Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Four Modernizations
(1,416 words)

The Four Modernizations (sige xiandaihua) refers to the goal of modernizing China's agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology by the end of the 20th century. This objective is commonly associated with the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. However the concept has a long genealogy that far predates Deng's de facto assumption of power in 1978. The concept was first developed in the mid-1960s, in the aftermath of the Great Leap Forward. While Mao Zedong was pressing for the retention of class conflict and an emphasis on continuous revolution as the…

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Breslin, Shaun, “Four Modernizations”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 30 November 2022 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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