History


Early Chinese History Dynasties Kuomintang
Early Yunnan History Communist China Republic of China

China Today

In the power struggle that started immediately after the death of Mao Zedong, the pragmatists were victorious. Within a month of Mao's death, the four chief radicals, including Mao's wife Jiang Qing, were arrested and later tried as "Gang of Four".

By mid-1977, it became clear that Deng Xiaoping was now the most powerful figure in China, though he never assumed the positions of party chairman or prime minister, preferring to let protégées hold the official position, and to work himself much from behind the scenes.

From 1977, China embarked on a steady course of economic liberalization which for several years made the country the world's fastest growing economy.

Ideology which has been the paramount concern for as long as Mao has been leader of the People's Republic of China now took a back seat to concerns over what worked best, economically. In Deng Xiaoping's most famous judgment, it doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.

However, unlike what happened in the former Soviet block, the Chinese political leadership has so far been unwilling to accept a process of political liberalization, or to share power in a multiparty system. Correspondingly, demonstrations for political liberalization in 1989 were subdued with military power on June 4 of that year. However, while there had been fears that China would slide back into ideological chaos, this has not happened, and China's rapid economic development and its rate of constant economic growth is the envy of many a developing, and many a developed, nation.

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