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New Deng book reveals ideological conflicts

2014-09-10 11:11 China Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

A new biography of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping has laid bare "ideological confrontations and contradictions within the Party", its chief editor said recently.

The Biography of Deng Xiaoping (1904-1974), authored by the Party Literature Research Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was published in Chinese last month to mark the 110th anniversary of the birth of Deng, known as the chief architect of China's socialist reform, opening up and modernization.

Yang Shengqun, the book's chief editor, told Xinhua that Deng's theories form an important part of the book, while these theories were shaped by his ideological clashes with other Party leaders of the time.

"Writing about the ideological confrontations and contradictions within the party is without doubt a tough job," but it would have been disingenuous to avoid doing so, he said.

Deng's life, "which was full of ups and downs", reflects this struggle, Yang said.

Born in 1904 in Southwest China's Sichuan province, Deng was revered for his leadership of the country's modern-day transformation that started in the 1970s.

The new biography records Deng's life until 1974, when he became vice-premier of China, after being purged during the disastrous 10-year "cultural revolution" (1966-76).

Yang said the book is based on a large quantity of internal government documents. The writers referred to Deng's speeches, telegrams and letters as well as the memoirs of notable contemporaries. Many of the documents have never been published before.

"We want to present our readers with a faithful account of history," the chief editor explained.

The biography also sheds light on Deng's private life, including his relationship with his family as a teenager, his three marriages and his family life during the "cultural revolution". "We want to show Deng's deeds as a great leader of China, but at the same time as an ordinary man as well," Yang said.

The book details the late statesman's studying in France and the Soviet Union, his relish for French wines, cheese, coffee and croissants as well as Sichuan cuisine, his passion for swimming, soccer and bridge, and his love for his children and grandchildren. "Those little details of his life will bridge the emotional gap between the readers and Deng Xiaoping," Yang said.

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