Perhaps the most remarkable turns of Deng Xiaoping's career were his amazing comebacks from three political purges. Fellow revolutionaries ousted him in 1933, but he was back in good standing a year later. His 1966 fall from grace would last far longer. Responding to the famines induced by the Great Leap Forward during which an estimated 30 million people died, Deng proposed major reforms, such as free markets for farmers and incentive bonuses. In short order he was denounced as a "capitalist roader," held under house arrest for two years, paraded in a dunce cap through the streets of Beijing and forced to wait tables at a Communist Party school.
On Dec. 15, 1978, Deng Xiaoping and I announced simultaneously in Beijing and Washington that we were going to normalize diplomatic relations the first day of 1979, and just three days later, on Dec. 18, Deng Xiaoping announced reform and opening up for the people in his own country at the 3rd Plenum of the 11th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
owlish Chinese leader: Deng Xiaoping
Early on I went to China as a guest of Deng Xiaoping, and he explained to me in our private sessions what his goal for China was. We looked upon his reform and opening as providing new liberty for the Chinese people within their own country, to travel freely from one part of the country to another, to guarantee freedom of worship, opportunity for changing jobs, things that were unprecedented before that.
Chinese Leaders 1949 to the present day - Chinasage
One breakthrough on cultural exchanges that we made occurred, you might say, in the middle of the night. A president, when he's sleeping in the White House, is rarely disturbed unless there's some crisis that arises, something that he needs to address that won't wait until morning. One night, Rosalynn and I were sleeping in the bedroom and the phone rang about 3 o'clock in the morning, and I thought "Oh my, there's a tragedy somewhere in the United States." I woke up and answered the phone. It was my national science advisor, who was Dr. Frank Press, a geologist. I said, "Frank, what's happened, another Mount Etna, or something like that exploded?" He said, "No, I'm in China with Deng Xiaoping." And I said, "What has happened with Deng Xiaoping? What's wrong?"And he said, "'Deng Xiaoping insisted I call you now to see if you would permit 5,000 Chinese students to come to American universities." And I was very angry. I said, "Tell him to send a hundred thousand," and I slammed the phone down. Within five years, we had a hundred thousand Chinese students with us.
The leaders of the People's Republic of China have been few in ..
Deng pushed to remake education in China, charging the Cultural Revolution had produced "an entire generation of mental cripples" by shutting down schools and sucking the student population into the ubiquitous Red Guards. Deng allowed students to go abroad for college, sparking a craze for learning English.
the Chinese leader during the transitional ..
Perhaps Deng's most glorious year was 1984, when he reached 80 years of age. China's food supply hit 400 million tons of grain, making the nation self-sufficient in food. That same year Deng successfully negotiated an agreement with the British government to return Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997, the year Britain's 99-year lease on much of the territory was to expire.