"If you weren't considered a true Maoist, you'd be killed or persecuted to the point that you might want to commit suicide before they came for you and your family. In the midst of all of this, Mao himself passes away. His body is later put on display in the mausoleum, and a new leader emerges to become the paramount Supreme Leader of the party and China, though he never takes the title himself officially. That man is the minuscule Deng Xiaoping.
"Deng Xiaoping had been in the CCP since the party's early days," Posobiec said. "But what separated him from Mao, amongst other things, was that Deng Xiaoping had foreign experiences as a young man."
"Chairman Mao only ever left China once that we know of, in order to go to Moscow to attend a meeting with Joseph Stalin in the 1940s. Deng Xiaoping on the other hand, had spent time overseas. Deng Xiaoping in his very early years m had an opportunity to travel to France as an overseas worker. Many Chinese traveled overseas as workers in the late 1800s, of course, famously building the railroad in the US, the transcontinental railroad, and in other chances, he worked in France.
At 16 years old, Deng Xiaoping traveled on a working ship to France as an overseas worker where he worked in a steel factory and an iron factory. He was given a job as a fitter, and actually, years later, during the cultural revolution when he himself was purged by Mao and by the party, he was sent to a factory 50 years later to work, yet again, as a fitter. It turns out that he still knew the trade, he was still a master of the craft.
"So, Deng Xiaoping has this European background. He studied in France for a little bit, at least in middle school that we know of, and he then comes in. He's one of the people that during the Great Leap Forward, the party looked to and he had risen through the ranks and they looked at him to establish some kind of economic reform. To find some kind of way to peel back from the hardline communism and hardline commune policies of Chairman Mao that led to mass starvation.
"Deng Xiaoping began injecting market reforms, and introducing market reforms both after the great leap forward and then later when Mao died and Deng Xiaoping became really his successor. That's when he introduced a new policy into China, Reform and Opening Up. Essentially, what he did, this is after the meeting with Nixon and Kissinger... Ping starts opening China up to the West. He allows foreign direct investment to come into China, realizing that communism has been a failure in terms of economics, but then not wanting to lose power over the entire country from a political perspective.
"He knew he had to say something about Chairman Mao, and there's a famous saying about Deng Xiaoping... They asked him, was Mao good or bad, he knew that he had to acknowledge the failures of Chairman Mao, but he also had to find a way to maintain his standing as the leader of China, the leader of the CCP... And so Ping comes up with a statement of saying, 'Mao was 7 parts good, 3 parts bad.' and that's still, essentially, from the party when it comes to Mao. When Mao passed away and Deng Xiaoping started introducing these market reforms into China, they asked him about it and they said, 'isn't this a form of capitalism? Isn't this the opposite of communism?' And later on, this system is known as 'Socialism with Chinese characteristics,' and Ping responds, 'it doesn't matter if a cat is white or black, it only matters if the cat catches mice.' So again, the same type of pragmatism that you'd see as opposed to the ideological dogmatism of Chairman Mao, whereas Ping wanted China to become richer, wanted the party to become more powerful, but here's the difference between him and say, a Kruschev or Gorbachov: Ping never wanted the party to lose power.
"As the country and the CCP opens up more and reformed more, in the 1970s and 80s, and throughout the 1980s, the USSR at this point is beginning to crack. The communist block is beginning to open.
"... The Berlin Wall, more and more protests, all throughout the 80s. Reagan becomes president, Reagan, and Thatcher, Pope John Paul II are going behind the Berlin Wall, he goes to Poland, and holds massive rallies. Worldwide communism is beginning to fall, and the power of communism over these areas is beginning to weaken. All of this comes to a head, and at the same time, Deng Xiaoping is out there preaching reform... Students and youth throughout China start hearing this and say we don't just want economic reform, we want political reform. We want social reform. We want the freedoms that we've seen in the west, we want the freedom that we've seen in the United States, and we want the freedoms that are being denied to us. And this sparks off a movement as well.
"The fact is, that some party leaders of the CCP back this new movement of political reform. One of those leaders ends up passing away, and a funeral is held for him in a place called Tiananmen Square in April of 1989, and the students totally flooded the square, they stayed there for months. And when we come back, I'll tell you what happened next," Posobiec said, teasing the tragedy that is to come.