Former General Secretary of Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Chief of general Staff, and head of central military commissions. Born in Sichuan province and studied in France. Joined CCP in 1924 and became close associate of Mao Zedong by 1931. Veteran of Chinese revolutionary movement, having played a prominent role in the Long March of 1934.
Purged with Liu Shaoqi during the Cultural Revolution amidst accusations of attempting to return capitalism to China. He was rehabilitated in 1973 and purged again in 1976. Deng was again rehabilitated in 1977 and rapidly rose to prominence following the dissolution of the Gang of Four.
Deng's role in the history of the People's Republic of China remains controversial. He wrote and spoke at length against the cult of personality following Mao's death. He also made numerous attempts at reforming China's social and economic policies, resulting in enduring criticism alleging Deng was a proponent of capitalism.