Reforming Modern China
Three years after Mao’s death in 1979, the CCP began its policy of ‘Reform and Opening Up, under Hua Guofeng who had taken over as chairman after Mao’s passing. One decision Guofeng made early on would immediately come back to haunt him, the reinstatement of Deng Xiaoping. Xiaoping had fallen out of favor during the Cultural Revolution, but once reinstated he quickly built a power base within the party and almost immediately ousted Guofeng in 1980.
Xiaoping would take an experimental approach by trying to marry the ideology of the CCP with the greater economic freedom found in capitalism by letting farmers sell any excess produce, allowing entrepreneurs to establish businesses, and creating special economic zones to allow free trade.