Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review of "Teng Hsiao-P’ing Comes to Washington: The Man and His Mission," by Richard C. Bush

Review of

Teng Hsiao-P’ing Comes to Washington: The Man and His Mission, by Richard C. Bush

Five out of five stars

 There have been two transformative political figures in China during the last two-thirds of the twentieth century. The first was Mao Zedong, the man who led the Communists to victory in the Chinese civil war and then launched purges and powerful social movements in the country that by the best estimates led to the deaths of 20-46 million people. The second was Deng Xiaoping, he was twice purged by Mao and barely avoided death, yet he implemented the policies that led to China rising in less than thirty years to the level of a global economic superpower.

 Deng emerged as the de facto leader of China in 1977 and so was relatively new to the position when he made his famous trip to Washington D. C. in January 1979 that is described here. While the trip was known to be historic at the time, no one truly understood the significance of Deng in the path of history.

 This book is a good, albeit brief summary of Deng’s policies and how the improvement of relations between the United States and China was one of the first initial steps in the rise of China to great power status. It is a great look back to the beginning of what we see now.

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