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For this video we are going to talk about life after Mao from 1976 to the present.
So, Mao?s death marked an end of an era in 1976. His death created a power vacuum in China that needed to be addressed immediately. The Gang of Four was a group led by Chairman Mao?s wife. His wife and her colleagues looked to seize power in China in order to continue several aspects of Mao?s Cultural Revolution and ultimately have power. However, Deng Xiaoping won control of China and jailed the members of the Gang of Four.
Deng Xiaoping?s legacy as leader of China focuses on his ability to modernize relations with the United States. The modernization of China and the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Deng Xiaoping?s plan to modernize China focused on agriculture, industry, science and technology, and defense. Deng was willing to shift from communist ideologies if it meant it was best for China. Deng was open to change however it had to be limited. It cannot threat his power.
Deng hoped to reverse the uneducation policies of the Cultural Revolution. He promoted education, he encouraged people to study abroad and become educated. He saw education as a powerful tool that would benefit China greatly. Additionally, Deng also encouraged the implementation of western technology to modernize China. Western influence was not necessarily a bad thing anymore and it was something that was encouraged as long as it did not challenge his power.
Under Deng we see a huge economic goal shift occur. China?s economy shifted from communist attitudes to a form of limited capitalism. Private ownership of land was allowed in China under the responsibility system. The system allowed peasants to make a profit while still giving the government its part. Deng also created special economic zones or SEZs to promote economic growth. These zones promoted free markets, allowed international trade, but still also had a steady government influence that limited personal freedoms. These economic changes did promote economic growth in China, but it also created a gap between the rich and the poor which was the major shift from communist attitudes. Remember communism promoted equality among classes. No matter where you stood in China, you were all equal.
Socially, population under Deng Xiaoping grew significantly. However, the population growth drained the country?s resources and lead to slow economic growth. This forced the government to enforce the One Child Policy in urban areas by offering rewards for those who followed which included better housing and educational opportunities, but also included punishments for those who chose not to follow the policy. And these resulted in large fees that would obviously force people to follow the policy. Some effects that occurred were it does lower the population but also lowers the female population in China significantly.
Deng Xiaoping experience many successes but also some failures during his tenure. Deng encourages education and as a result, more qualified people and officials. Deng modernizes China and significantly pushes its economy forward however his government still reflected communist tendencies. Personal freedoms were still very much limited and those who oppose the government were still treated unfairly. Tiananmen Square is considered by many to be his greatest failure. Although China modernized significantly, more ground was to be gained.
At Tiananmen Square many protested, mostly students, for government reforms to be made. The protestors refused to leave until changes were made. Several went on hunger strikes throughout their protest. The protest itself lasted quite a bit of time eventually the protest ended as the Chinese Army was ordered to clear the square. Many were killed and injured as the army ended the protest. This was a major failure by Deng Xiaoping.
Deng Xiaoping was in power until 1997. Today we know China continued to modernize. The Chinese economy reflects communist attitudes as its role in the global economy and serves as a major factor in the world. Politically the government still shares communist tendencies. The government however is very much involved in international politics. Socially, modernization continues. The population continues to grow and pollution has increased significantly.
China has grown significantly since Mao had power. Under Deng Xiaoping it modernizes, and it still continues to grow today. Today China is a world power and will be for quite some time.