China After Mao: the Deng Era

China After Mao: The Deng Era

1. The Power Struggle After Mao’s Death

a) Hua Guofeng and the Gang of Four

  * Power vacuum created from Mao’s death   Politburo split into two groups: the Gang of Four (Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunquiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen) and the supporters of Hua Guofeng.
  * Gang has fewer members in politburo and thus fewer votes and with Hua’s connections in the military, was able to overpower the gang   they were arrested in Beijing on the 6th of October.

b) Re-emergence of Deng Xiaoping

  * With Mao gone, the Gang of Four out of the picture, and Hua’s lack of support and respect within the party, Deng Xiaoping was quickly reinstated to the Politburo.
  * Deng’s influence throughout the party increased steadily at the expense of Hua’s for two years until he resigned in 1980 (premier). Deng was the better-suited candidate; he had the reputation, experience, support, and intelligence that Hua lacked.

2. The Third Plenum, 1978 – The PRC’s Turning Point

  * Marked the final abandonment of the Cultural Revolution by planning to ‘restore Party democracy’.
  * Appointed Deng as Chairman of some fancy conference that was the driving force of reform in China and set forth ‘The Four Modernizationsß Programme’.
  * Deng was absolved of his previous ‘counter-revolutionary’ incidents   shows just how much political authority Deng has accumulated (he was often referred to as the ‘paramount leader’).

The Four Modernizations in Operation
  * Agriculture
  * Industry and Commerce
  * Defense Reorganization
  * Education

3. The Deng Revolution, 1979-89

a) The Legacy of Mao Zedong

  * Deng sought to rid Maoism from the country as it was hindering progress but knew that denouncing Mao would be detrimental to China and himself. To this, he resorted to condemning Mao but at the same time also honoring him: ‘It is true that he made gross mistakes during the Cultural Revolution, but, if we judge his activities...