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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Reform and Opening in China, 1978-

China's policy of reform and opening not only led to a dramatic transformation of its economy, but also reshaped the dynamic of international relations through the end of the Cold War and after. For other collections on China’s modern political history, see: Chinese Civil War, 1945-1950; Purges in 1950s China; China’s Great Leap Forward, 1958-1961; China’s Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976; and China, 1989. (Image: Billboard of Deng Xiaoping from Shenzhen, a special economic zone established in 1979.)

  • July 14, 1976

    Consultation with Comrade O. B. Rakhmanin, Candidate of the CPSU CC and First Deputy Head of the International Department of CC, to Prepare the Ninth Interkit Meeting on 9 July 1976 in Moscow

    This consultation on preparations for the 9th Internal China (Interkit) Meeting in Berlin. Notes the growing anti-Sovietism in China, as well as a possible rebirth of capitalism there.

  • October 10, 1976

    Letter from Deng Xiaoping to Hua Guofeng and the CCP Central Committee

    Deng Xiaoping offers his support for Hua Guofeng's appointment as Chairman of the CCP and the Central Military Commission, calling Hua the "most suitable successor to Chairman Mao."

  • March 14, 1977

    Hua Guofeng's Speech at the Central Work Conference

    Hua Guofeng criticizes the Gang of Four, evaluates Deng Xiaoping, comments on demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, and calls for the CCP to "implement Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line."

  • March 22, 1977

    Vice Chairman Ye Jianying's Speech at the Closing Session of the Central Work Conference

    Ye Jianying praises Mao Zedong, offering a historical overview of his achievements, and says that Hua Guofeng "is raising Chairman Mao’s banner high and continuing his legacy."

  • May 10, 1977

    Letter from Deng Xiaoping to Chairman Hua Guofeng, Vice Chairman Ye Jianying, and the CCP Central Committee

    Deng Xiaoping offers a self-criticism and says that he endorses the policies of Hua Guofeng.

  • November 10, 1978

    Hua Guofeng's Speech at the Opening Session of the CCP Central Work Conference

    Hua Guofeng assesses developments in China since the Chinese Communist Party "smashed the Gang of Four" in 1976. He calls for the CCP to continue to follow the path laid down by Mao Zedong, and comments on China's economic policy and foreign policy.

  • November 25, 1978

    Hua Guofeng's Second Speech at the CCP Central Work Conference

    Hua Guofeng discusses the 1976 Tiananmen Incident following Zhou Enlai's death, the Gang of Four, and purges within the Chinese Communist Party (including Peng Dehuai, Tao Zhu, and Yang Shangkun).

  • December, 1978

    The Politics of the Chinese Leadership after the 11th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party

    This Soviet study of the Chinese leadership after the 11th congress of the Communist Party of China analyzes Chinese foreign policy in the late 1970s, discusses issues related to China's internal situation, especially in military matters, and condemns Maoism as an essentially anti-Communist ideology.

  • December 13, 1978

    Hua Guofeng's Speech at the Closing Session of the CCP Central Work Conference

    Hua Guofeng reflects on the conclusion of the 1978 Central Committee Work Conference, and describes his policy of the "two whatevers," or the decision to uphold Mao Zedong's policies and instructions.

  • December 13, 1978

    Ye Jianying's Speech at the Closing Session of the CCP Central Work Conference

    Ye Jianying reflects on the "Fascist dictatorship perpetuated by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four."

  • March 01, 1979

    Information regarding the Visit of the Study Group of the CC PUWP in China

    Talks about the development of trade and economy in Poland, and the need to develop Chinese relations with Poland, which can be done by developing the Chinese language more in Poland.

  • June, 1980

    East German Report on the Eleventh Interkit Meeting in Poland, June 1980

    Report from the East German representatives on the 11th Interkit meeting held in Poland. This was the first meeting attended by the Vietnamese.

  • October 02, 1980

    CPSU CC Politburo Directive to Soviet Ambassadors and Representatives, 'Carrying Out Additional Measures to Counter American-Chinese Military Cooperation'

    Instructions to Soviet ambassadors discussing the growing military cooperation between China and the United States.

  • December 11, 1980

    Secret Telegram No. 3267/IV - From Beijing to Warsaw

    Czyrek reports that he is going to release an official remark in Poland in order to divert a “wedge” that China is trying to create between the Soviet Union and Poland.

  • June 27, 1981

    Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China

    The Chinese Communist Party assesses the legacy and shortcomings of Mao Zedong, criticizes the Cultural Revolution, and calls for Party unity going forward.

  • August, 1981

    Information for the Politburo of the Central Committee of the SED, 'Visit by Two Officials from the CCP Central Committee to the GDR (16 July to 23 August 1981)'

    East German and Chinese diplomats discuss ongoing political and economic changes in China and in the GDR.

  • June 08, 1982

    The State of Foreign Policy

    Discusses issues related to upholding Sino-Soviet relations, to maintaining an active foreign policy with socialist and capitalist countries, and touching on issues related to various socialist countries at the time.

  • June 09, 1982

    Conversation between Soviet Foreign Ministry Official Mikhail S. Kapitsa and Deputy Foreign Minister of Mongolia D. Yondon

    Record of conversation between Mikhail S. Kapitsa, the head of the First Far Eastern Department of the Soviet Foreign Ministry, and D. Yondon, First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Mongolian People's Republic. They discuss foreign relations with China, Japan and North Korea. They also discuss the current situation in Vietnam, India and Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

  • March 25, 1984

    Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minister Visit to China (Foreign Ministers’ Discussion – Regarding the Participation of China in the ADB)'

    Wu Xueqian briefs Abe Shintaro on China's participation in the Asian Development Bank and the dilemma that Taiwan's involvement poses.

  • March 25, 1984

    Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minster Visit to China (Conversation with Chairman Deng Xiaoping)'

    Deng Xiaoping talks about his rise within the Chinese Communist Party, calling the Cultural Revolution the "most difficult experience" in his long career.