International Development News
Development News Edition

Deng Xiaoping's son gives counter-argument to President Xi's assertive foreign policy

"We must seek truth from fact, keep a sober mind and know our own place," said 74-year-old Deng in a recent speech that was obtained by Hong Kong's The South China Morning Post.


Deng Xiaoping's son gives counter-argument to President Xi's assertive foreign policy
Deng, who suffered partial paralysis 50 years ago when he jumped from the third floor of a building in Beijing to escape from an attack on him and his family during cultural revolution, made the remarks in his speech last month when he was re-elected as the honorary chair of China’s Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF). (Image Credit: Twitter)

China should "keep a sober mind" and "know its place", said an influential son of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of modern China, indicating growing concerns in the country over President Xi Jinping's ambitious foreign policy and military assertiveness.

The remarks by Deng Pufang, the eldest son of Deng Xiaoping, are seen as a counter-argument to President Xi's assertive foreign policy and focus on military expansion.

"We must seek truth from fact, keep a sober mind and know our own place," said 74-year-old Deng in a recent speech that was obtained by Hong Kong's The South China Morning Post.

"We should neither be overbearing or belittle ourselves," he said, urging China to embrace a "cooperative and win-win international environment".

Deng's comments assume significance in the wake of China flexing its muscles in the Indo Pacific region. Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims over the area.

The communist giant recently deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-surface missile systems in the disputed South China Sea amid frequent forays by US naval and surveillance aircraft over the region to assert the freedom of navigation especially around the artificial islands built by China, where it has also established garrisons.

"International uncertainties are on a rise. We should stick to the direction of peace and development, and try to earn a cooperative and win-win international environment," he said in an apparent reference to the current trade war with the US amid the continued slowdown of the Chinese economy and emerging military confrontation in the disputed South China Sea.

"The most important thing at the moment is to properly address China's own issues," he said.

The Indian Ocean also figures prominently in President Xi Jinping's ambitious multi-billion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to build a new silk route. Though the Chinese government calls the initiative "a bid to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future", observers see it as a push for Chinese dominance in global affairs with a China-centred trading network.

The project, which also includes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has evoked global concerns over the growing indebtedness of small countries to China. The US has said the debts accrued on the CPEC projects were to blame for Pakistan's current economic crisis.

Deng's father is regarded as the father of the country's reform and opening-up policy shedding the hard-line Communist policies pursued by Mao Zedong.

He succeeded Mao after the death of the founder of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and put China on an aggressive path of economic reforms enabling it to emerge as the world's second largest economy next only to the US.

He had also advocated China to follow a low-key approach to global affairs. His famous quote that China should disguise its "ambitions and hide its claws" has formed part of the CPC's political philosophy.

Deng, who suffered partial paralysis 50 years ago when he jumped from the third floor of a building in Beijing to escape from an attack on him and his family during cultural revolution, made the remarks in his speech last month when he was re-elected as the honorary chair of China's Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF).

The Federation is a semi-official association and Chinese President Xi Jinping and other top leaders of the CPC attended its annual inaugural meeting two days before Xi made the speech which was not reported in the official media.

"The reform and opening-up policy brought about earth-shaking changes to China - comprehensive changes in politics, economy, society and culture," Deng said.

He went on to say that China should remain on the same path for a century and not go backward.

"We should … continue down this path...bite the bullet, make no regression and remain unwavering for a hundred years," he said.

Deng is well known throughout China and is considered highly influential among the sons and daughters of Communist China's first generation of revolutionaries, who are closely connected to the country's political elites.

Xi himself is a son of a first generation revolutionary

Deng's father's approach of "hide your edge and nurture your strength", which means behaving humbly and never taking the lead in world affairs became intensive public debate as China under Xi's leadership adopted a more assertive foreign policy in recent years leading to apprehensions over the rise of China and its efforts to play dominant role in the regional and global affairs.

Deng also sharply criticised Mao's cultural revolution which resulted in millions of deaths.

"We had all been through the Cultural Revolution. Faith and morals were lost, the culture and the society were chaotic," he said. "People had lost faith in everything."

Commenting on Deng's speech, Dali Yang, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, said that while many have read Deng's speech as a veiled criticism of current policies, the remarks might signal an internal shifting of stance within the party.

"It's important to note that he paid homage to Xi's leadership as the core leader," Yang, an expert on Chinese politics told the Post.

(With inputs from agencies.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

'No escape from telephones', this 1953 prediction actually comes true

In 1953, a telephone company chief predicted that therell be no escape from telephones in the future....

With Ayodhya verdict, CJI starts clearing high profile pending cases

Ending all the speculations, the Chief Justice of India Mr. Ranjan Gogoi who is due to retire on November 17 decided to deliver the verdict in Ayodya dispute at 10.30 am on Saturday which is not a working day for the Supreme Court. This is ...

How partnerships and collaborations could enhance teacher training

Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director, MBD Group shares her views on public private partnership and collaborations in education sector. She supports her propositions with her organisations success stories....

Fixed Test centers would facelift level of WTC in India

The venues for the test matches in India should be fixed so that World Test Championship matches remain fair....

Videos

Latest News

UK's Prince Andrew denies having sex with Epstein accuser in sensational TV interview

London, Nov 17 AFP Britains Prince Andrew has categorically denied having sex with an alleged teen victim of disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who claims she was forced to sleep with the royal, in an extraordinary interview broadcast...

Jets strike quickly in 2nd, end Lightning’s streak

Jack Roslovic scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period Saturday afternoon and Nikolaj Ehlers added another goal just 21 seconds later for the Winnipeg Jets, who went on to beat the host Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. Mathieu Perreault sco...

Kuemper, Coyotes shut out Flames

Darcy Kuemper saved 35 shots for his eighth shutout with Arizona, and Derek Stepan and Carl Soderberg scored less than two minutes apart in the second period, helping the Coyotes to a 3-0 win over the Calgary Flames Saturday afternoon in Gl...

Rajapaksa takes early lead in Sri Lanka presidential poll

Main opposition candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has taken an early lead in the Saturdays presidential election. In the results declared by 4.30 am on Sunday, Rajapaksa had won postal votes of nine districts with his main challenger Sajith Pre...

Give Feedback