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Deng Xiaoping (1904–1997)

Leonard H. Lubitz

Subject History » Political History
Study of History » Comparative History

Place Eastern Asia » China

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

People Mao Zedong

Key-Topics bibliography, capitalism, modernism, neoliberalism, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00458.x


Born in Sichuan, Deng Xiaoping was the son of a rural sheriff. At the age of 15, upon graduation from preparatory school, he traveled to France where approximately 1,500 young Chinese were participating in a program known as Qingong jianxue (diligent work, thrifty study). It was in these ranks that Deng became a student of Marxism along with older classmates including Zhou Enlai and Zhou Shiyan, while supporting themselves by laboring in manual positions including at the Schneider-Creusot armaments factory, the Hutchinson rubber goods factory, and restaurant kitchens. After several years of studies in rudimentary French, Deng abandoned his formal studies in order to focus on his activities as a member of the Communist Youth League of Europe. He achieved both success and notoriety as a leader while working for the journal The Red Light under its founder and editor, Zhou Enlai. However, in January 1926, with a police raid impending due to the expected violence rising between two communist factions in Paris, Deng and 20 of his comrades left by night for Moscow. In the Soviet capital, Deng would receive practical training in areas of revolution. In 1929, after returning to China, Deng helped lead the ill-fated Baise Uprising against the Kuomintang. In the ensuing Long March he would rise to the rank of Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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