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Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China


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He did have these positions, the most important of which was probably as the chairman of the Military Commission.

Yes, I saw that but Deng never had the top spots. For a while, the presidency was largely a ceremonial function in China. Yet, from 1983-1988 Li Xiannian, 李先念, was the president who is described as a powerful man and who was also one of the Eight Elders of the Communist Party. Li opposed Deng's economic reforms and, apparently, Deng and Li disliked one another intensely. So, one might think that Deng would have wanted to solidify his role with an official title but apparently his real power eclipsed that.

The Vogel biography probably devotes at least 200 pages to the power struggles in the eighties. So, let's hope Roddy is still reading this biography and then is kind enough to summarize these struggles for us in one or two concise posts! :)

Edit: so I am reaching the same conclusion as post 18. As someone pointed out yesterday, my internet reading is very sloppy.

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