The main opposition which Deng Xiaoping faced was due to stand of maintaining China socialist system. According to Marti (2002), there were concerns that the open policy was making the coastal cities quite wealthy in relation to the other regions. Deng responded by acknowledging that fact and claimed that the wealthy acquired by the wealthy cities would be transferred from the rich to the poor through the tax system (Marti 105). There were persistent demands for democracy but Deng Xiaoping clashed all these. In response he claimed that the social system was best to steer the RPC ahead. He specially implicated this with the special zones which he claimed would fall overnight if democracy is allowed in. Marti (2002) quotes Deng Xiaoping, “if bourgeois liberalization is allowed to spread unchecked, the consequences will be extremely serious. We have spent ten years or so building the special zones to be as they are now. To make them collapse would be a matter of only one night, just as the case of the Soviet Union” (p. 105)    

Deng’s insistence on maintaining China’s socialist system forced him into a corner. This stand exhibited by Deng Xiaoping prompted a student demonstration which was widely televised. A series of student demonstrations was witnessed following an official visit by Mikhail Gorbachev. The magnitude of the demonstration proved to be a serious embarrassment to Deng Xiaoping and his fellow leaders. The demonstration was carried in form of hunger strike (they were determined to starve themselves to death) at the Tiananmen Square. The students who were getting anxious that the government was not willing to listen to them threatened to take a further step of setting themselves on fire (Stewart 102).

The demonstration was big disgrace to Deng Xiaoping. This was happening at an important time when Deng Xiaoping was set to get an approval for the modernization of China from the world. The turn of events become even more embarrassing for Deng as most of the official greeting of Gorbachev were cancelled due the uncontrollable crowds. Furthermore, against the expectation of Deng, the thousands of international journalist who had arrived at China to cover the first ever visit, in thirty years, by a Soviet leader visit turned from covering the visit to covering the students (Stewart 104).    

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The way the student demonstration was ended showed in very clear way the influence and power of Deng Xiaoping on the government. Deng Xiaoping asked the CPP secretary General Zhao Ziyang to clear the students but instead the general declined and sought to tearfully plead with the students at the square. Deng Xiaoping met with commander of the Chinese air force and navy to secure their support after which he ordered the premier to declare martial law. The military later killed hundreds of students at the Tiananmen Square drawing global criticism on the PRC leaders. The general secretary indicated publicly that Deng Xiaoping was responsible for the military action and that he was, “the strong arm of the arm” (Stewart 106).   

The Final Years

Despite the world wide criticism heaped on Deng Xiaoping, he remained adamant and supported his communist party’s dictatorship. Deng Xiaoping sought expand his open door policy and made more political reforms by putting the Zhao Ziyang as the premier and Hu Yaobang as the general secretary to the CCP. Many other young people were put in positions of responsibilities. Deng Xiaoping finally resigned from his official in November 1989. He died at the age of ninety two in 1997 (World bibliography 1).    


Born in 1904, Deng Xiaoping grew to become of the greatest leaders the people’s republic of china has ever seen. He studied in France and later went to Moscow for more studies. When he came back to China he easily rose in the political positions to become an influential person. His enthusiasm however put him at logger heads with the CCP chairman Mao. Twice he was dismissed from his political positions under the leadership of Mao. Upon the death of Mao in 1976 Deng Xiaoping came back to political life one more time and for all.

During his influence in the political arena he made it possible for the reformation of China and opening up of china to foreign economies. He also saw that important economic ties were made with influential nations including the USA, Japan, the states of the South East Asia and the then Soviet Union. His foreign relations to the outside world brought much progress to the people’s republic of China. He credited for bringing the PRC on the international platform.

His last days in the active political life involved a lot pubic challenge which was mostly in form of demonstrations against his stand against democracy.

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