Chris Calle: Deng Xiaoping
Artist: Chris Calle
One of the towering figures of the 20th century, Deng Xiaoping survived years of national turmoil to become the Great Modernizer of China. He was a member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the 1920s, participated in the Long March (1934-36) as a private, and served as a political commissar of the People's Liberation Army during the civil war of 1937-49. Named to the CCP Politburo in 1955, Deng headed the secretariat in the early 1960s, but was dismissed as a capitalist sympathizer during the 1966 Cultural Revolution. He was reinstated as Deputy Premier in 1973, but was again removed from office in 1976. With the support of Marshall Ye Jianying, however, he returned to senior government in mid-1977 and by 1980 was China's paramount leader. His vision of socialism set his country on the course to rapid economic modernization, as well as opening China to the world. He retired from the Politburo in 1987 and as chairman of the State Military Commission in March 1990. Deng died at Beijing, February 19, 1997, just months before his dream -- the return of Hong Kong to China -- was realized.
This painting originally appeared on the Republic of the Marshall Islands 60¢ In Memory of Deng Xiaoping stamp issued April 21, 1997.
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