Deng Xiaoping quotes

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Deng Xiaoping

Birthdate: 22. August 1904
Date of death: 19. February 1997

Deng Xiaoping , courtesy name Xixian, was a Chinese politician. He was the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China from 1978 until his retirement in 1989. After Chairman Mao Zedong's death in 1976, Deng led China through far-reaching market-economy reforms. While Deng never held office as the head of state, head of government or General Secretary , he nonetheless was responsible for economic reforms and an opening to the global economy. During his paramount leadership, his official state positions were Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1978–1983 and Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China from 1983–1990, while his official party positions were Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1977–1982 and Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China from 1981–1989.

Born into a peasant background in Guang'an, Sichuan province, Deng studied and worked in France in the 1920s, where he became a follower of Marxism–Leninism. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1923. Upon his return to China he joined the party organization in Shanghai, then was a political commissar for the Red Army in rural regions and by the late 1930s was considered a "revolutionary veteran" because he participated in the Long March. Following the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, Deng worked in Tibet and the southwest region to consolidate Communist control.

As the party's Secretary General in the 1950s, Deng presided over anti-rightist campaigns and became instrumental in China's economic reconstruction following the Great Leap Forward of 1957–1960. However, his economic policies caused him to fall out of favor with Mao, and he was purged twice during the Cultural Revolution. Following Mao's death in 1976, Deng outmanoeuvred the late chairman's chosen successor Hua Guofeng in December 1978. Inheriting a country beset with social conflict, disenchantment with the Communist Party and institutional disorder resulting from the chaotic policies of the Mao era, Deng became the paramount figure of the "second generation" of party leadership. Some called him "the architect" of a new brand of thinking that combined socialist ideology with pragmatic market economy whose slogan was "socialism with Chinese characteristics". Deng opened China to foreign investment and the global market, policies that are credited with developing China into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world for several generations and raising the standard of living of hundreds of millions. Deng was also criticized for ordering the crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, but praised for his reaffirmation of the reform program in his Southern Tour of 1992 and the reversion of Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997. He was the Time Person of the Year in 1978 and 1985, the second Chinese leader and the sixth communist leader to be selected. He died in February 1997, aged 92.

Quotes Deng Xiaoping

„One Country, Two systems.“

—  Deng Xiaoping

Actually coined by Mao Zedong, popularized by Deng Xiaoping
Misattributed or apocryphal

„Crossing the river by feeling the stones“

—  Deng Xiaoping

摸着石头过河 (mō zhe shítou guòhé)
Meaning: proceed gradually, by experimentation.
Traditional saying, first used in Chinese Communist context by Chen Yun, 1980 December 16, then popularized by Deng 1984 October. Frequently misattributed to Deng.
Misattributed or apocryphal
Source: Henry He, Dictionary of the Political Thought of the People's Republic of China, Routledge, 2016, ISBN 978-1-31550044-7, p. 287 https://books.google.com/books?id=XSi3DAAAQBAJ&lpg=PA287&dq=%22cross%20the%20river%20by%20feeling%20the%20stones%22&pg=PA287#v=onepage
Source: Evan Osnos, Boom Doctor https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/10/11/boom-doctor, New Yorker, October 11, 2010:
The strategy, as Chen Yun put it, was “crossing the river by feeling for the stones.” (Deng, inevitably, received credit for the expression.)
Source: Chinese land reform: A world to turn upside down https://www.economist.com/briefing/2013/10/31/a-world-to-turn-upside-down, The Economist, 2013 October 31
Liu Hongzhi, who oversees the scheme, quotes a famous phrase often attributed to Deng, though in fact coined by a colleague: “We are crossing the river by feeling the stones.”

„Seek Truth from Facts“

—  Deng Xiaoping

Actually from the Han Shu 《漢書·河間獻王劉德傳》, not coined by Mao Zedong nor by Deng Xiaoping, popularized by various people before them.
Misattributed or apocryphal

„A basic contradiction between socialism and the market economy does not exist.“

—  Deng Xiaoping

As quoted in Daily report: People's Republic of China, Editions 240-249 (1993), p. 30
Interview, Time, 4 November 1985.
Variant: There are no fundamental contradictions between a socialist system and a market economy.

„To get rich is glorious!“

—  Deng Xiaoping

Deng is commonly quoted with this phrase in western media but there is no proof that he actually said it
However, this phrase in Chinese is more accurately translated as ""wealth is glorious,"" where wealth can have a very general meaning, including knowledge, personal relationships, family: anything of value. Understood this way, the quote is not as directly controversial as a ideological/political statement, and so it is not hard to believe that he really did say this.

Source: http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/689588251.html?dids=689588251:689588251&FMT=ABS
Misattributed or apocryphal
Original: (zh) 致富光荣

„Let some people get rich first.“

—  Deng Xiaoping

"Nanxun" (Southern Tour) of 1992. Quoted in The Economist http://www.economist.com/node/639652 (31 May 2001). A summarization of several quotations from Deng Xiaoping, known in Chinese as, "让一部分人先富起来", News of the Communist Party of China http://cpc.people.com.cn/GB/34136/2569304.html World Development Report 2009 https://books.google.com/books?id=ZkDE5CxAqHcC&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=%22some+areas+must+get+rich+before+others%22&source=bl&ots=ezli3nfD8W&sig=ACfU3U2wto-q9C3waDTgnGgB2xLgodbruA&hl=en&sa=X The Nanxun Legacy and China's Development in the Post-Deng Era https://books.google.com/books?id=jDJqDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA202&dq=%22to+get+rich+first%22&hl=en&sa=X.
Misattributed or apocryphal

„The United States brags about its political system, but the [American] President says one thing during the election, something else when he takes office, something else at midterm and something else when he leaves.“

—  Deng Xiaoping

When asked about China's political stability by a group of American professors in 1983, as quoted in The Pacific Rim and the Western World: Strategic, Economic, and Cultural Perspectives (1987), p. 105

„It doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.“

—  Deng Xiaoping

Quoted in Hung Li China's Political Situation and the Power Struggle in Peking (1977), p. 107
According to Chambers Dictionary of Quotations (1993), p. 315, this quote is from a speech at the Communist Youth League conference in July 1962.

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„If you open a window for fresh air, you have to expect some flies to blow in.“

—  Deng Xiaoping

» Great Firewall of China Torfox, cs.stanford.edu, 2018-05-02 https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs201/projects/2010-11/FreedomOfInformationChina/category/great-firewall-of-china/index.html,

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