(en)The Death of Deng Xiaoping

CND-Global Editors (cnd-editor@cnd.org)
Wed, 19 Feb 1997 22:40:09 -0800


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(A-Infos Editor's Note: Read with an open mind)

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(Global News, No. GL97-024)

CND Special Report: DENG Xiaoping Died Wednesday Evening

Wednesday, February 19, 1997

ISSN 1024-9117

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. DENG Xiaoping, 92, Dies. Funeral Committee Set Up .................... 28 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- By: TANG Hong

[CND, 02/19/97] The official Xinhua News Agency reported that China's paramount leader DENG Xiaoping died at 9:08pm Beijing Time today. DENG "had suffered the advanced stage of Parkinson's disease with complication of lung infections" according to the Xinhua statement. Emergency treatment failed and DENG "passed away because of failure of the respiration circulating functions." DENG, 92, was born on August 22, 1904 and official reports have put his age as 93.

DENG's official funeral committee consists of 459 members. JIANG Zemin, head of the Communist Party and its Central Military Commission and the state, ranked top in the committee and he is followed by LI Peng, the Premier of the State Council, and then by QIAO Shi, head of the People's Congress. There's no report on the date of the funeral ceremonies yet. No foreign delegation will be present, nor will foreign reporters be allowed in the funeral.

The official announcement came nearly six hours after DENG passed away, on early morning Thursday at 2:50am Beijing Time, Deutsche Presse-Agentur observed.

DENG's last public appearance was about three years ago. He is widely known to the world for his decision to open China and lead its successful economic reform, and for his orders in 1989 to kill innocent peaceful demonstrators against corruption of officials, a byproduct of the very same reform. His famous phrase "it does not matter if the cat is black or white, just as long as it catches mice" summed up his pragmatic approach to "socialism with Chinese characteristics."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. Domestic Reactions on DENG's Passing Away ............................ 31 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summarized by TANG Hong, Yin De An

[CND, 02/19/97]

* The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the State Council, and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference jointly published an obituary, in which DENG Xiaoping was hailed as "an outstanding leader enjoying high prestige acknowledged by the party, the army and the people of all ethnic groups throughout China." It was addressed to the party, the army and the people of all ethnicity in the nation. The obituary said Deng was a "great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, statesman, military strategist and diplomat, and a long-test communist fighter."

* Xinhua's statement expressed "profound grief" over the death of "our beloved comrade" DENG Xiaoping and called him "the chief architect of China's socialist reforms, opening up, and modernisation drive and the founder of the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. Chronology of DENG's Life ........................................... 136 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Forwarded by: Yin De An, 2/19/97

* The Associated Press summarized major events during Deng's Era as follows:

July 22, 1977: Deng makes his first appearance after the death of Mao Tse-tung; is named vice premier, his highest government post.

December 1978: Communist Party adopts Deng's program of "reform and opening up to the outside world"; marks start of China's transformation from a planned economy to market-oriented one.

Winter 1978-79: Political activists post essays urging democracy on a wall in central Beijing in the short-lived Democracy Wall movement.

Jan. 1, 1979: China and the United States establish diplomatic relations. Later in the month, Deng visits the United States.

August 1980: Shenzhen designated China's first special economic zone to be nation's testing grounds for economic reforms.

November 1980: Gang of Four, scapegoat for the chaotic, ultra-leftist 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, tried and sentenced in nationally televised court proceedings. Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, is sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment.

October 1984: Communist Party announces momentous economic reforms, including plans to lift government price subsidies and relaxing party control over enterprises.

September 1986: China's first stock market opens in Shanghai.

Dec. 10-30, 1986: Thousands of students in Shanghai protest for democracy; demonstrations spread to Beijing.

Jan. 16, 1987: Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang becomes scapegoat for student protests, is forced to resign. He is succeeded by Zhao Ziyang.

Oct. 25, 1987: Deng steps down from all but top military post; party vows to continue economic reform and opening up policies.

April 15, 1989: Former party chief Hu Yaobang dies; two days later, thousands of students in Beijing and Shanghai take to the streets to mourn his death.

May 15-18, 1989: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev visits Beijing to mend 30-year Sino-Soviet rift.

