Posts Categorized: Chapter 11

Hints of Trouble

Despite rapid rural growth and a diminishing gap between rich and poor, not all was well in Deng’s first few years in charge. Rural price increases were driving up prices in urban areas, leading to increasing unrest among students. In addition, Deng faced opposition by some party hardliners, most notably Mao’s former economic advisor Chen… Read more »

To Get Rich is Glorious

The 1980s ushered in a decade of reform, led by Deng Xiaoping’s first economic czar, Zhao Ziyang. Under Zhao, China went about the process of decollectivizing agriculture, setting up a Special Economic Zone in Shenzhen, and launching a wave of entrepreneurship with Township and Village Enterprises.

Wei Jingsheng and the Democracy Wall

The Democracy Wall movement of 1978-1979 provided an early challenge to Deng’s leadership. A simple brick wall in an unremarkable Beijing neighborhood became the focal point of a pro-Democracy movement that spread when the central government did not clamp down immediately. Deng, in fact, initially supported the wall, calling for “emancipating the mind” and “seeking… Read more »