, he declared, China should vigorously expand its economic co-operation with foreign countries, absorb their capital and introduce their advanced technologies and managerial skills, so as to accelerate the development of its own economy. The private sector, he said, should be developed properly as a supplement to the socialist sector, which would remain dominant in China's economy. He also urged that some regions and some people be allowed to become prosperous first, through hard work, so that others would follow their example. If all these policies were applied, he believed, the whole economy would make rapid progress, eventually enabling all the Chinese people to prosper. Recently, on more than one occasion Deng has stressed the need to forge confidently ahead with the reform and the open policy and to move even faster in reform.

Deng has defined the ambitious goals of China's socialist construction as follows: first, to quadruple the 1980 gross national product by the end of this century, so that the people will enjoy a comparatively comfortable standard of living; and second, on the basis of that achievement, to again quadruple GNP over the following 30 to 50 years, so that China will reach the level of the moderately developed countries. When China has realized these goals, it will have pointed the way for all the people of the Third World, who represent Three-quarters of the world's population. More important, it will have demonstrated to mankind that socialism is the only solution and that it is superior to capitalism.

Deng has proposed that to adapt the political structure to the requirements of economic reform, it too will have to be reformed. As early as August 1980, at an enlarged meeting of the political Bureau, he made an important speech on the reform of the system of Party and state leadership, which was later issued as a document setting forth guidelines for the reform of the political structure. He stressed the need to expand socialist democracy and strengthen the socialist legal system. Since 1986 Deng has again pointed out the importance of political reform, whose objectives he has defined as follows: to revitalize the whole state apparatus, to increase efficiency and to stimulate the initiative of the people and of the grass-roots units. The Thirteenth National Congress, convened in October 1987, declared that it was high time to put reform of the political structure on the agenda for the whole Party. This reform would involve separating the functions of the Party and the government, delegating powers to lower levels, reforming government organs and the personnel system relating to cadres, establishing a system of consultation and dialogue, improving a number of systems relating to socialist democracy and strengthening the socialist legal system. Political restructuring, the Congress stated, was a difficult and complex task, so it was necessary to adopt resolute yet cautious policies and to implement them in a guided and orderly way, in order to advance the reform as steadily as possible. Deng stated early on that it was imperative to build a socialist society that was advanced culturally and ideologically as well as materially, so that the people would cherish lofty ideals and moral integrity, become better educated and observe discipline. He said that material advance would be hindered or go astray without cultural and ideological progress. He has attached great importance to the building of the Communist Party as a party in power, holding that rectification of Party conduct is the key to rectification of general social conduct. He therefore deemed it necessary to consolidate the Party in order to unify thinking, improve style of work, maintain strict discipline and perfect Party organization-all for the purpose of making the Party a staunch central force leading the people in their effort to build a materially, culturally and ideologically advanced socialist society.

Standing in the forefront of the times, Deng Xiaoping is the the man who is leading China's reform. Following the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, he became Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee, member of the Standing Committee of its Political Bureau, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and chairman of the Central Advisory Commission. He has played a major role in important policy decisions by pointing out the correct orientation with regard to key questions that have arisen in the course of formulating the line since that Session. People regard him as the chief architect of China's reform. The reform is designed to improve the socialist system, bring its superiority into full play and push forward the drive for modernization. At this primary stage of socialism, to accelerate and deepen the reform is the main task on which all political, economic and social activities must be focused.

The reform and socialist modernization will inevitably encounter interference both from the "Left" and from the Right. For a time at the end of 1986, a trend towards bourgeois liberalization was widespread, and certain individuals tried to stir up unrest by calling for total westernization of China. They pretended to support the reform and the open policy, but in reality they were trying to lead China towards capitalism. Deng acted promptly and decisively to dispose of this matter, and the situation soon returned to normal. He pointed out that if China went capitalist, the society would be utterly impossible for it to modernize. Likewise, without political stability and unity it would be impossible for the country to engage in construction and to implement the reform and the open policy. He called upon leaders at every level to take a clear-cut stand in support of the Four Cardinal Principles and in opposition to bourgeois liberalization.

Having analyzed the lessons of the past, Deng holds that the struggle against erroneous trends must proceed from reality (in other words, when there are "Left" trends one fights "Left" trends and when there are Right trends one fights Right trends). But rigid "Left" thinking has been the more common mistake in the past and is the more dangerous one today, because it has taken deep root in society and for many people has become habitual. The ingrained habits of thought tend to reassert themselves unconsciously whenever these people formulate and carry out specific policies. Deng believes that to deepen the reform it is essential to overcome the influence of rigid thinking and that the struggle against it and against bourgeois liberalization will be a long one, lasting throughout the course of socialist modernization.

In order to resolve the questions of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao and to reunify China, Deng formulated the concept of "one country, two systems". The concept is an important part of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. Since 1984 the Hong Kong and Macao questions have been solved on this basis. Deng believes that the same approach can be used to resolve the Taiwan question and perhaps other similar international issues as well. The concept of "one country, two systems" has had considerable impact both in China and abroad. This is one example of Deng's application of the principle of seeking truth from facts to the solution of complicated practical problems.

Deng Xiaoping is a man of broad vision who thinks in terms of world issues and has devoted much energy over the years to foreign relations. He has visited many foreign countries and met with many foreign guests, always with a view to securing a peaceful international environment for China's socialist modernization. He was personally responsible for formulating China's independent foreign police, which in essence consists of standing firmly on the side of the people of the Third World countries, opposing hegeminism and trying to preserve world peace. Deng holds that peace and development are the two overriding issues in the world today. He believes that the danger of war still exists but that the forces that can deter war are growing. China, he is convinced, can make an important contribution both to world peace and to steady economic development.

His writings, Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping (1975-1982), Fundamental Issues in Present-day China (1982-1987) - the updated edition of Build Socialism with Chinese Characteristics (1982-1984) - and Comrade Deng Xiaoping's Important Speeches (February-July 1987), are widely read both at home and abroad. A revolutionary with more than sixty years' experience, Deng continues to stay at the helm and to give generously of his time and energy where major issues of the Party and the state are involved. At the same time he makes sure that younger comrades shoulder more responsibilities whenever possible and that he himself in concerned only with those things that require his personal attention. Although he is more than 80 years old, Chinese and foreign visitors are always impressed by his vigorous health and agile mind. Every summer he goes to beaches along the Bohai Gulf or the Yellow Sea to swim and several times a week he plays bridge. He says that he has done all his traveling abroad but that there is one more trip he would like to take: to Hong Kong in 1997, when China resumes its sovereignty over the territory.

Deng Xiaoping had stressed all along that it is of strategic importance to bring younger people into positions of leadership and that the destiny of the Party and the state hinges on this question. He has stood firmly for abolishing permanent tenure in leading posts and has taken the lead in this connection. When new leading bodies were elected at the Party's Thirteenth National Congress and the First Plenary Session of the Thirteenth Central Committee, he withdrew his candidacy for membership in the Central Committee and its Political Bureau, accepting only reappointment as Chairman of the Central Military Commission. However, with his high prestige and profound wisdom he will continue to play a great role in making major policy decisions of the Party and the state.

Through a lifetime of service to the people, Deng Xiaoping has earned the respect and affection of millions of his compatriots.

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