Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A969-W622



Release Date: November 19, 2016



Topic: The Coup of Deng Xiaoping and Beyond -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:从邓小平的政变说起 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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The Coup of Deng Xiaoping and Beyond

-- Wei Jingsheng



Since I was young, I have enjoyed studying history.  I received guidance from many old gentlemen scholars.  One of them liked me so much and wanted to recruit me as a graduate student.  But wrong courses of the history resulted in me being unable to enter the graduate school.  Instead, I unexpectedly participated in the 1978 Democracy Wall Movement in China, and then expectedly entered the prison.


Although I lost my opportunity to enter the graduate school due a "back door" acceptance of a different student personally approved by Deng Xiaoping, that was not related to the fact that I opposed Deng's policy.  Deng Xiaoping also did not expect to create an enemy to his own; although it was unintentional.  As many of these old gentlemen scholars told me later: What a pity, if you had become our graduate student, then you would not have to spend more than a decade in prison.


But I think it was more important to raise my arms in a call for democracy and freedom for China, than to become a graduate student.  Who can have this opportunity of life to carry out his loyalty for the people?  So I should thank Deng Xiaoping for opening the "back door" to squeeze me out of graduate school.  Otherwise it would not have met the needs of history.  History is filled with these contingent yet interrelated events.  It was not an accident for me to criticize Deng Xiaoping during the 1978 Democracy Wall period.  That was because I had a long-term observation of politics and found out that Deng's machinations would be successful.  I could not bear that and thus jumped out and spoke out with my own life on line.


Even nowadays, very few people have talked about Deng Xiaoping's coup which replaced Hua Guofeng.  Even fewer people think that Deng Xiaoping had an even greater plot.  However, the Democracy Wall movement reminded many senior Communist cadres who had just released from prison at that time to be wary.  Thus Deng Xiaoping's ambitions to be the second Mao Zedong were unsuccessful.  Even these senior Communist cadres did not want to suffer a second time as they had during the Mao Zedong era, and they did not want to see another Mao Zedong.


However, Deng Xiaoping did a great job and had a successful of coup d'etat by groveling and receding.  His actions can be used as a model for people today.  The experience can be said to be a lesson.  As Mao Zedong once said, the historical experience is worth noting.


At that time, the situation was like this: even before his death, Mao Zedong already had a judgment of Deng Xiaoping as not a person who would behave himself and inevitably would be a fatal threat to the continuity of Mao Zedong's line of policies.  Thus Mao empowered Hua Guofeng, who had a public opinion of being well behaved, with enough power that was sufficient to subdue the authority of Deng Xiaoping and other senior Communist cadres.  Zhou Enlai and Zhu De, who were difficult to subdue, had already died before Mao Zedong.  Thus according to Mao's plan, after he finished his full term, Hua Guofeng should have smoothly transferred power to Jiang Qing, wife of Mao Zedong, and other cronies of Mao.


Unfortunately, Hua Guofeng was not able to tolerate Jiang Qing's domineering as people had imagined, and Wang Dongxing (Mao's principal bodyguard and one of the decision makers making the arrest of the Gang of Four headed by Jiang Qing) could tolerate her even less.  This time Mao made an error in his judgment.  He had many errors of judgment in his life, yet was able to remedy them.  However, he could not remedy this one when he was already dead.


Thus came the opportunity for Deng Xiaoping.  Originally, Mao Zedong calculated that it was impossible for Deng Xiaoping to fight against Jiang Qing's Gang of Four after Deng lost his power.  But Mao did not expect that Hua Guofeng would turn against her; thus the opportunity for Deng Xiaoping arrived.  But Deng Xiaoping did not act rashly, because both Hua Guofeng and Wang Dongxing were not fools.  Of course both Hua and Wang maintained vigilance against careerists within the Communist leadership who had strength.  Deng Xiaoping adopted a strategy of groveling and receding.  This was similar to his strategy of "hide our capabilities and bide our time" to the international society after Deng took over the power.


