Deng Xiaoping (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Deng was a member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party until 1987, held various official titles from 1949 to 1989 (including deputy prime minister), and was China’s de facto ruler from 1978 until his death in 1997. The rapid economic growth that China experienced after 1979 was largely the result of his economic policies.
Deng Xiaoping, born Deng Xixien, came from a wealthy landlord family that owned about ten hectares of land and employed servants and farm laborers. They grew rice, wheat, sorghum, and other cereal crops, and harvested over thirteen tons of grains annually. His father Deng Wenming was a respected local leader whose wife (née Zhang) was childless. He then took three concubines; the first one (née Yen) bore him a daughter and three sons. Xixien was the eldest son; he took the name Xiaoping at age twenty when he joined the Chinese Communist Party. Xiaoping attended the local elementary school and middle school in the county town.
In 1919 Deng enrolled in a special French-language school in Chongqing that prepared students for the Work-Study program in France (begun in 1912). He was one of over eighty Sichuan students who passed the qualifying exams in 1920; they set sail for France in the fall of that year. Deng remained in France until 1924, but he did not enroll in any schools for formal study. Instead, he spent his time working in various...
(The entire section is 1952 words.)
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