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1. From Mao to Deng
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the state of China following Mao’s death in 1976, Deng’s attempts to consolidate power, and the some of his early economics reforms, focusing in particular on: (i) Mao’s reluctance to name a successor in his lifetime, his purging of leading contenders such as Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao, and his eventual choice of Hua Guofeng in the months before he died; (ii) the attempt of Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, and other radicals in the party to seize power from Hua, and Hua’s response; (iii) Hua’s unsuitability as leader, and the return of Deng Xiaoping to the centre of Chinese politics; (iv) the differing approaches of Hua and Deng, Hua’s ‘Two Whatevers’ and Deng’s desire to promote economic development; (v) the lack of economic development under Mao, including the huge backwards steps of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution; (vi) Deng’s consolidation of power, the importance of Zhao Ziyang and Hu Yaobang; (vii) Deng’s unwillingness to contemplate major political reforms; (viii) some of Deng’s economic policies and their impact, including de-collectivization in the Chinese countryside, the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs); and (ix) some of Deng’s political reforms, including the introduction of term limits and mandatory retirement ages.
In this course, Professor Frank Ching (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) explores the development of Chinese society, politics and economics during the rule of Deng Xiaoping, sometimes referred to as the ‘Opening of China’. In the first module, we think about the state of China following Mao’s death in 1976, Deng’s attempts to consolidate power, and the some of his early economics reforms. In the second module, we think about the development of the Chinese economy under Deng Xiaoping, before turning in the third and fourth modules to track the evolution of US-China relations in between 1968-96. In the fifth module, we think about political developments in China between 1979-97, before turning in the sixth module to consider China’s position in the world at the time of Deng’s death in 1997.
Frank Ching is a writer and university lecturer who has written and commented on events in Asia, particularly China, for many years. He worked for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Far Eastern Economic Review. He opened The Wall Street Journal’s bureau in China in 1979, after the normalization of U.S.-China relations, thus becoming one of the first four American newspaper reporters to be based in Beijing since 1949.
His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, World Policy Journal, China Quarterly, Current History, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications.
He has given speeches across the United States, including delivering the Inaugural Lecture of the Ravenholt-Severyns Lecture at the University of Washington. He was the inaugural lunch speaker at the annual Chiefs of Defense Mission sponsored by the Commander in Chief, Pacific, in Honolulu.
He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Fordham University, a master’s degree in philosophy from New York University and a Certificate in Advanced International Reporting from Columbia University as a Ford Foundation Fellow.
Cite this Lecture
Ching, F. (2020, November 26). China – Deng Xiaoping and the Opening of China, 1979-97 - From Mao to Deng [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/china-deng-xiaoping-and-the-opening-of-china-1979-97/from-mao-to-deng
Ching, Frank. "China – Deng Xiaoping and the Opening of China, 1979-97 – From Mao to Deng." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Nov 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/china-deng-xiaoping-and-the-opening-of-china-1979-97/from-mao-to-deng