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Deng Xiaoping
2007-07-10 09:59

A member of the Chinese Communist Party since his youth, Deng Xiaoping has rendered outstanding service to the Chinese people, throughout the revolution, during the development of the People's Republic and especially in recent years when, after the disastrous "cultural revolution", he succeeded in setting the country on the road to socialist modernization. he has proved to be far-sighted and persevering, a man of quick understanding and decisive action. the contribution he has made to the revolution, his courage as an innovator have earned his the trust of the Chinese people.

In his long career as a revolutionary Deng Xiaoping has enjoyed many victories and has also been through severe tests. On more than one occasion he was subjected to unjust attack simply because he refused to abandon correct views. this, however, only increase the respect in which he was h3eld, and ultimately he became the nation's chief policy-maker. the collective leadership which he now head has ushered China into a new historical period.


At he turn of the century the Chinese nation was groaning in misery. Under the leadership of Dr.Sun yat-sen a resolution was brewing, and the country was on the eve of radical changes, It was in this turbulent time that Deng Xiaoping was born.

Deng's birthplace was Paifang Village in Xiexing township, Guang'an County, in the province of Sichuan. His childhood home was a traditional compound with one-storied housed surrounding a courtyard on three sides. It was in these tree-shaded, tile-roofed buildings that his forefathers had lived for three generations and that Deng Xixian - the future Deng Xiaoping - was born on August 22,1904.

his father, Deng Wenming, had studied at the Chengdu School of Law and Political Science during the last Xiaoping's mother, Dan by her family name, died early, leaving behind the eldest son Deng Xiaoping, his three younger brothers, an elder sister and two younger sisters.

At five the boy entered and old-fashioned private pre-school, at seven a modern primary school and in due course a middle school in his native county. It happened that in 1919, on the proposal of Wu Yezhang, a member of the Chongqing to prepare young people to go to France on a work-study program. After passing the entrance examinations, the boy was enrolled in the school.

In his teens Deng Xiaoping already had some simple patriotic ideas. After the may 4th Movement of 1919, he joined his schoolmate in a boycott of Japanese goods. But his understanding did not go beyond the slogan"save the country by industrialization", an idea popular among students at the time. his ardent hope was to go to France to learn industrial skills through work and study for the benefit of the country.


In the summer of 1920, Deng Xiaoping graduated from the Chongqing Preparatory School, filled with fervent hopes, he and 80 schoolmates boarded a ship for France (traveling steerage) and in October arrived in Marseilles. Deng, the youngest of all the Chinese students, had just turned 16.

Things did not turn our as he had hoped. He found that he had to spend most of his time working, and at the most unskilled jobs. Two months after his arrival he began to do odd jobs at the Le Creusot Iron and Steel plant in central France. Later he worked as a fitter in the Renault factory in the Paris suburb of Billancourt, as a fireman on locomotive and as a kitchen helper in restaurants. He barely earned enough to survive. He attended middle schools briefly in Bayeux and Chatillon.

It was shortly after the end of World War I, and the European countries had not yet recovered from the devastation. In France job-hunting was especially difficult because of the depressed economy. Even those Chinese students who were fortune enough to find jobs in big factories were paid only half the wages of the ordinary French workers. Worse still, at this time Deng Xiaoping's family could no longer afford to send him money, so he had to scrape along on his own. His high hopes of studying abroad were crushed by the grim reality.

But new ideas were taking strong hold of the young man. thanks to the October Revolution in Russia, the workers' movement in France was gaining momentum, and Marxism and other schools of socialist thought were winning more and more adherents. A number of ideologically advanced Chinese students were starting to accept Marxism and take the revolutionary road. Under the influence of his seniors, Zhao Shiyan, Zhou Enlai and others, Deng began to study Marxism and do political propaganda work. In 1922 he joined the Communist Party of Chinese Youth in Europe (later the name was changed to the Chinese Socialist Youth League in Europe). In the second half of 1924 he joined the Chinese Communist Party and became one of the leading members of the General Branch of the Youth League in Europe. When he worked in Lyons the following year, the Party organization appointed him special representative to the Lyons Area Party Branch, where he directed the Party and League work as well as the Chinese workers' movement.

During the five years he spent in France, from age 16 to 21, Deng Xiaoping was transformed from a patriotic youth into a Marxist. It was the beginning of his revolutionary career. The Chinese Socialist Youth League in Europe published a mimeographed magazine, the Red Light, designed to help the Chinese comrades in France, Belgium and Germany to study theory. Deng not only co-edited and wrote articles for the journal but also cut stencils and did the mimeographing.

At about this time groups of Chinese Communist Party and Youth League members in Europe were going to the Soviet Union to study. In early 1926 Deng Xiaoping left France for Moscow. At first he entered the Communist University of the Toilers of the East, but shortly afterwards he transferred to the Sun yat-sen University. Named after the pioneer if the Chinese revolution, this university was intended to train personnel for the revolution. In China, meanwhile, a united front had been formed between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. Inspired by Dr. Sun's policy of alliance with Russia, co-operation with the Communist Party and assistance to peasants and workers, large numbers of Chinese young people with lofty ideals were arriving at the university to study. Today, Deng Xiaoping still remembers the two youngest students in his class - Feng Funeng, the eldest daughter of Feng Yuxiang, and Jiang Jingguo (Chiang Chingkuo), the eldest son of Chiang Kai-shek.


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