fredag 28. desember 2018

China at the crossroads

Exactly four decades ago, the Chinese Communist Party, under its new leader Deng Xiaoping, decided to subordinate ideology to wealth creation, as illustrated by a new aphorism that later gained wide currency, “To get rich is glorious.” The party’s central committee in December 1978, disavowing the Mao Zedong thought as dogma, embraced a new principle that became Deng’s oft-quoted dictum, “Seek truth from facts.”

Mao’s death earlier in 1976 had triggered a vicious and protracted power struggle. When the diminutive Deng — once described by Mao as a “needle inside a ball of cotton” — finally emerged victorious at the age of 74, he hardly looked like an agent of reform.