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Four Modernizations

(1,416 words)

Author(s): Breslin, Shaun
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 continu…

Deng Xiaoping Theory

(975 words)

Author(s): Breslin, Shaun
Defining Deng Xiaoping Theory succinctly is a difficult task. This is partly because Deng changed his opinion, or at least his political alliances, on a number of occasions during his political career. For example, Deng was one of Mao's strongest supporters in the 1950s, and helped promote the radicalism of the Great Leap Forward. Yet he also did much to overturn this radicalism after the failure of the Great Leap in the 1960s. Even after he rejected radicalism and embraced economic reform, Deng…