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Deng Xiaoping (1904–1997)

Deng Xiaoping was arguably the most influential Chinese leader of the second half of the 20th century, apart from Mao Zedong. Deng encountered Marxism in France and, after his return to China, joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), serving as an officer in the civil war against the Nationalist government and in the struggle against Japan during World War II. After the CCP formed the People's Republic of China in 1949, Deng quickly became an influential leader, serving as secretary general of the CCP from 1957 to 1966, when he lost his position and was sent to work on a labor farm during the Cultural Revolution. He was returned to high-level politics in 1974 but again was purged until after the death of Mao Zedong ...

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