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Deng Xiaoping in the United States, 1979

Conversations with Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping was one of the most consequential Chinese and world leaders of the 20th century. A Chinese revolutionary, Deng held high-ranking positions within the Chinese Communist Party during the Mao Zedong era (1949-1976) but was purged and removed from power on two separate occasions. After the death of Mao in the late 1970s, Deng rose to preeminence within the CCP and presided over China during a period of rapid political and economic change. Although Deng’s name is positively associated with the policy of opening and reform and China’s fast-paced economic growth, Deng's legacy is complicated by his responsibility for the tragic, deadly crackdown at Tiananmen Square in June 1989.

This collection brings together conversations held between Deng Xiaoping and foreign leaders from both within and outside of the communist bloc in order to offer insights into Deng's evolving influence over China's domestic developments, economic policy, and foreign relations from the 1950s through 1980s.

Deng Xiaoping in the United States, 1979

Popular Documents

February 21, 1979

Cable from the Foreign Ministry, 'Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping Discusses the Vietnam Issue with a Foreign Guest'

Comments made by Deng Xiaoping regarding Vietnam, or the "Cuba of the East."

February 26, 1989

Memorandum of Conversation: President Bush's Meeting with Chairman Deng Xiaoping of the People's Republic of China, February 26, 1989, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Conversation between Deng Xiaoping and President George Bush on Sino-US relations. Deng expressed the hope that the bilateral relationship would develop in a "new pattern" based on mutual trust, mutual support, and minimizing as much as possible mutual problems. They also discussed the continued tensions between China and the Soviet Union,

May 16, 1989

Meeting between Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping (Excerpts)

Gorbachev and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping discuss Sino-Soviet relations as well as relations with the United States.

September 1988

Record of Meetings in Prime Minister Takeshita’s Visit to China

Detailed summaries of Japanese Prime Minister Takeshita's conversations with Li Peng, Yang Shangkun, Deng Xiaoping, and Zhao Ziyang. Topics of discussion include Sino-Japanese political, economic, and cultural relations; China's economy and politics in the 1980s; the "history" problem; and the status of Taiwan. The two sides also discussed a range of international issues, including relations with the Soviet Union and the United States; developments on the Korean Peninsula; the Cambodian-Vietnamese conflict; the Iran-Iraq War; and Pakistan.

May 16, 1989

Excerpts from the Meeting between Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping

The Chinese version of the record of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping. Deng provides a historical overview of China's relations with the Soviet Union and other countries.