Deng Xiaoping

This passage is about the famous Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping.

Lexile Level: 710L

Categories: History People & Places

Deng Xiaoping was the last chairman of the People's Republic of China. To many outsiders, Deng was a paradoxical figure. Deng succeeded Mao Zedong after Mao died in 1976. Deng and Mao had fought side by side during the early years of China's communist revolution. The communists gained power in 1959. Deng and Mao later disagreed about how to run the government. Deng resigned. He worked in exile in China's countryside. When Mao died, the government leaders asked Deng to return to Beijing and rule China. Deng started economic reforms. He opened the country to foreign investment. He was far more liberal economically than Mao had been. But Deng ruled as a tyrant. He jailed or exiled many of those who opposed him. He ended the Democracy Wall Movement in 1979, and he crushed nationwide student protests in 1989. When Deng died, China's leaders decided that no one else would be a chairman. Now the prime minister holds the highest level of office in the People's Republic.

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