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Interesting facts about Xiaoping Deng.

Evan, Richard, Deng Xiaoping and The Making of Modern China, New York: Penguin Group, 1993.

“Because the political condition of the country was so bad, and also because jobs were hard to come by for the first generation of modern middle-school graduates, a large number of young Chinese were attracted by Li’s Programme. Between March 1919 and December 1920, almost 1600 worker-students . . . . A few, like Deng Xiaoping, were under twenty. . . . Some were university graduates, but the great majority had not gone beyond a secondary education. They came from the middle of society, and the sons and daughters of poorer landowners, merchants or scholars. Most of their families could ill afford the price of a steamship ticket to France, even at the concessionary rate of a hundred silver dollars which was on offer.”

“Deng’s departure from Bayeux ended his only period of modest comfort and security during the whole of his five years in France. For the rest of the time, he lived in factory dormitories or cheap hotels and did work that was often temporary and never skilled.”

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“It was against this background of indigence and insecurity that Deng was drawn into politics.”

“The office of the youth league was Zhou Enlai’s bedroom in cheap residential hotel…. Only three people at that time could squeeze into the room, even for conversation, so that meetings of the league’s executive committee, four or five strong, and larger gatherings, had to be held in local restaurants. In these, Zhou and the rest could normally afford no more than a single vegetable dish and a few bread rolls, and sometimes only rolls and hot water.”

“How did Deng’s years in France affect him otherwise? They certainly inoculated him against the sinocentrism which was so marked a feature in the outlook of Mao Zedong – and of all the other Chinese communist leaders, like Lin Biao, who never lived abroad. Throughout his political career, and especially during his years as China’s national leader, he took a great deal of interest in foreigners and in their perceptions of China. He showed, too, grasp of two truths: that China could not ignore the world, if only because the world would not ignore China; and that China could not hope to develop quickly without being willing to learn from the world. . . . France as such may have influenced him less strongly than the experience of living abroad. . . . there is no evidence that he took an interest in French art or literature, or even as a practical man, in French engineering and architecture. Nor is there anything in the record – the archives of French government departments, factories and schools, and the memoirs of other worker-students – to indicate that he had French friends.”
“Deng’s character would have developed wherever he had been between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one. But it is hard to believe that he would have become quite so tough or self-reliant, at any rate so young, unless he had gone through the hard school of living by his wits in a world where there was little sympathy, and even less support, for a young Chinese who was down on his luck.”

“Deng Xiaoping spent eleven months in Moscow. To begin with, he was a student at the Communist University for the toilers of the East. . . . During the 1920s, hundreds of Chinese communists – including two, Liu Shaoqi and Ren Bishi, who were to rise very high in the party – were among its students.”

“Luo Fu was five or six years older than Wang and Bo and knew rather more about the world. The son of a scholar who had become a successful businessman, he was something of a scholar himself. He had spent two years in California, attending at least some university classes and working on a magazine for the Chinese community in San Francisco, and he spoke good English.”

“Deng had two classmates of this kind: Chiang Kaisheck’s son Chiang Chingkuo (only seventeen in 1925) and Feng Funeng, a daughter of the warlord Feng Yuxiang…In Deng’s time, the academic load was heavy. Seven subjects were taught: foreign languages, history, philosophy, political economy, economic geography, Leninism and military science.”

1 Comment

  1. fish

    May 14, 2013 @ 9:29 am



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