May 18, 1989: One million protesters fill Tiananmen Square. Two days later, martial law imposed in Beijing.

June 3-4, 1989: Troops enter Beijing, firing on the crowds and clearing Tiananmen Square. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of unarmed civilians are killed.

June 24, 1989: Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang ousted for allegedly supporting the protests; Jiang Zemin becomes Deng's third handpicked successor; Deng resigns from his last official post.

Jan.-Feb. 1992: Deng tours southern provinces urging more bold economic reforms; his remarks jump-start reform measures stalled after the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

February 1994: Deng's last public appearances.

Feb. 19, 1997: Deng dies of respiratory failure."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. Selected DENG Sayings ................................................ 53 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reuter quoted the following DENG sayings in a news report seen on Feb. 19, 1997:

"Poverty is not socialism"

"Only speedy development passes the rigorous test of reason"

"Enrich yourselves!"

"If a party, a state or a nation proceeds in everything on the basis of books, is rigid in its way of thinking and practices blind worship, it will not be able to advance and its life will cease. Then the party and the state will perish"

"The key point of the reforms... is to vitalise China's economy and open the country to the outside world....We regard the reform as a revolution"

"As we proceed with the four modernizations, reform and opening up, the key requirement is stability. We must deal with whatever obstructs stability. We will not concede; we will not accommodate... We must send out the signal that China will not tolerate upheavals"

"We must guard against the 'peaceful evolution' staged by some Western countries against socialist countries" . "It is necessary to grasp things with both hands. With one hand, we grasp reform and opening up, and with the other we grasp cracking down on all kinds of criminal activities. Both hands must be tough. In cracking down on all kinds of criminal activities and disgusting phenmoena, we cannot succeed if we are irresolute and softhearted"

"It makes no difference if a cat is black or white; as long as it catches mice, it is a good cat"

"We should be bold in reform and opening, bold in making experiments, instead of being like women with bound feet... Who dares say that everything can be done with 100 percent certainty? There is no such thing as having to be 100 percent correct before starting to do something"

"Are securities and stocks good or bad? Is there any danger or not? Do they belong to capitalism? Can they be adopted to socialism? We can judge. But we should make resolute experiments. If our judgement is right, we carry it on... if it is wrong we correct and stop it. We can stop quickly or slowly or leave something behind. What are we afraid of? With this attitude, we will not make big mistakes"

"We should be bolder than before in conducting reform and opening to the outside and have the courage to experiment. We must not act like women with bound feet"

"I would be quite content if I myself could be rated 50-50 in merits and demerits. But one thing I can say for myself: I have had a clear conscience all my life. Please mark my words: I have made quite a few mistakes... But it can be said that I made my mistakes with good intentions."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6. People Speculate on Post-DENG China................................... 39 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- By: Jian-Min LI, Yin De An

[CND, 02/19/97] Just hours after DENG Xiaoping's death, people started to speculate what would happen to China in the post-Deng era, Deutche Presse- Agentur, Reuters and UPI reported Wednesday.

"I think you will see considerable continuity because JIANG Zemin and his colleagues have been running policy for several years and Deng has not even been seen in public since 1994," said Winston Lord, former assistant secretary of state for East Asia and U.S. ambassador to China.

"We can expect a period of consolidation, some back-and-forth," Clinton's national security advisor, Sandy Berger, told CNN. "But I don't foresee any major change in the near future. The transition really has begun to a new leadership in which President Jiang is first among equals," Berger said.

Jiang will face a series of challenges over the next 18 months that will allow him to consolidate his rule, said Michel Oksenberg, a China scholar at Stanford University. Those challenges include the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule on July 1, the 15th Communist Party congress later this year, and the selection of a new premier to replace Li Peng, whose term expires under the Chinese constitution.

In San Francisco, Harry WU predicted Wednesday the death of Deng Xiaoping would spark a power struggle.

"I don't think there will be an immediate power struggle," one Western diplomat said Thursday in Beijing. "The immediate concern will be to present a face of calm, stability and normality."

"It'll be like a duck swimming -- on the surface it'll be calm but underneath it'll be turbulent," said one Chinese analyst, who asked not to be identified.

Kosaku Inaba, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Deng's reforms are well under way, so his death will cause no confusion.

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