33 Deng - EXCERPTS FROM TALKS GIVEN IN WUCHANG SHENZHEN...

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EXCERPTS FROM TALKS GIVEN IN WUCHANG, SHENZHEN, ZHUHAI, AND SHANGHAI Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997) was born in Sichuan and studied in Paris in the 1920s, where he became a communist. In the 1930s he fought alongside Mao in the war against Japan, and after the Communist takeover in 1949 he worked his way up to high office. However, he was critical of Mao’s leadership during the disastrous “Great Leap Forward” of 1958-61. It was in these years that he became a great champion of pragmatism, and at a party conference at Guangzhou in 1961 famously pronounced that “I don’t care if it’s a black cat or a white cat—it’s a good cat so long as it catches mice,” implying indifference to whether China followed a communist or a capitalist road. In 1966 Mao forced Deng to retire from politics and to take a job at a remote tractor plant. Deng’s son was tortured and thrown out of a window, paralyzing him. In 1974, however, Mao’s deputy Zhou Enlai recalled Deng, but when Zhou died the following year Deng was purged once again. Only Mao’s death in 1976 saved him, and in the late 1970s Deng moved back toward the centers of power. In the 1980s he increasingly opened Chinese institutions to competition, although he violently suppressed the pro-democratic demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The following speeches were delivered in 1992 as part of Deng’s assessment of changes since Mao’s death. Deng Xiaoping, January 18 - February 21, 1992 I I was here in Guangdong in 1984. At that time rural reform had been under way for several years, and we were just beginning to introduce urban reform and to establish special economic zones. Eight years have passed since then. This time, during my trip here, I have found that the rapid growth in the Shenzhen and Zhuhai special economic zones and some other areas has exceeded my expectations. After what I have seen, I am even more confident. Revolution means the emancipation of the productive forces, and so does reform. The overthrow of the reactionary rule of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism helped release the productive forces of the Chinese people. This was revolution, so revolution means the emancipation of the productive forces. After the basic socialist system has been established, it is necessary to fundamentally change the economic structure that has hampered the development of the productive forces and to establish a vigorous socialist economic structure that will promote their development. This is reform, so reform also means the emancipation of the productive forces. In the past, we only stressed expansion of the productive forces under socialism, without mentioning the need to liberate them through reform. That conception was incomplete. Both the liberation and the expansion of the productive forces are essential.
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