16     Socialism with Chinese Characteristics                  


Primary Resources 


Document 16.1

Quotations from Karl Marx, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping


Document 16.2


Excerpts from Deng Xiaoping’s speech “Emancipate the Mind, Seek Truth from Facts, and Unite as One in Looking to the Future,” December 13, 1978


Document 16.3


Excerpts related to the “Pan Xiao” discussion on the meaning of life from China Youth magazine, May 1980–December 1980

Document 16.4

Description of a visit to a rural school in the 1980s by Ma Xiaodong

Document 16.5

“The Fifth Modernization” by Wei Jingsheng, December 5, 1978

Document 16.6

Excerpts from Fang Lizhi and Liu Binyan, two Chinese activists, writing about democracy, 1990

Document 16.7

Excerpt from Deng Xiaoping: My Father by Deng Maomao, 1995

Document 16.8

Excerpts from “Deng Xiaoping” by George J. Church, Time, January 6, 1986



Activity Websites

Preliminary Activities

CIA World Fact Book


Activity 4 Population Statistics

China's Total Population and Structural Changes in 2011

"China's Population Hits 1.37 Billion"


Suggested Resources




Fong, Vanessa L. Only Hope: Coming of Age Under China’s One-Child Policy. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004.

This book by an anthropologist is the first in-depth study of the experiences of the first generation of children born under China’s One-Child Policy.


Link, Perry. Evening Chats in Beijing. New York: W.W. Norton, 1992.

A compilation of discussions with Chinese citizens about the reform activities happening throughout China in the 1980s.


Lord, Betty Bao. Legacies: A Chinese Mosaic. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.

In this memoir, the wife of a former U.S. ambassador to China interweaves news headlines with her perspectives on Chinese society and culture during the demonstrations of 1989.


Schell, Orville. The Mandate of Heaven: The Legacy of Tiananmen Square and the Next Generation of China’s Leaders. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

A comprehensive overview of the events surrounding and including the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989.


Shambaugh, David. Deng Xiaoping: Portrait of a Chinese Statesman. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

A collection of essays that shows many different parts of Deng’s life and work.


Vogel, Ezra F. Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011.

An exhaustive biography of Deng Xiaoping.


Zhang Xinxin and Sang Ye. Chinese Lives: An Oral History of Contemporary China. New York: Pantheon Books, 1987.

A collection of interviews with people from all walks of life. All were facing the challenges of the changes Deng Xiaoping had put in motion, and many were taking advantage of the opportunities.




China Social Indicators, United Nations

Statistics on population growth rate, urban population, and life expectancy in China.


China Statistics, UNICEF

Basic indicators such as mortality rates, population, life expectancy, and annual births as well as education data and economic indicators.


China Statistics, The World Bank

Population data, financial statistics, and World Development Indicators.


Constitution of the People’s Republic of China

The Chinese Constitution adopted December 4, 1982, and amendments since 1982.


Deng Xiaoping Profile, CNN In-Depth Specials, Visions of China

A brief biography of Deng Xiaoping from his childhood to his death in 1997.


The Gate of Heavenly Peace

The companion website to the documentary The Gate of Heavenly Peace. The site includes film excerpts, a chronology of June 1989, and additional readings and resources.


Rural Chinese Education Foundation

A non-governmental organization that promotes education for rural Chinese citizens. The site includes information about present-day rural education in China with links to current initiatives and development campaigns.


Tiananmen Square Protests 1989, The Guardian

Videos, photo galleries, and articles detail the events of June 1989.




All Under Heaven (58 mins; 1986)

Part One of the One Village in China series. This documentary captures the various ways in which the CCP has tackled the challenge of land reform and gives insight into rural traditions.


The Gate of Heavenly Peace (189 mins; 1995)

The detailed and balanced account of what led to the violent confrontation in June 1989 is the result of six years of research. The documentary links the student demonstrations to the legacy of student activism in twentieth-century China and captures the idealism as well as the confusion within the movement.


Small Happiness (58 mins; 1984)

Produced and directed by Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon. Another film in the three-part documentary series One Village in China, examining life in Long Bow, a rural community 400 miles southwest of Beijing. This segment looks at the lives of women in the village and also shows how the pace of change in rural China is different from the pace of change in urban China.


The Tank Man (90 mins; 2006)

This PBS Frontline episode provides a look at the events in and around Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989.




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