AT THE CENTER
RELATED RESOURCES: RELIGION AND PEACE
The Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping led the country’s economic liberalization and opening to the world between 1979 and 1992. Born in 1904, he became a communist political and military leader during the Chinese revolutionary period (1927-1949). In the decades after the Revolution of 1949, he served in various leadership positions under Mao Zedong, and was purged more than once for being too conciliatory toward political dissenters. After Mao’s death, he regained influence and emerged at the core of the second generation of the Chinese leadership, initiating a campaign of market-oriented economic reforms that led to a massive improvement in Chinese living standards. Deng presided over a steady improvement of relations with the West that was interrupted by the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. As part of his overall campaign of opening, he broke with the religious persecution of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).