The Party is Just Getting Started

Notes on the Nineteenth Party Congress – by Jude Blanchette

In August 1980, Deng Xiaoping, China’s paramount leader until his death in 1997, addressed an enlarged session of the Political Bureau (Politburo) of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Central Committee. Having just emerged from the wreckage of the ten-year Cultural Revolution in 1976, China was plagued with what the Party’s aging Marxist revolutionaries liked to call “contradictions.”

For Deng, four such challenges confronted the Party and the political system it dominated: