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The Fall of the Berlin WallThe Revolutionary Legacy of 1989$
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Jeffrey A. Engel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199832446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199832446.001.0001

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Tiananmen and the Fall of the Berlin Wall: China’s Path toward 1989 and Beyond

Tiananmen and the Fall of the Berlin Wall: China’s Path toward 1989 and Beyond

Chapter:
(p.96) Chapter 4 Tiananmen and the Fall of the Berlin Wall: China’s Path toward 1989 and Beyond
Source:
The Fall of the Berlin Wall
Author(s):

Chen Jian

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199832446.003.0004

This chapter examines developments in China during and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, with particular reference to the Tiananmen Square Massacre that caused the deaths of an unknown number of students and Beijing residents. In order to reconstruct China's path toward 1989, the chapter first considers the legitimacy challenges facing the Chinese Communist state under Mao Zedong before analyzing the immediate and long-range causes of the Tiananmen tragedy in 1989, along with its domestic and international context. It then looks at the reforms and opening project implemented by Deng Xiaoping before turning to the position of the Tiananmen tragedy in the shaping and unfolding of 1989 as a landmark year in world history. The chapter concludes with a discussion of why and how the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Communist state have not only survived the collapse of international communism but also thrived, as reflected by China's rapid economic growth and steady rise as a world power.

Keywords:   communism, economic growth, China, Berlin Wall, Tiananmen Square Massacre, Mao Zedong, world history, Chinese Communist Party, reforms, Deng Xiaoping

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