Deng Xiaoping adopted the same strategy that he did after Lin Biao's failed coup.  Just as he wrote to express his allegiance to Chairman Mao after Lin Biao's coup, this time, he wrote to Chairman Hua to express his allegiance, and even said to continue the movement to criticize Deng Xiaoping and counterattack right-leaning political overturn winds, etc.  This not very clever trick actually made Hua Guofeng believe in him.  So later on people have thought Hua Guofeng was really stupid, or too "well behaved".  This kind of evaluation after the fact is not really sound, because they did not take into account that when one's status soars, one's confidence will overflow as well.  Hua Guofeng certainly believed that even if Deng Xiaoping played tricks, he could not win over Chairman Hua himself who had the power.


But Hua Guofeng was wrong.  After Deng Xiaoping resumed his job, he actively contacted senior Communist cadres.  Deng used Mao Zedong's consistent approach, which was to make a hit after all the hidden preparation which ensured the hit to be correctly aimed.  This was the tested magic of Mao Zedong during his internal struggle within the Communist leadership.  Deng Xiaoping had finally learned the essence after suffering repeated losses.


Yet, just the use of these tactics was not enough to fight against the monopoly power of Hua Guofeng.  The most important addition was that Deng Xiaoping made good use of Hua's mistake.  Hua Guofeng was flattered to believe that people supported him, instead of his representation of the non-Mao Zedong tendency.  So he continued adherence to Mao's line, which became the best reason for people to oppose him.  Deng Xiaoping wisely used this.  He quickly organized an anti-Hua Guofeng alliance, and grabbed the real power into his own hands.


But after he grabbed the power, Deng Xiaoping did not reform the model of Mao Zedong.  We can see that he still insisted on his old communist dictatorship.  Deng Xiaoping quickly did two things.  First, he visited the United States to prove that he was stronger than Hua Guofeng in diplomacy, while gaining the support of the United States.  Second, he immediately launched a war against Vietnam, thus increasing his prestige and warned the opponents within the Communist leadership that the army was in the hands of Deng Xiaoping.  This was the same approach of Mao Zedong during the early days of the Communist regime, which was clearly a road to dictatorship.  So I warned all the people that Deng Xiaoping was engaged in a new dictatorship.


Ultimately, Deng Xiaoping did not become a true dictator.  That was not because he did not have the desire to be a dictator, but because he could not be one.  All the people of the whole China wanted to change the model of Mao Zedong.  The strong pressure from the people of insight within the Communist Party and in the Chinese society forced him to go against his own will, and to reform both politically and the economically.  Within the Communist leadership, Deng had a difficulty to lead, thus had to carry out the so-called democracy within the Communist Party with a collective responsibility system.  He also encountered difficulties outside of the central government, thus he had to implementing the economic reform which already had broken through in the provinces despite suppression.  To call Deng Xiaoping as "the chief designer of the economic reform" in China, is a wrongful way to treat Deng Xiaoping, very wrong.


But Deng was a smart man.  As a compromise, he tolerated the so-called democracy within the Communist leadership, but kept one-party dictatorship.  Another compromise he made was to open a half-baked market economy to ensure a short-term economic growth, but did not give up the monopoly of state-owned economy.  Today, Xi Jinping is not that smart.  Xi Jinping is opposing the aspirations of the entire Chinese people, in an attempt to restore autocratic monopoly and monopolistic economy of the Mao Zedong era.  Not only the people of the country, but also the people of insight within the Communist leadership can see: Xi Jinping's reverse action provides the right opportunity to these ambitious politicians.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's related commentary, please visit:



(Written and recorded on October 11, 2016.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A969-W622



Release Date: November 19, 2016



Topic: The Coup of Deng Xiaoping and Beyond -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:从邓小平的政变说起 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生





























不过邓小平还是个聪明人,作为妥协他容忍了所谓的党内民主,但保留了一党专政。作为妥协他开放了半吊子市场经济,保证了短期内的经济增长,但没有放弃国营经 济的垄断地位。如今的习近平可没有这么聪明。他正在和全中国人民的愿望对着干,企图恢复毛泽东时代的独裁专制和垄断性经济。不要说全国人民了,就是党内的有识之士也能看出来:习近平的倒行逆施,正是野心勃勃的政治家们的机会。 












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