Deng Xiaoping

China has a long history with several great leaders, but none of those
leaders have even come close to being as great as Deng Xiaoping. Deng Xiaoping
was a loyal communist who sacrificed his own life so his people could have a
better one. During his long political career, he served as a Communist
politcommissar of the 129th Division (Liu-Deng Army) from 1929 to 1949. As
politcommissar, he bravely and successfully fought the Nationalists. In 1945,
he was elected to the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. He
became a member of the Politburo in 1955 and ever since that year, he has been
an invaluable member of the party.
Depending on your personality or view, you may come to conclude that
Deng Xiaoping was a force for evil and that he was responsible for taking away
the freedom of millions of Chinese citizens. Some people may even conclude that
Deng Xiaoping was a "power-hungry" dictator who would do anything to obtain
power. I have concluded differently. I believe that Deng Xiaoping was a force
of good. He has devoted his entire life to helping his country, China.
Before the Communist began to revolt, the Nationalists were doing a poor
job of running the country and did not keep their promise for land reform. Deng
Xiaoping believed that a Communist government would do a better job of running
the country. During the Nationalist- Communist Civil War, Deng greatly
influenced the outcome in favor of the Communists by using effective military
strategy. Deng Xiaoping was appointed Politcommissar of the 129th Division of
the Eighth Route Army (the Liu-Deng Army) from 1938 to 1947. He employed
several campaigns against the Nationalists in which he inflicted severe damage.
One campaign was when he led his army in the battle of Huaihai, which put
550,000 men of the Kuomintang troops out of action. Afterwards, he led his army
across the Yangtze and liberated Nanjing, the capital of the Kuomintang
government. Then his army liberated the entire southwest of the country.
In October 1, 1949, China became a Communist nation. Without Deng
Xiaoping\'s tremendous performance during the war, the Nationalists probably
would have easily won. Because of Deng Xiaoping, the people of the nation were
finally able to begin to modernize and enjoy a higher standard of living.
From the day China became a Communist nation, to 1976 when Deng
Xiaoping\'s superior, Mao Tse-tung dies, Deng Xiaoping did several things that
greatly influence China. However, most of what happens to China during that
period should be credited to Mao Tse-tung because he decided what policies to
use and not to use. This however does not mean that Mao made good decisions.
Several times during the 1960s and 1970s, Deng Xiaoping and Mao Tse-
tung started to disagree on how to run the country. The reason is that Mao Tse-
tung started to become interested only in maintaining his own power. However,
Deng Xiaoping, truly cared about the welfare of the people in his country.
The first disagreement between Deng Xiaoping and Mao Tse-tung occurred
in 1962. Mao proposed a plan called, "The Ten Points." This agricultural plan
was an extension of the commune system. It disregarded the negative experiences
the people had at the communes. The main purpose of this plan was to keep all
the people in the same class. Deng Xiaoping and his supporters within the party
disagreed with this plan. Therefore, they proposed an alternative plan called,
"The Ten Further Points." This plan gave the peasants more freedom to grow
crops and more freedom in politics. Mao did not like this and began to feel
paranoid. He believed everyone in the party was against him. As a result, he
launched the Cultural Revolution that led to the downfall of several Chinese
leaders including Deng Xiaoping.
Deng Xiaoping eventually rose back to power (he had two more downfalls
but regained power both times too). He never really opposed Mao again until his
death in 1976. After Mao\'s death, Deng Xiaoping finally stepped out of Mao\'s
shadow and attempted to reverse the country\'s "backwardness."
In April 1976, four months before Mao\'s death, the Gang of Four led by
Mao\'s wife, Jiang Qing, a powerful member of the Politburo caused the third
downfall of Deng Xiaoping. Deng Xiaoping was forced to hide with old comrades
from the Nationalist-Communist Civil War. He persuaded an old marshal, Li
Xiannian, to join his side to fight against Jiang Qing. Deng Xiaoping also got
the support of military leaders of northern and southern China. With all this
support, he convinced Hua Guofeng, the premier of China, to arrest the Gang of